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Go The Desi Way This Rakhi

Raksha Bandhan calls for celebration of our rich tradition and a journey back to our roots. But if dressing in Indian attire from head to toe is not what you fancy then we have a solution. Pick one Indian element and weave in into your everyday wear to create a contemporary look with a desi twist. Fashion experts tell you how to get the fusion right and bag compliments

1. Don the kurta

One of the most versatile Indian attire, kurta is just apt for the weather in the subcontinent. Its loose silhouette will help you breeze through warm days. However, the ethnic kurta scores brownie points when you need to dress in a jiffy. “Slip it on to for an instant image upgrade. It makes you look dressy with minimal effort,” says fashion designer Jattinn Kochhar.  What’s more, it can also cover your flaws—be it the slight paunch or the distressing lack of inches. “The comfortable fit does not draw attention to your mid-section and the kurta that ends just below your hips makes your body look more proportionate, thus making you look taller.” adds Kochchar. For office, pair the kurta with denims for a casual festive look. Fitted denims will perfectly offset the loose kurta. Ditch the predictable kolhapuris for lace up shoes to create a statement.

No one does the jeans and kurta combo better than Akshay Kumar 

2. Call in the prints

Bright ethnic prints such as the paisley have caught the global attention with international designers making it a part of their collections. For this reason and more our festivities are incomplete without such in-your face patterns. Bollywood actors such as Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan and Arjun kapoor among others have worn printed shirts with much panache, so the time is just right to pull it out and wear it on rakhsa bandhan. However, there are some rules that you need to keep in mind to avoid looking loud and awkward.

(i). “Surprisingly, the smaller prints with too much white space in between look bolder than the bigger prints with more fill in. Pick shirts with thin lines and less white space, it will look almost solid from far,” says men’s wear designer Rohit Kamra.

(ii). Do not go crazy over colours. Big prints do not allow you the freedom to wear as many colours as you fancy unless you want to look like a rainbow. “Aim for the tonal look. Do not go for shirts that unleash a riot of colours. Pick one hue and build on it.  For instance, team your shirt with a solid blazer in the subtlest colour of the prints on your shirt,” adds Kamra.

(iii). Let the shirt be your statement piece. Keep the rest of the outfit neutral. Wear a vest or a regular jacket in neutral colours like beige, grey or black to tone down the shirt’s flamboyance. Complete the look with casual jeans and loafers and watch heads turn.

Ranveer Singh rocks the paisley print in this look

3. Let the accessories do the talking

If you are a timid dresser and are not sure about going the whole hog, then opt for printed accessories such as neck ties, bows and pocket squares. They offer a middle path. You can add an element of fun and let the Indianness stand out without having to step out of your comfort zone. “For formal board meetings pick ties and pocket square paisley patterns in classic colours such as charcoal grey, navy, burgundy, amber and brown. navy, reds, hunter green, amber, charcoal, and brown. For festive occasions/parties choose slimmer ties in pastel or brighter colours such as blue, pink, green and mauve,” suggests celebrity Bollywood stylist Shayal Seth.

Arjun Kapoor’s pocket square adds a dash of elegance to his look

4. Do the dhoti

Think dhoti inspired pants and images of actor Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar will flit through your mind. Dhoti pants take the uber cool to a notch up. Generously-sized around the thighs, these taper towards the ankle, and like your regular cargos, these come with multi pockets for convenience. The extra legroom ensures comfort and ease of movement. But do not get carried away and throw in just anything on top warns Seth. “The key to looking good in these pants lies in pairing them with the right top. Wear either a slim fit short kurta or a fitted T shirt. Do not wear anything loose as it will make you look shapeless and dowdy. Seal the look with boots that are high on comfort and the chic factor.

Ranbir Kapoor’s dhoti pants took his cool quotient a few notches up

5. Bring on the Nehru jacket

The Nehru jacket named after our first prime minister has been listed among the “top 10 global political fashion statements” by Time magazine. Not only is it a great layering piece but the jacket’s minimal aesthetics ensure that it can be easily blended into any attire. You can wear it over your regular shirt and slim-fit formal trousers or on top of a kurta. It adds an edge of sophistication to your look and helps camouflage unsightly bulges by creating a clean structured silhouette,” says designer Jattinn Kochhar.

Ayushmann Khurrana looks dapper in his Nehru jacket