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By Anuradha Turner

Attending a wedding this summer season and don’t want to wear the same old traditional silhouettes? Plan Your Wedding takes a look at some of the healthy and stylish alternatives that you can embrace this wedding season.

 Traditions set your roots, but there is always that excitement in taking the tradition and decorating it in ‘your’ fashion. Be it the small customs like mehendi and haldi, a great Indian wedding is full of such traditions, however, there is one department that seems to have evolved, its ‘fashion’. While this is also true that the thought of ‘what to wear to an Indian wedding’ can be overwhelming, the seasonal wear such as what to wear to Indian summer wedding can be even more exhaustive. And it certainly becomes a tricky task for the guests to dress up fashionably for the wedding, whilst taking care of the seasonal factor.

“A friend of mine is getting married next month. Yesterday, she called me to ‘discuss’ what I was planning to wear for the wedding and other functions. As soon as I told her, she exclaimed ‘What’s with these anarkalis and salwar kameez and why can’t we wear something unique and nice.’ So that’s when I thought, what are the options available for the guests apart from the conventional sarees, anarkalis and salwar kameez? I really wish for some unconventional options which could probably fit well in an Indian Wedding”, says Manali Kotwal, 28, Corproate Lawyer.

The thought process for any wedding is always the usual sarees and salwar kameez, but this is a process even in a white wedding, however, the new generation appreciate a bit of twist and zing. Capes, shararas, crop tops and long skirts, dhotis, cigarette pants, jackets, high-low kurtas, drapes – the silhouettes are endless! “Now a days, people are more conscious about being stylish than being traditional. My clients are also moving from conventional and traditional to modern. They want a mix of traditional and modern style clothing. They are going for silks and more western fabrics than the old ones. The younger generation doesn’t prefer wearing sarees or salwar kameez, they are always looking for something different to wear. Something bold yet ethnic to wear for weddings. So, I have to keep designing, mixing and matching stuff until they love it,”says Anjali Wandhwani, owner and designer, Anjali Wadhwani Design Studio.

Who says it has to be your way or the highway; one way or the other? There is always a middle ground (no man’s land!) to be found. When attending an Indian wedding, one doesn’t have to go for the ultimate traditional or chic style. Just like alloys enhance jewelry, fusion wear –where in cultural values and modern lifestyle meet- is an enticing option for an Indian wedding. So, whatever shape, size or preference you have; here’s a list of some alternative outfits that are stylish and yet not vey far from the tradition, which you might want to try for the next wedding that you plan to attend.

Crop Top and Long Skirt

The hottest look of the season, a crop top and long skirt is probably one of the best looks that fits Indian weddings. For one, it comes close to the feel of shararas or lehengas and cholis and yet the prints and fabrics give you ample space to experiment. So if you want to stick to the traditional Indian wedding style yet look different, opt for this look.

A crop top and long skirt will allow you to drape and play with soft fabrics like silk and there are also some interesting Japanese and Oriental prints that can be clubbed with zari borders.

A crop top and skirt is especially a relief for someone with an inverted triangle body type. While a traditional lehenga or sharara and choli can get a bit difficult for this body type, a crop top and skirt will fall just apt.

Crop top and skirts is extremely low maintenance and makes it very easy to walk around without having to worry about a duppatta. It is chic yet goes well with Indian traditional weddings.

Dhoti Style Pants

Traditionally speaking, dhoti style pants were always menswear until recently. However, the dhoti style pants and its versatility is something that made it one of the most iconic fashion statements last year. It is the ultimate smart alternative to salwars and perfect for summer weddings. This breezy style is chic and stylish and can be clubbed with anything from crop tops to kurtas and jackets. It also help women flaunt their curves without having to worry about complications that you would otherwise feel with tight fitted churidhar. This is especially a must try for woman with a strong yin streak.

“Although traditionally a part of the menswear, the dhoti salwar has seen a great comeback throughout wedding collections recently and makes for an interesting piece when incorporated with a short peplum style kameez or a crop top,” adds Anjali Wadhwani, fashion designer.

Ethnic Gowns

Never have two of the topmost wedding fashion fantasy that every girl has been merged together so well. Most women feel torn between wearing something traditional for an Indian wedding but there is also this desire to be dressed just once in a beautiul gown with a flowing trail. Long flowing gowns made from traditional fabrics and prints is the solution. Some fabrics like georgette sarees with zari borders and bandhani flow very well with this look. If you need to opt for something a little heavy, go for full sleeves jacket with a slit.
“Ethnic Gowns will give you an edge without making you feel like you are cheating on your otherwise traditional ethnic looks. The possibilities are endless and the look is refreshing,” says Suditi Srivastav, fashion designer and faculty at Pearl Academy.

Embrace with the Right Twist

Some of the best looks actually happens with just little bit of tweak or the right twist. For example, one can opt for the same sharara or salwar kameez but embrace it with a twist. Go for a half sleeves jacket with gathers and the right fall or you can also experiment with an off shoulder, see through shrug with tiny embellishments. Long flowing shrugs with a churidhar and kurta will add grace to an otherwise traditional attire. The idea is to take something traditional and add just the right bit of twist. It is these small little twists that will make you stand out in a crowd.

Belt it up

Sarees are a must in an Indian wedding but with a new range of jackets and blouses are what set them apart. From full sleeved jackets to collared shirts, it is amazing how much it uplifts even the simplest sarees. So reinvent that old ethnic saree with a printed blouse and see yourself grace the occasion in a new light.

Other Hot Tips and Trends:

Pallazo pant with an embellished jacket or a simple dhoti saree is a must try.

Crop tops can be worn by the guests as well as by the bride on her mehendi or sangeet. This attire gives a wonderful look, ethinic yet stylish and classy.

You can team a high low kurta with a pair of pallazo pants also for a more ethinic yet bold look. High-low has been an international trend, and just like other outfits like capes high low took on an indian avatar effortlessly, moving from dresses to kurtas.

Embellished jackets are a must haves if you want to ditch the old conventional clothing and try something bold for a wedding.

Indian wedding wear has the reputation of being glittery, colourful and heavily embellished. When you look at the Bollywood red carpet appearances or try taking a cue from how the divas dress up in a traditional wear, you would surely get inspired to upgrade your ethnic wear wardrobe. Graduate from the pastel summer palette of ivory, white and beige to vibrant hues of orange, red and green that will make you ready to embrace the upcoming wedding season in style.

While dressing up in a heavy suit or saree, keep your jewellery and makeup minimal so it never looks like you are trying to upstage the bride at any given point. Most importantly, remember that sophistication and ‘less-is-more’ should be your fashion mantra this season.
Weddings have always been considered a serious ,traditional affair but the rules are changing. Weddings are a time to play with all your favorite colours and looks . While the thought of wearing a heavy saree for a summer wedding might seem cumbersome, these alternatives will help you look stylish while giving you space to breathe. So, go on and enjoy the wedding season with these unique ethnic twists and alternatives.


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