To me, one of the biggest perks of being Indian-American is the clothing. I love having a wardrobe that consists of ethnic-wear and western-wear. Let’s be honest. One is never enough, but both combined? Perfection.
While I adore the dresses, footwear, and multi-functional tops I get in the States, I have to admit that my wardrobe would feel empty without all the colors, varieties, and prints that ethnic-wear brings. I’m someone who, no matter the occasion, adds a desi twist to my outfits.
Adding unique pieces to your wardrobe will make picking outfits in the morning more fun and compliments all the more regular (and who doesn’t love compliments?). Say goodbye to your standard gray, black, and blue outfits and hello to outfits that pop! I want to show you guys easy ways you can integrate your favorite desi pieces into your everyday wardrobe!
The first and easiest way to start is with some jewelry. Indian costume jewelry is some of the best-designed and most beautiful jewelry in the world. Even though at first I was hesitant to add such bold pieces to my regular outfits, once I started, I realized that I had nothing to worry about. Jhumkas are eye-catching and it’s easy enough to buy one of each color when you’re in India.
Ornate necklaces already have an “in” because they can be worn as fashion-forward statement necklaces (except you won’t have to buy one from J. Crew for over $100). And of course, I cannot forget about churis. The easiest ones to accessorize with are the metallic gold and silver churis, which go with pretty much everything. You can wear three or four at one time or the whole set if you’re feeling bold. I prefer the whole set.
Kurtis and kurtas are great for those days you want to show off your desi side! Kurtis, of course, look great with jeans rolled up to the ankle and some cute ankle-booties. Kurtas, preferably without a slit, are a perfect pair with leggings and black booties. Kurta with khadi print? Even better. Add a little kajal and you are ready to go!
Last, but not least, are scarves! Indian scarves are one of my wardrobe staples. I cannot live without them. Two or three days out of the week I am wearing a scarf I picked up on one of my summer trips to India. My favorite is one from Chandigarh that I take with me wherever I go. Indian scarves have indisputably the prettiest designs and can be paired with any outfit, whether it is jeans and a t-shirt or a dress. When it is cold eight months out of the year, like it is in New England, scarves are a lifesaver! Pro-tip: Get two to four that you can rotate throughout the cold months. These scarves also tend to look great in photos.
When you’re going out, don’t be afraid to try a bold look! Especially if you are going to be wearing a solid-colored dress, accessories will help pull it all together. Big jhumkas or kundan earrings will draw attention to your face. Ornate necklaces also work, although I would recommend them more for a dinner or formal gathering rather than for going out dancing.
What about work-wear? Don’t be afraid to add an eye-catching scarf to your outfit, especially in a more casual work environment. It pairs great with a sweater or even a button-up if styled correctly. If you work somewhere more formal, a neutral-colored kurti under a blazer with work trousers is definitely appropriate. You can still add some costume jewelry, but aim on the smaller side!
Have fun accessorizing with your desi pieces!
Thanks to Priya, Divya and Pustika for contributing their images. If you would like to add your unique desi blend to this blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Star social media marketer, avid traveler and DIY enthusiast, Aishani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Boston University and interned for Oxigen in 2015.