The festive season is here, with Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner, to be followed by Dussehra and then, of course, Diwali. If you’re tired of the same-looking lehengas, salwars and saris, try something different to stand out from the crowd this year. Three enterprising fashion designers and stylists — Jaya Tahilraman, Arpita Mehta and Swati Vijaivargie — show how you can upcycle what’s in your closet into outfits fit for the finest occasions.
Maxi dress with leheriya stole
Pair a bright, flowy maxi dress with a bandhani or leheriya stole, or a scarf. Accessorise with chunky kundan and pearl bangles, and golden jhumkas. Complete the look with kolhapuri chappals, a potli bag, bindi and a side braid.
Skirt and tank top
Use the gold brocade border from one of your older saris on the waistline or slit of a bright-coloured long, flowy, skirt that sits on the waist or hips. Pair it with a lace or a stretch denim tank top of a contrasting colour. Complete the look with a neck piece inspired by temple jewellery, chand baalis and mojaris. Tie your hair in a loose bun.
Cami top with leggings
Wear a nude camisole-style top with black leggings. Add a long printed jacket. Wear a layered necklace and long earrings. Tie a loose plait. Go for a pair of double-strapped sandals.
Palazzo pants with kurta
Pair palazzo pants with a long georgette kurta and shape with a shiny or sequinned belt. Wear an emerald-beaded necklace and earrings, and a matching pair of mojaris.
High-slit skirt with crop top, churidar
Give your crop top and side-slit skirt a classy twist. Wear a churidar or leggings under a traditional high-slit skirt. Move the slit to the front, revealing the churidar or leggings. Add a long embroidered cape over the skirt, if you like, for an office party. The layering is what turns the casual into the festive.
Dress with silk/brocade jacket
Pair a silk or brocade jacket with your T-shirt and denims, or a dress. A bandhni jacket is apt for those who wish to steer clear of the usual circus of embellishments and sequins. Complete the look with a statement neckpiece and a clutch.
Watch: How to drape a sari with a twist