Handloom Sarees: What Makes a Great Indian Outfit – Money or Styling?

Hello everyone – I hope you have all had a great weekend full of fun, frolic and fashion.

Fashion discussion of the past week:

A few days ago, my mother and I were having the following conversation. At some level, have we accepted that Indian clothes cost more than western clothes and find ourselves more willing to spend a sum total on an Indian outfit that we would never find ourselves spending on a dress, even a ‘going-out’ dress?  We both agreed that we have often heard the sentiment expressed that good Indian looks cost a fortune! Furthermore, it is ironic that we are willing to spend much more on an Indian outfit that may only get a small fraction of the wear that a western one would get and therefore, works out to be an even more expensive proposition with limited repeat wear options.

I am not quite sure where I stand on this issue.  Yes, I think Indian clothes can be expensive and I have to put my hands up and say that I am not sure how willing I would be to spend the kind of money on a dress (the first time I saw it) that I have spent on an Indian outfit.  On the other hand, we have to take into account that often Indian wear is reserved for special occasions where the presence of abundant family and friends makes us want to look our very best and therefore, we are willing to open our pockets that little bit more. Transport and logistics of getting that outfit to us must add to the cost  – a fact that cannot be ignored.

The one thing that I am sure about is that a good-looking Indian outfit does not have to cost a fortune.  I believe that the ‘styling quotient’ has the same effect on an Indian look that it has on a western look.  The skill of how items are put things together and the desire to experiment and push your personal fashion styling boundaries can produce a great look, regardless of the kind of clothes we are wearing.

As you may have noticed, I am a great lover of mixing and matching clothes that are already in our wardrobes and I have always championed this practice on the blog.  Here, I am wearing a gorgeous yellow (my favourite colour) handloom saree with a ready-made brocade blouse.  I bought this sari for less than Rs 5000 (approximately £54) at Delhi Haat in New Delhi and my friend N in Mumbai (who has fabulous taste) brought me this blouse from a little ready-made blouse in Mumbai that we would both frequent when I lived there. The blouse cost Rs 2000 (£22) and fitted like a glove as I gave my friend my ready-made blouse size (ladies you must always know your ready-made blouse size!). Even though the two items are not exactly colour matched, I loved the way they looked together once I put them on.  I think there is a synergy to the look, where the total looks better than the sum of the individual parts. I love handloom sarees and I am a great fan of the deliberate mismatch here as I think it draws attention to the beautiful individual components of the outfit and demonstrates some styling chops.

I love the necklace and earrings I am wearing from Toraan  – the pale green stones add a rich opulence to the look and pick up on the greens in the blouse perfectly.  Finally, a big bindi – bigger than my normal go-to size but loving the look all the same.

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook and I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes a great Indian outfit. As always, thank you for taking the time to visit Isha’s Verdict.

Jewellery:

Set – Toraan

 

Indian Summer: In Easy-Going Ethnic Mix and Match Combinations

Hello everyone! I hope that you have enjoyed this glorious summer as much as I have. While there may not be too many days of summer left – I am enjoying my summer wardrobe to the maximum and making sure that I wear as much of it in the next few weeks as possible.

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that my love of ethnic clothes spans across the entire spectrum of  Indian wear from formal attire to everyday clothes. I do find that sometimes, in our quest for formal Indian clothes, we overlook the beauty and comfort of everyday Indian-inspired fashion.  I am a huge fan of summery whimsical ethnic wear that epitomizes summer in simple prints and elegant cuts.  I have always championed the concept of mix and match across my wardrobe and nowhere do I enjoy doing this more than with the various Indian pieces that I have amassed in my wardrobe over the years.

I bought this pretty summer skirt with a bold border many years ago in Mumbai and I love pairing it with different tops for a great ethnic boho look. I have paired it here with a simple white kurta to create an uncluttered canvas for showcasing some of my lovely silver jewellery. I bought this blue kurta from Westside in Mumbai many years ago and I love the simplicity of the cut and the timelessness of the pretty print.  I want to bring your attention to the beautiful earrings that I am wearing with both these outfits that impart the perfect boho element to my overall fashion statement.  They are from Toraan and I cannot get enough of the feminine designs of these gorgeous pieces.

Like the many reminders we set ourselves, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to wear our simpler Indian clothes to everyday occasions – such as a family barbecue. They may not be your first fashion thought but given an opportunity, they always pack a powerful fashion punch and remind us that simplicity is always in vogue.

I would love to hear your thoughts on your daily Indian wear and how much use it gets during the year.  I hope you enjoy this styling and thank you so much for visiting my blog.  I am also stepping up my Instagram efforts so please do follow me on Instagram @ishasverdict

Accessories:

Earrings – Toraan 

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