Every fashion experience has its own vocabulary, which is why The Luxe Report is excited to launch “Indian Fashion 101,” a series of blog posts dedicated to learning the language and history of Indian Fashion, from the components of a saree to the right attire for a Mehndi. For our first Indian Fashion 101 post, we’re giving you an overarching review of the basics (that’s right – you might want to print this one out for future reference).
Essential Indian Style
The Saree: Consists of a saree piece (5.5 meters of gorgeous fabric – though the length can range from 4 to 9 meters!), petticoat (the skirt worn under the saree piece into which the saree is tucked) and blouse (also known as a choli). The decorated end of the saree piece is called the pallu. Once you wear your blouse and petticoat, the saree piece is pleated and wrapped around the body. Although there are many different ways to tie a saree, the most common style is to have the pallu draped over your shoulder.
The Salwar: Also known as salwar kameez, churidar, kurta and the Punjabi dress, the Salwar consists of a long top (known as a kurta), a stole (known as a duppata) and pants that come in a variety of styles, including sharara (wide-legged pants), churidar (slim fit pants) and dhoti (wraparound pants).
The Ghagra Choli: Also known more simply as Ghagra, this traditional outfit consists of a skirt (known as ghagra), blouse (choli) and stole (duppata).
Fashion Tips for Key Events
The Mehndi: a pre-wedding event where henna is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. It’s a celebratory event where women wear vivid colors like hot pink and yellow. Green is also a popular color choice.
The Sangeet: a pre-wedding celebration where friends and family get together, sing songs and even participate in choreographed dance routines (we know, a Bollywood dream come true)! A bit less formal than the wedding and reception, the Sangeet is a great opportunity to wear something more fun and daring – think cocktail attire as opposed to black tie.
The Wedding: the actual wedding ceremony is typically the most traditional of the Indian wedding events. It’s an opportunity to wear festive, bright sarees that are more traditional in style, fabric and design.
The Reception: the wedding reception is your chance to make your ultimate fashion statement: intricate sarees with heavy sequins, gems and bolder designs are the norm and the acceptable color palate is more broad. Just make sure you’re comfortable so you can dance the night away as you revel in style.
If there’s an Indian Fashion question you’ve been dying to have answered, just leave us a comment. Stay tuned for more Indian Fashion 101 from Luxemi.