Ever picture yourself dancing around trees sari-clad underneath the pouring rain? Or perhaps gyrating with the latest Bollywood hunk du jour? Or maybe you’ve just always had a predilection for Indian style. But a modern-day American gal donning a full Indian ensemble isn’t really feasible. The solution? Incorporate just a wee bit of Indian sparkle into your everyday wardrobe for a look that’s unique and fresh without looking like you’re wearing a costume.
Take a cue from celebs like Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jessica Alba and don a little Indian jewelry. Isharya and Amrita Singh combine the best of both east and west, taking traditional Indian design and toning it down so it blends easily with western wear. Think filigree cuffs, modern day beaded chandelier earrings, and bejeweled bracelets. To avoid looking like a Bollywood movie extra, sport your gems with a simpler ensemble like a black shift dress or a tailored suit.
Moon Bali Reeya Blue Lapis Earrings, $498 at Isharya.
Leave the chunky pumps at home. Indian ladies love their strappy sandals. Your best bet is to go with a bright color like hot pink or a sassy metallic or crystal-studded number. Paired with skinny pants and an embroidered tunic, your look will be reminiscent of a traditional salwar kameez, albeit in a modern way.
Salvatore Ferragamo Blejan High Heel Sandals, $595 at Bloomingdale's.
Boxy handbags are for the office, not for an Indian-inspired outfit. You’ll need something a little more ethnic. But don’t make the mistake of just buying a Basmati rice bag refashioned as a bag or a cotton tote with a Hindu god on it unless you want to look like a hippie. Indian women prefer glamorous over granola. A small chic beaded purse is the perfect complement to any outfit. Snag one from Moyna Bags, a designer known for her sexy Indian-flavored bags.
Moyne Silk Box Bag, $229 at Moyna Bags.
No Indian look would be complete without some dark smoky Kohl eyeliner, or Kajal as it’s called, rimming the eyes. The eyes are considered one of the more seductive features on a woman’s face. But you don’t have to go for the old school version which can be a little messy. Instead, try one made by MAC or Sephora.
Sephora Smoky Kohl Eyeliner, $12 at Sephora.
Let’s say you’ve been invited to a super swank Indian wedding. Blending in is not an option. Heck, even the horses pulling the carriage at a wedding get dressed up. A little sparkle isn’t going to cut it. So what’s a girl to do? Rent an outfit, that’s what. It’s easy-peasy and you don’t have to worry about scoring an ensemble on your own. Companies like Devi’s Closet allow consumers to easily rent designer Indian duds at a fraction of the retail cost. Choose from a sari, lengha (a cropped top and skirt), or salwar kameez (tunic top and skinny pants) from the likes of designers Payal Singhal and Anita Dongre. Before you know it, you’ll be a full-fledged Bollywood babe.