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Kiran Bahl

Welcome and Happy New Year! We hope everyone’s holidays were celebrated with much peace, love and joy. As you follow your paths to fulfilling all your resolutions, let each step be fashionable and trendsetting, too!

Ladies, January is a time of calm. Not only are the temperatures dropping, but so are the social functions around you. Because of this, make sure the fewer occasions you do attend each stand out and make a chic statement.

Saris are very much in, still, but their ‘in’ color spectrum is changing. Icy colors such as pale pinks, frosty blues and mint greens are in demand. Even reds and purples mixed with some white ‘frost’ are just as delectable, being sported in fashion runways everywhere. Something to keep in mind, however, is to wear your sari traditionally, with the pallu draped over the front of your body, and falling to your back. This vintage way is repeating itself in several upcoming Bollywood movies as well, such as “Om Shanti Om” and “Khoya Khoya Chand,” making the look once again even more popular.

Another couple of thoughts before dressing in your sari are sequin work and blouse cut. Be sure sequin work is either self-sequin (same color sequins on same color sari) or a metallic shade. Contrast color sequins to the sari will outdate your look. Also, when stitching or altering your blouse, be sure sleeves are elbow-length or cap sleeved. Sleeveless and strappy styles are in, too, but regular short-sleeved styles and longer-sleeved styles must wait until next season. The backs of your blouse should be deeper cut, as well, with long, oval cuts or profound, rectangle shapes. Worried about feeling too cold in these lighter saris and more exposing blouse styles? Opt for a fashionable shawl or cardigan to fully complete your look.

Salwar kameezes or pantsuits are perfect choices to don at dinner parties and home get-togethers. These two styles, however, are extreme from one another. If choosing a salwar kameez, remember, as in the saris too, tradition is now trend! Choose a kameez that is knee-length or longer. Prints and embroidery are ruling the salwar looks, so don’t opt for too many stones or shine on the outfit. Pantsuits, in contrast, should consist of fitted pants, with some flair and work toward the bottom, and the shirt should be shorter, almost kurti/blouse length, heavily laden with work. Unlike the sari trend, jewel tones are still in demand for these looks, so opt for royal blues, bold reds and bright yellows.

Gentlemen, do not be afraid of color! Sherwanis are not the only type of outfits to be popping up in brighter hues. Jodhpuris have taken note and now are being modeled in burgundys, plums and even rose shades! Casual kurta pajamas are moving from the white-cream-beige band and venturing out to sage greens, royal blues and taupe shades (modish, indeed!). A new modification to sherwanis also is quickly taking place. Instead of the regular, sometimes too-tight churidaar/legging pants, salwars are being replaced by them, providing a more comfortable look and feel for men everywhere. Relief!

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend! E-mail us at, and we’ll answer any and all your fashion dilemmas! Here’s this month’s Fashion Drama Question of the month:

Q: I’m confused. I saw some Indian movies and noticed pathialas are being worn everywhere. The very plain kind, all cotton and solid-colored, even the dupatta is plain. Is this acceptable to wear around here? - Anjali, Tampa

A: Hi Anjali and Happy New Year! I’ve seen the outfits you are speaking of too, particularly in the movie “Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.” Rani Mukherji and Konkana Sen Sharma look amazing in their simplistic outfits, but that’s the point. They’re casual looking, almost like lounge or night wear in Indian terms. Where, besides a pooja (probably not even!), would these outfits look fashionably correct? I would strongly suggest leaving those more ‘homely’ looks in the movies, only because everything’s sparklier and shinier in functions around here. Another suggestion: If you absolutely love the look of those outfits, you can definitely choose a pathiala, but then adorn it with sequins or lots of colored embroidery to make it more alluring. Or, instead of opting for a plain dupatta, find a metallic or tie-dyed dupatta in tulle or satin to offset the cotton look. You, nor your audience, will be disappointed with the results!

Once again, Happy New Year to one and all! As the chaos of the holidays calms down, and the regular routines of day-to-day commence once again, be sure to live each day with happiness, zeal, and positive thinking, because good thoughts forever make good happen! And as always, remember to gro with style!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, “An Indian Boutique,” 2035 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612, can be reached at (813) 843-9040 or (813) 903-8334.

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