MAY 2011
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Kiran Bahl


Hello all. With the weather warming up, everyone is outdoors, and that means clothes and jewels for this month can get lighter, brighter and much easier to handle!

With such busy living around us, comfort has become a huge factor in most peoples’ wardrobes. A light kurti, or tunic top, paired with jeans, leggings or capris is the perfect fashion staple (a similar look extends to menswear too!). Just be sure the kurti is semi-fitted, not too snug or frumpy looking. Kurtis can look flattering on anyone! Designs have changed as well. Gone are the traditional double-shaded patterns and chicken works. Abstract designs, embroidery, foil work, sequin work and bold colors are the trend, especially now in American fashion as well.

Another now-famous Indian fashion staple is still hot worldwide. Long, flowy skirts are in. They’re almost always flattering on every body type, and any light, fitted top could match! A fashion don’t, however, is to mix a kurti with a long skirt; the look becomes too grungy, and makes you look sloppy, something nobody needs to do accomplish.

Keeping in mind how hot it can be here in Florida, hair is all about being hassle-free. A ponytail suits everyone’s face frame beautifully. Medium- to lower-side ponytails are in. Soft, casual waves are in too (wow, even for formal occasions!), meaning a little less effort on your part. Hair should be the most carefree item you should worry about now.

For get-togethers or picnics, ladies, continue focusing on lighter, more embroidered churidaars and salwar kameezes. Kameez/top cuts are longer now, with side slits, keeping the look more romantic and breezy. Colors such as lime green, fuchsia pink, bright orange and neon yellow are in much demand, and look great on darker, more wheatish complexions. Opt for pastels if fair. White and other neutrals have become the “it” colors of spring, prominent in all kinds of clothing, ranging from suits to saris. The trick to wearing this otherwise sheer palette is fabric. The more refined the material is, such as chiffon, the more sheer it will look. Add layers to keep from exposing too much. Cottons/linens, georgettes and crepe silks textures can keep things much cooler by requiring only the one piece. Saris are becoming more and more lightweight, but at the same time, fuller in work. For instance, a semi-sheer georgette sari can be covered in print floral work and lots of eye-popping color, and then lightly sprinkled with beading and sequins. It’s a casual look that’s also chic!

Spring, too, doesn’t always have to equal casual. The new fancier saris offer bright, bold colors, and lots of embroidery and flash! Keep jewelry light, with the exception of bangles…Not only do they make us women feel sexier, more is merrier now.

Gentlemen, you already have the general lightweight and comfortable trends in mind. Opt for a linen or cotton kurta pajama, with optional light embroidery. An easy kurta pajama in white, beige or baby blue is effortless, but truly now. 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 cold all the time. Is it proper to wear socks with my suits? – Vimla, Riverview

A: Hi Vimla! I understand what you’re going through. Even with spring’s heat, indoor air-conditioning can be told cold for some. As for wearing socks with your salwar kameez or churidaar, unfortunately, it’s a no-no. How about knee-high pantyhose? They’re sheer and will help you keep just a little warmer than without them. Maybe, wearing a cardigan or shawl up top will help too!

We hope you all enjoy this beautiful Florida weather. Live to the fullest these longer, sunnier days. 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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