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Doing the Drapes

By Sanhati Banerjee

As you plan to put your best foot forward for your wedding, spare a thought about the different versions of headgear and drapes like dhotis, shawls or stoles, which are a part of any groom’s wardrobe. Which are the ones to pick up from the many available in the market and how to carry them; we give you creative ways to cover up and stay stylish. By jagjot saini

Attires for grooms-to-be would be incomplete in India if there are no signs of drapes in the forms of either a shawl or a stole. While shawls are primarily the woolen ones designed to ward off the cold weather, not many prefer them for the reason that they essentially cover up your designer clothes. Not many would like to have them but nothing would match the grace of a flowing piece of rich woolen resting on a shoulder with a nice pair of ethnic silk kurta-pyjama for weddings. On the other hand, stoles are convenient and remain quite popular with the grooms due to the less voluminous nature of this drape. Whatever be the material – chiffon, silk, wool or even cotton — stoles can be draped, doubled, folded and knotted in plenty of ways. All you need to do is choose them according to your wedding attire and lo it is done.
Choose the right stole
Make sure you pick the right one as per your dress. It should be long enough to be draped across your neck and broad enough to experiment with stylistic drapery. Stylists prefer to have a simple yet an ornate one for your wedding. One might go in for stoles and scarves in frilled and textured fabrics like organza and perma-pleated instead of the regular ones if you are in a mood experiment. It is always better to choose a piece that has textural value in terms of surface enhancement and shine. It should also match the colour palette of most of your other ensembles.
If you love brights and bling, one might go in for pieces in magenta, coral, orange or yellow. And for those who like somber shades, go in for blacks, greys beige, whites and peach. Prints again vary from stripes, plaid, polka dots, floral etc.– caveat here would be again to go with the theme of rest of your attire. According to Manish Sharma, director, Vivah Collections, “It is always better to have some contrast for your stoles. In vogue are the ornate printed drapes in darker shades of red which would go well with cream or an off white sherwani or achkans.”
Drape it well

Plan your entire look and make sure the colour of the stole or scarf happily merges with the entire shade palette. Here are a few of the styles of draping the stole for those exquisite looks:
Looped around: One of the commonest ways to drape around the stole is to loop it around the neck and to let an equal part to hang on both on the front as well as on the backside. This works well with both formal as well as ethnic wear.
Formal affair: This particularly is not so common in India where the flowing ends are tied in front of your chest. This winter style perfectly suites those wearing a muffler draped in combination with a formal jacket when opted in unbuttoned form.
Doubling up: Particularly a chic way to drape along with your formal jacket. Double you loop around your neck and make the loose ends through the doubled edge making a knot-kind of pattern.
Street wear: Probably the most common and the simplest one; the style entails draping the stole around the neck in equal halves. This suits especially if your stole has ornate danglers attached to both the ends and when paired with ethnic sherwanis.
Layer it up: Loop the stole around your neck and leave both the ends dangling on the front end towards the ground. This goes equally well with formal as well as ethnic wear and is a one of the most common ways to do it.
Heading on towards the Top Knot
If style and fashion are like seasons then attires are like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come in. This is also true for wedding attires. And yet there are the evergreens like turbans aka pagris in India, which remain an essential part of the groom’s trousseau since times immemorial.
Quintessentially, a headgear is a style statement that comes in various sizes and shapes depending upon your religion, region or even state of residency. Paired along with stoles, they complete the very picture of an Indian groom. There might be several ways in which they can be adorned and they might come in an array of colours, prints etc. but together they add style and colour to any outfit to an extent that even the most sober outfits end up looking classy and out of the world.
Go Head-on with the Styles
‘Dastar’ or ‘pagh’ in Punjabi, ‘pagri’ in Hindi or a simple turban in English, the origins go back to the royal Rajputs from Rajasthan, which then moved on to different parts of the country. The groom being the king of the day has to have this piece of royalty for himself. Wedding headgear for men is generally a long colorful strip of a cloth tied in a different fashion as per the age-old family tradition. To match the occasion, a kalgi or a small ornate chain is attached as an ornament to the turban. Turbans are a long piece of unstitched clothes, which come in different styles in accordance with different sartorial traditions.
Rajasthani Pagri: This style originating from the desert state probably has most of the sub-styles depending upon the class and the origins of the groom. The way you tie your drape around is probably the one of the differentiating factors. A few of the common traits are the use of vibrant colours and the length of the pagri.
Dastaar: Also referred to as ‘pagh’ locally, it is a traditional piece of plain cloth tied up in layers. Off late, a plain cloth has been replaced by a multi-coloured one. Sometimes, a golden or a silver lining is attached to get a shimmering effect. Traditionally, a broach is attached to it along with a feather for a royal effect. One might also hook up a golden chain to this piece of headgear.
Marathi Pheta: It can be a single or a dual toned pagri chareterised by a fan-kind-of-formation jutting out from the top. This headgear is specifically worn on weddings by the groom and those given due importance for the ceremony.
Peta: This is the turban popular in Mysore and Kodagu. A combination of gold and white, this elegant piece of headgear is worn specially at weddings.
So, these were a few tips on how to go ahead and have that royal look for your weddings and mesmerise the world with your designer twist to the age-old tradition of drapes and headgear.
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• Fair-to-wheatish complexioned grooms can carry off a safa or pagdi in any colour, but the not-so-fair grooms-to-be would be better off with soft shades in beige, off white, soft peach or soft brown.
• You can go bold with the headgear; opt for a royal blue, navy blue, dark green saafas with intricate work and embroidery or a bejewelled turban. But ensure to tone down the colour of your attire.
• If you want to jazz up your look with a saafa, then go for safas with work of Swarovski, pearls, semi-precious or precious stones. Here again, you need to avoid heavily embellished attire.
• You can also go for safa made from the similar fabric and colour of your wedding dress, same embroidery and same work. This looks classy.
• If you are wearing a heavy sherwani or suit, add a stunning brooch, which looks elegant and timeless, or simply jazz it up with mor pankh to add a feather touch to your outfit.
• Jazz up your attire with a pre-stiched safas and pagdis with beautiful side rolls; printed safas in bandhni or lehariya are always royal and evergreen and look versatile.
• A saafa should always be in a light fabric so that it is easy to carry.
Inputs taken from Bharat Reshma Grover, Fashion Designer, H-2

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