India is a place of beautiful, complex and many-layered fashions, but you would not know it to look at some of their racks in Western stores. It is quite common for “Indian style” to involve a sari and nothing else. If you want to incorporate real Indian design into your wardrobe, here are five tips for a more authentic look.
Lehenga are the long, swishy skirts you often see on the runways of India. They can be decorated with everything from beads to painstakingly precise embroidery, and they come in every color of the rainbow and then some. Many lehenga are available for purchase as-is, but if you are crafty, you can also make your own.
If you are not a skirt person, maybe the churidar will be more your speed. They are tight-fitting pants usually worn under long tunics, and their colors can clash or complement each other as much as you would like. You will enjoy a lot of freedom to personalize with the churidar. The only limits to how they can be worn are the limits of your own imagination.
Mehndi design is a great way to show your appreciation for India’s culture. While not meant for everyday wear, it is perfect for weddings, festivals and celebrations, so take a trip somewhere like Craftsvilla and start buying supplies. You can express yourself in a dozen different ways using mehndi, but first you need the right tools!
Despite the fact that they have become an almost cliché form of Indian fashion, there’s still nothing else quite like a sari. Best of all, they come in endless colors, shapes, sizes and patterns, so you could theoretically have a sari for every day of the week! Now that is dedication to Indian aesthetics.
Though they are traditionally worn as part of the sari, it is becoming increasingly common to see choli worn on their own, especially by those who are copying flamboyant Bollywood fashion. Choli are fitted blouses that bare the stomach and neck, so if you are thinking of incorporating them in your closet, make sure you lay off the doughnuts!
These are just a few ways to dress more like the women in India. Whether you’re reclaiming your heritage or just showing an appreciation for a culture you admire, these tips should help you enjoy Indian fashion to a deeper and more meaningful extent.