Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Kiran Bahl


Greetings to Khaas Baat readers, Happy Navratri and Eid Mubarak! Holiday season is in full swing, and it’s time to deck out in your finest attire. With an occasion coming up every few days now, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed with social gatherings, prayer events, dinner get-togethers, etc. To top off the excitement, deciding what to wear could almost become a headache for some. Let’s make it easy!


Navratri is oh-so-important, especially with garba/dandiya raas time coming around. The traditional chaniya choli retains its basic structure. What’s different, however, is the updated twist on workings, patterns and color blocking. Details do make a difference.


A customer the other day asked what kind of chaniya cholis were ‘in’, and what to expect this season. When I answered, she, like many others, was shocked. Why? Gone are the super flashy, mirror worked and shell laden chaniya cholis. In are the super embroidered, crystal worked and applique laden chaniya cholis. Embroidery is so now this holiday season and probably through winter 2012/2013, even more than blingy sequin work. A chaniya/lengha covered in thick, silky embroidery in contrasting colors or even multi-colors will have you shine more than rows and rows of beads! Crystals, now, have been replacing the splendor of sequins. They’re less in numbers, but packed with more brilliance – a sure standout asset indeed. Lastly, appliques, appliques, appliques! From patchwork ambis to chiffon roses, these coverings can include so much that you’re sure to so stand out!


Stop with the mehndi/henna designs on your outfits. Designers are going with the ‘less is more’ attitude, meaning your chaniya choli doesn’t have to be drenched in top to bottom prints, embroidery and sequins all combined. Random, sparse designs are the latest. Large rounds (circles) and ambis are still favored, as are floral and tribal prints around the bottoms of chaniyas/lenghas and outlining cholis/blouses.

Color blocking

Color blocking prevails this Navratri season. Be it in cotton, chiffon or brocade, panels in contrasting colors add brightness to any outfit. Combinations of bright yellow and white, hot pink and ocean blue, and forest green and lilac look fresh and splendid!

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

Q: Can I mix and match my chaniya cholis? I noticed mixing prints in any designs has become common. – Sheena, Tampa

A: Hi Sheena and happy holidays. This is a tricky question. Most chaniya cholis come in an ensemble of mixed prints, colors and patterns. Separating the pieces and in most cases, matching (or rather mismatching) them with others may become difficult. But it’s not an impossible task, it could be done. Just follow this simple rule: Mix and match with the same color families and you should be okay. For example, if you have a pink, green and black chaniya choli covered in ambis, and another outfit in pink, blue and yellow covered with rounds, you can perhaps try to use the choli of one and mix it with the chaniya and dupatta of the other. Remember, the more colors matched in the outfits makes it that much easier to put them together into new ones!

Have fun during the holidays, and along with it, always remain safe and protected with the love of your family and friends. More important than spending time with parties, clothes and food is the company of your loved ones – enjoy every moment, and as always, remember to ‘gro with style’!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, “An Indian Boutique,” at 2035 E. Fowler Ave., in Tampa, FL 33612 can be reached at (813) 903-8334, and 9456 S. Orange Blossom Trail, in Orlando, FL 32837, at (407) 255-7274 and soon-to-open in Fort Lauderdale at (813) 843-9040.

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