Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2016 Contents | FASHION |
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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 31, 2016
TO ALL THE DIVAS: To make life simple, here is a
guide on Indian traditional or ethnic clothes for ladies.
Golden rule -- wearing only a sari blouse and petti-
coat (pretty though they may be) is a bit of a cultural
faux pas -- the equivalent to wearing your lingerie in
public, as one friend described it! However, some
pretty stylish tops and some even more see-through
saris might slip through the net here...depends how
daring you're feeling....
Saris come in every kind -- from simple cotton saris,
beautiful traditional Kerala saris with a deep gold
border, to highly embroidered eye-catching sparkles!
My favourite thing about a sari is how highly cus-
tomisable they are. You can choose fabrics that skim
or cling, and can also change the fit and look of the
blouse to suit your figure. Even the changes in drap-
ing the sari can give either a very conservative, or
very sexy look. Let the Divas staff at Grand Bazaar
help you choose the ideal one for you!
The short top worn round your upper body. You can
customise the blouse to either be strapless, halter
neck, deep V, capped sleeves, ¾ length sleeves or
anything you wish. Bear in mind for more formal
functions, the less flesh the better...
The (often made of cotton) 'skirt' of sorts that your
sari material is tucked into in order for it to stay on
your body. Make sure you tie your petticoat tight, as
the weight of the sari material can pull it further
down your body as the night wears on.
The border edge of your sari, which falls below your
shoulder. This is often highly decorated with bling,
and in Northern parts of India is worn over the head.
The bottom bit of the sari that falls around your feet.
It is often sewn with extra material by the
tailor/seamstress, both to weigh down the bottom
so that it sits nicely against the ground, and also to
protect more delicate fabrics from being damaged
A NOTE ON FASTENINGS
Traditionally, a sari blouse would fasten with hook
and eyes at the front. If you have a big bust, ask for
a zip at the side, which reduces unattractive "gappy"
pulling ... and also minimises the conical Marilyn
Monroe pointy-boob look!
OCCASIONS TO WEAR A SARI:
• Traditional temple wedding
• Formal reception (where the bride and groom
stand on the stage and welcome all the guests)
• Big festival celebrations in the office, such as Di-
• Visiting your mother-in-law to be for the first time!
• Anywhere you want to make a good impression...
Ironically enough, although wearing a sari blouse and
petticoat in public is a deeply unwise idea, wearing a
beautifully embroidered floor-length skirt with a
matching short top and shawl is quite acceptable! I
supposed 'designed' innerwear can be worn as out-
erwear...ah India! Your idiosyncrasies!
Anyway, a Ghagra Choli is a beautifully designed and
often highly embroidered skirt with a matching top
and shawl. Ghagra Cholis are often worn by the bride
at her wedding reception, and is a much more dressy
option than a sari.
OCCASIONS TO WEAR A GHAGRA CHOLI:
• Ideal for a young lady or teenager -- not as formal
and 'grown up' as a sari, but still dressy
• As the bride at her reception
One type of outfit which, similarly to a sari, can be
worn across functions and occasions. It consists of
a top that can be worn to above or much below the
knee, with slits up the side for movement, and a pair
of either loose trousers or tight leggings that bunch
at the bottom. It normally comes with a matching
duppata or shawl (for a little extra coverage!) You
can style the churidar to your own taste, and can ad-
just the length of sleeves, depth of neckline, and add
or take away as much decoration as you wish.
In terms of fit, you can either buy a ready-made
churidar set, or choose a set that you then tailor to
your own style. You can also design your own by
choosing everything from the material to the deco-
rations (which you can easily buy in haberdashery
shops, many of which are located throughout
Trinidad and Tobago; just ask our Divas staff for in-
formation ... we are happy to assist!)
OCCASIONS TO WEAR A CHURIDAR
• Choosing to just wear the Kurta top with jeans or
leggings is a great way to blend in for a casual cus-
tom Trini-Indian look!
• You can buy either very dressy or casual sets, and
they're ideal for wearing to the office or if you have
more informal work and want to be taken seri-
Divas fashion line carries a wide range of fashionable
cotton suits that are ideal for the hot Trinidad and
Tobago/Caribbean weather. Of course, there are
many other options that you can consider, but if this
is your first time, as a basic start, use this guide to
choose your first outfit, then explore and feel more
confident from there!
Divas -- Grand Bazaar -- Tel: 663-8932
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