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The Perfect Trousseau Shopping Idea

By Sanhati Banerjee

While the idea of trousseau might light up a twinkle in our eyes, you need to be very organised about the whole process. Here’s the way to a well-planned wedding shopping. Only for the prudent bride-to-be.

The idea is not to get bogged down by an exhaustive shopping list, but to plan it according to your budget and requirements. Planning in advance will ensure you have an all-round wardrobe which will see you through a good many months after your wedding and also make sure you do not miss out on anything.

The Wedding Wardrobe
Decide on the looks for all the four ceremonies -- engagement, cocktail, wedding and reception. The choice of the outfits, accessories, shoes, the makeup look and jewellery. There are a few points you need to remember while shopping for your wedding wardrobe.
Select the shop/s from where you would like to buy your wedding ensembles. It could be one shop where you can get your dream wedding lehenga, engagement suit, cokctail gown and reception saree of a combination of two-to-three.
While choosing the garments, keep the theme of the particular day in mind, if you are going for a theme wedding.
The right fabrics, the right cuts and perfect fitting, colours that will suit your complexion, designs that will be eye-catching and have an element of royal grandeur, sexy silhouettes etc are the factors you need to keep in mind while finalising your bridal ensembles. Be very sure of the fittings before placing the final order.
Plan for a dress rehearsal. Book a date with your makeup artist and try out the four different looks for the different occasions.
Everything should be perfect for the wedding ensembles, from head-to-toe. So, the lingerie you wear, the scent you put on, the shoes you slip into, the maangtika you sport should all seamlessly blend with the attires. Hence, shop carefully.
Jewellery is a major component of bridal trousseau. Prepare a budget you would like to assign for buying jewellery.
Work according to the budget. Visit mulitple stores, discuss your budget, expectations and the looks you have selected for the ceremonies.
The next step would be to keep the garments in mind. However, no matter what you wear, you will always require gold jewellery for your wedding day. Prioritise on kundan-polki, diamonds, precious stones and pearls, meenakari. It’s advisable to strike a balance between the light-weight and chic and the heavy jewellery.
Keep the makeup ready. Try on the shades beforehand as per the garments and also check for skin sensitivity so that you do not get last-minute rashes. Keep a few pairs of extra ready, as you never know when the brush falls out of stroke or the shadow gets messed up.
Sweat-absorbent tissue, cotton wool, cleansing milk, conditioning creams are all important last-minute requirements.
Remember to keep a stylish pair of pumps handy, as you would not want to be getting the makeup done and hugged by your family members, sitting pretty in your high heels, as by the time your are ready to go to the venue, your feet might start aching.
This one’s for girls, who are nor much of heel wearers. Try on your bridal shoes again and again before your wedding and do your ramp walk at home if required to avoid on-spot shoe bites or tripping over problems.
Keep an embellished gold-shaded pouch or potli bag handy to keep all your valuables

The Post Wedding Wardrobe
Make a list of what all you will need to make an all-round post marriage wardrobe. The list should include items that you will require both as part of your bridal look as well as everyday look, office look, casual look etc.
Items that will be required for creating, enhancing or complementing the newly wed bridal look: Sarees, halter blouses, skirts and choli tops, salwar-kameez etc. Embellished pumps in shades like black, purple, pink, maroon etc, stilettos, bejewelled clutches, embellished or decked up handbag, chandelier earrings, big rings, bangles, hair accessories, feminine perfume, makeup items like mascara, glitter eye shadows, lip glosses, hand-held mirror, blusher, bronzer etc.
Items that will be required after the relatively newly wed period is over when you will be going out more for work, outings, business trips, mall-hopping etc: jeans, trousers, belts, tops, floral dresses, evening gowns, skirts, embroidered and printed kurtas, churidars and patialas, dupattas, stoles and scarves, jersey dresses etc. It would be a nice idea to stock up on a good range of matte makeup, perfumes, hold all bags, flats, formal shoes as well as pretty ballerinas.

Stocking up on these essential items will see you through a good many months after your wedding:
Lingerie: Think well and buy well. While the lacy stuff and the thongs will be good boosters for your sex life, you will need a good supply of t-shirt bras, salwar-kameez bras etc and since you are shopping for an all-round post wedding wardrobe, it would be a nice idea to keep these ready.
Nightwear and regular home wear: Being a new bride, it would be perfect for you to shop for silky nightwear – tops and pants, housecoats – lacy, printed – a whole lot of variety is available in the market. Choose fabrics that are soft on the skin and pieces that are simple and lovely. However, this was for the night. What about day time, when you will have visitors or might have to wade through a couple of chores? Most of our lot do not prefer heavy clothing during the day, leave alone bejwelled sarees. You can go for silk wrap-arounds and embroidered or printed blouse-tops, choli tops for that elegant look or simply pair them with cool tees to make the look hip. Loose cotton capris with tees, ankle-length skirts with ethnic tops, kaftans if you are a little experimental, full-length retro-style maxis can be the other exciting options.
Makeup and knick-knacks: Stock up on good resource of makeup – kajal, eyeliner in shades of blue and black, concealer, foundation, compact powder, eye shadow, mascara, gloss, lipsticks, nail paints, nail remover, blusher, bronzer will all be useful to you depending on the mood and the occasion. You can also buy your favourite body mists, body butters, talcum powder, essential oils etc. Investing in a good stacked makeup suitcase or box, saree pouches, jewellery boxes will also be beneficial.
Bags: Same for bags. First, buy the basics. Hold-all bags, clutches, sling bags, hobo bags, satchels ideal for honeymoon and yes, totes in the classic shades, then, invest in fancy designer or concept bags if you must.
Shoes: Buy shoes of all kinds – sneakers, flats, pumps, high heels, boots, a pair of formal shoes if you need to attend meetings and home slippers. Make sure you have a couple of pair from each category, then invest in more varieties.
Perfume: Never say ‘no’ to perfume. Buy your signature taste as well keep a couple of other romantic varieties handy.
Fashion Jewellery, Precious Stones and Pearls: You are surely not going to sport heavy gold and jadau stuff after your wedding is over. Not losing out on the touch of bridal glamour, pearls and precious stones can lend that look of sophisticated and yet dressy style. Concept fashion jewellery, especially bling earrings, bracelets and rings can bring in an element of sassy style.
Stoles, scarves and dupattas: Investing in a range of printed, silky, cotton, embroidered, fancy stoles, scarves and dupattas will prove to be a good idea as they will endless options of perking up your attire.
Do not forget the woollens: If you are an autumn-winter bride, do not forget to stock well on the woollens. Pashmina shawls, knitted classics, sweater dresses for that hot look, cardigans, jackets, jerseys, long coats, tie-ups are all essential woollen items. You can jolly well add track pants, woollen socks, mufflers and fashionable hats to the list.
Apart from these, you obviously need to buy the regular jeans, trousers, evening skirts, tops, shirts, belts, day dresses and evening gowns as well as the sarees, kurtas, salwar kameez etc. Since you will be a newly wed bride, your first year as a bride will land you in multiple occasions where you need to go the dressy way. So, it would be a nice idea to strike a balance when you shop for the ethnic attires. You can buy them in two categories – one, that would have heavy work and embellishments but will not be too bridal such that it is perfect for both a festival, puja or family celebration like the fish-cut lehenga with embroidered choli, saree with zardozi work etc.
The other category would be the everyday wear sarees, churidar-kurta, patiala-kurta, salwar kameez etc – lovely cotton creations in bright shades.

Gifts/Trousseau for Groom’s Family
While shopping for the prospective groom and his family, remember it’s not only a custom, but also the kind of trousseau you send will tell a lot about you and your family. There’s no need to go overboard, however make sure, all the items are tasteful and tastefully wrapped. Here are a few pointers:
For the Groom: Apart from the customary sherwani and suit – Indo-western/tuxedo, make sure you buy a pair of formal shoes, jootis, tie, scarf, cufflink, belt, buttons. A classy perfume, a watch and a grooming kit consisting not of regular items but little select ones like bath salts etc will complete the ensemble.
For the mother and father of the groom: An elegant saree or a concept saree depending on her personality and taste and a salwar-kameez in a little innovative avatar like the angrakha along with a perfume, a bejewelled clutch, a brooch, a pair of gold or pearl earrings or a pair of gold and pearl earrings with a matching neckpiece, a bracelet and sandals will fit the bill perfectly. For the father, a suit, a dinner jacket if you want to be a little innovative or a kurta-pyjama set, a pair of formal shoes, a watch, tie, scarf and perfume will complete the picture. If it’s a winter wedding, you can add two pashmina shawls to your list, which will help you add that vintage feel.
For the rest of the family: You can take an approximate count of the immediate members of the fmaily -- brothers, sisters, cousisns, aunts, uncles, grandfather and grandmother. As per the age/personality profile, you can buy an assortment of salwar-kameez or lehenga, suit or sherwani, accessories like handbags, fashion jewellery, shoes, stoles, shawls, jackets and perfumes.
To complete the shagun on a sweet note, do not forget to buy chocolates and mithai. You can gift wrap them in fancy chocolate boxes and colourful sweet boxes.

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