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Fake layers, dhoti drapes, light denim: Are you styled for summer?

Let the sunshine into your closet with light, summery styles. Put on some draped pants and chambray. Swap knits for cotton capes.

mumbai Updated: Apr 29, 2017 08:28 IST
Anubhuti Matta
Anubhuti Matta
Hindustan Times
Handloom silks, satins and sheers create beautiful cascades and textures. Ensembles made using them are the top picks this season. (Monica Shah )

Surely you’ve felt the heat already (if you haven’t, tell us your secret!).

This season’s style is all about statement sleeves, structured jackets and unusual necklines. Stock up on cape tops and draped pants to add a twist to your ensembles, say designers.

“If you’re not the experimenting sort, opt for shirt-dresses and breezy culottes for everyday wear,” recommends Sonam Modi who runs the label SVA with Paras Modi. “For parties, shift dresses and off-the-shoulder outfits work well.”

Ensembles with twists in the weave, silhouette or fabric are all the rage. ( Sonam and Paras Modi )

To stand apart, aim for an Indie-modern look. “Handloom silks, satins and sheers create beautiful cascades and textures,” says Paras. “Ensembles with twists in the weave, silhouette or fabric have been catching on.” Designer Krishna Mehta whose Spring-Summer collection is made from Maheshwari saris, says the trend is here to stay. “The saris are a mix of cotton and silk so they breathe beautifully while retaining shine and lustre and lend a great fall to the garment,” says Mehta.

Designer Monica Shah of Jade says that ensembles made from traditional fabrics let you be chic and rebellious. Ivory is the colour of the season, and work well against hues of burnt rose, grey, blue-grey, green tea and wood. You don’t need the designers to tell you that natural, lightweight fabrics are best. Pure cotton, organic linen, Benarasi and bamboo fabric (cloth made from bamboo shoots) are ideal.

“Georgette, chambray (denim’s lightweight doppelganger) will help you stay cool and stylish this summer,” adds Shah. This season, chambray is turning into dresses, jumpsuits and pants. “It’s made a comeback in outfits with embroidered patchwork,” says fashion blogger Nandini Swaminathan of Sartorial Secrets.

Keep the accessories light too. “Don’t wear anything that overpowers or blends so much with your outfit that it is barely visible,” says Shah.

That means no statement rings, or chokers. “Try statement earrings, colourful sneakers and ruffled sleeves instead,” Swaminathan suggests.

Dhoti-inspired drapes

Pair dhoti-like bottoms with embellished crop tops. To complete the look, try wide leather belts. ( Krishna Mehta )

Ditch the jeans for a breezier dhoti-inspired look with dhoti skirts or harem pants. No need to drape – they’re just regular skirts and trousers with layers that give them a dhoti look. Pair these the pants with sheer capes or loose tops. “For a fun and casual look, pair crop tops with them and for a soiree, an embellished bodysuit and an organza jacket could be a big hit,” says Shah of Jade.

Layer without bulk

Want to achieve a layered look without the layers? Go for outfits with uneven cuts, and flowy silhouettes with dramatic sleeves. ( Photo courtesy Avisha and Ilakshi )

It never really goes out of style, does it? But this is not the season to bundle up so try floor length jackets in mulmul or silhouettes that give a faux-layered look. Go from desk to date by adding a printed soft cotton cape and wide belt to your light office kurta.

Go desk-to-date by adding a printed soft-cotton cape and wide belt to your light office kurta. ( Krishna Mehta )

Gujarat-based designer duo Avisha and Ilakshi’s collection deploys uneven cuts and flowy silhouettes to achieve a layered look without the layers. “We’ve used khadi to keep the collection summer friendly and created dramatic sleeves on elaborate silhouettes that are easy to wear in the heat,” Ilakshi says. For the evening, pair a bustier with fitted pants or a flowy skirt. “For a quick summer weekend getaway, pair a woven top with culottes or silk pants, or get more eclectic in a Benarasi jumpsuit,” says Shah. Also avoid too many layers. “Try keeping the look as crisp and clean as possible,” says duo Avisha.

Saris styled for summer

To stand apart, aim for an Indie-modern look. Ensembles made from traditional fabrics let you be chic and rebellious. ( Krishna Mehta )

Designer Krishna Mehta says Maheshwari saris are the best pick if you want to turn them into skirts or funky onesies. “They are easy to style and their bright colours add character,” she says.

Saris can be turned into skirts or funky onesies. ‘Maheshwaris work the best because they breathe beautifully and lend a great fall to the garment,’ says designer Krishna Mehta. ( Krishna Mehta )

“Breezy fabrics in bright colours always help keep the temperature down.” Designers say indigenous fabrics have been having a great summer with contemporary silhouettes. They have been part of crop tops, off shoulder T-shirts and skirts.

Pair them with sneakers and beat the heat.

Chambray chic

Chambray, denim’s lightweight doppelganger, is turning into dresses, jumpsuits and pants this season. Experiment by adding playful embellishments or embroidered patchwork. ( Shahin Mannan )

Also known as soft denim, chambray looks best even with slight wrinkles. While a chambray dress with heels is a date-night pick, a chambray shirt under a coat is an instant business meeting fix. This season, playful embellishments, frayed edges, frilly ruffles on skirts and shirts have all popped up on the racks. “For an everyday look, pairing chambray with chambray is acceptable, but experiment with different washes and shades. Add a slim leather belt and you’re ready to go,” says Mumbai-based designer, Shahin Mannan.

What’s trending
  • Ivory over white. The colour is classy, yet not too traditional. This ‘eggshell’ or ‘candlelight’ hue works well with medium skins that have warm undertones.
  • Pink and primrose. Yellow denotes enthusiasm and sunny days, pink lifts spirits.
  • Bold florals. It’s the only acceptable time to look like a hothouse.
  • Graphic and geometric prints. Because they take away from the softness and lightness of the fabrics.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 20:27 IST