Perhaps the most exciting part of getting married for a bride-to be ,  is the shopping . Because the pre-wedding period is one time when she can throw caution to the winds and shop till she drops without feeling a wee bit guilty . For , most brides will agree that weddings is a once-in –a- lifetime occasion ,deserving nothing but the best , be it clothes , jewellery or accessories .

The Indian trousseau is a visual treat and offers a challenge in its making . It is one pleasurable chore that encompasses the use of rich materials , skills and aesthetics.

Here are a few tips from our experts …….

  1. It is important to strike a balance between the traditional and the utilitarian, giving equal importance to propriety and style . Hence it becomes essential to plan a trousseau well in time . The number of ensembles that go into the making of a trousseau generally run into auspicious numbers of 11, 21 , 31 , or even a magnificent 51 or 101 , depending upon the demands of the customs or your personal budgets.
  2. Colours for trousseau are normally vibrant , white and black which were considered taboo , are slowly gaining popularity . Silver , gold , offwhite , biege and pastels are increasingly becoming popular , the brides are also opting for unconventional colours like prune , khakhi greens and turquoise for their bridal attire instead of the usual reds , burgundys and magentas .
  3. A trousseau must consist of a variety of outfits , that should be a good mix of saris , salwar –kameezes , lehengas and ghaghra sets , with a sprinkling of western outfits . For the career women , casuals and semi casuals are more the order of the day , comprising jackets teamed with trousers and skirts , with few shirts and scarves thrown in ; and for the traditional touch , a few classic salwar –kurtas . The trend is to go in for coordinates , mix-and match , get a couple of strapless blouses to go with your lehengas or chiffon saris and sexy skirts to coordinate with the traditional “zardozi” cholis !

These will see you through the cocktails and the corporate meetings .

Though formal evening wear is a necessity for weddings and large functions , these are few and far between , so it is better to keep the totally formal ensembles to a minimum .

  1. Whatever outfits come and go , the sari still reigns supreme . And it is mandatory for a bride to have at least half a dozen ”heavy” saris as part of her trousseau. With the ethnic wave continuing unabated , these saris must include a laden-with-traditional ‘Kanjeevaram’ , a brocade ‘Banarasi’, A ‘Jamewar’, an exquisitely embroidered ‘Kantha’ , a richly fabled ‘Baluchari’, and a beautifully woven ‘Chanderi’,. Add to it a ‘Paithani’, with real gold thread embroidery , and a piece each of ‘Patola’, Tanchoi’, a ‘Pochampalli’from the town of the same name , ‘Jamdani, Ikkat , Maheshwari and ‘Dhakai’ silk . Throw in a couple of Mysore silk and georgettes , slinky chiffons , gorgeous-to drape crepe-de-chines and chamois satins for contemporary informal wear .
  2. The ‘above’ heavy stuff only constitutes the backbone of the trousseau. The rest has to be fleshed out with ‘party-wear’ and ‘casual wear’. For your other outfits , be it salwar-kameez and churidar sets , you have a wide choice of ‘zardozi’ and ‘zari’work , as well as the more contemporary swarovski studded evening wear in fabrics like silks and brocades , khadi silks and tussars , with sheer net heavily embroidered dupattas . For the semi formal look , the focus has now shifted to crystals , sequins and aari and dhabka work , these look as good as gold embroidery and also do not get spoilt in the long run .

Crepes , and lycra are increasingly popular for casual wear , the emphasis is on the indo-western fusion look , cottons and linens remain trendy as always .  With casual outfits , your preference should be on fabrics that are easily maintained .

  1. The next big thing on your agenda should be the jewellery . Here again , tradition melds well with experimentation . Have ethnic jewels and heirlooms co-existing in a flattering fashion with western pieces .Get sets of different precious metals and gems to wear with all those changes of attire . Keep old jewellery , it never gets outdated , think a thousand times before you order a meltdown and re-set job .

Remember , a single stunning piece is more effective than a heap of “locker ornaments”, you will hardly ever get to wear. Be a savvy bride , keep those heavy pieces of jewellery you are bequeathed with , while building along a collection of modern , compact , eye catching designer pieces .

  1. A wedding trousseau is’nt a wedding trousseau sans the right undercover details. When better to equip yourself with than those frothy bits of nothing ?

There is nothing like lingerie to make you fell sexy and sensual , to make the thoughts of those beautiful honeymoon nights ahead more exciting .

So, what should you have in your lingerie wardrobe-Bras , lacy in black , white and flesh toned ., under wired and strapless for those cocktail evenings.

Panties –try the style that suits you best , briefs , hipsters , french cut, bikinis and throngs , or get one of each in the basic white , black and skin . Get a little outrageous , try reds , and oranges , midnight blue, and perky peach –see how they change the way you feel !!

If you wear westerns , you will need ,Full and half slips , petticoats , camisoles and bodysuits .

Finally , sleepwear , what do you go in for –see through negligees and nighties , but only if you find them comfortable and they don’t inhibit your attitude , night gowns sleepshirts , pyjama suits and teddies ….be a femme fatale if you can , the choice is entirely yours .But most importantly , whatever you wear (or don’t wear), don’t forget to wear your smile

  1. Another essential required to be in the bride’s survival kit are her cosmetics , lotions , gels , creams , mousses et al . Do not forget the all important fragrances , sprays and perfumes .Ditto for a pack of panty liners and ST’s.
  2. Other favourites are mama’s old shawls , definitely a pashmina or a jamewar , that is passed down generations , old pictures – a set neatly compiled in an album , the old stuffed toy you grew up with , and the like……
  3. And , all those crazy trinkets –glass bangles, parandis , bindis , bichuas etc. without which an Indian woman’s makeup is incomplete.

11.Finally , the earlier you start collecting your trousseau , the better . Sales could give you bargains you’d never get your hands on , and exhibitions could give you one-of –a –kind ensembles no other bride will have .

Shop in small spurts , do not cram a lot of shopping time into one day –sensory overload will make you miss what you really want , and fatigue could make you buy something you don’t really need in your trousseau .


So yes , its true ,  it is usually the bride who puts together a trousseau , but its about time you , the groom ,updated your wardrobe too..….

As a new groom , you do need to have a good quality wardrobe , after all marriages are usually followed by rounds of invitations to dinners and lunches . So it helps to have a wardrobe that will hold up to the hectic social rounds .

Your basic wardrobe should include a good blend of ethnic and western wear .

1.Ethnic wear , we must warn you needs a certain air , a self-assurance to carry it off well . However, the good news is that this style comes naturally to most Indian men .Your ethnic wear should include musts like :

“Kurta-pyjama” , in a variety of fabric and styles.

A “sherwani “or two in brocade or tussar , perhaps , pearl buttoned , for that formal touch

One “bandgala” Jodhpuri suit , tailored to flatter your physique, and how about a freshly starched offwhite dhoti for daywear , and maybe a silk one for the evening ?

For the more adventurous , a “chogha”,and matching “safa” is ideal .

Get yourself atleast one jamavar shawl to wear with your sherwani and achkan , and perhaps even “churidars “ to coordinate

  1. For western wear , nothing works better than a three-piece suit for the formal evenings Quality bow ties are still in vogue , and ofcourse , so are ties . Nothing bold, nothing flashy and definitely nothing with mickey mouse motifs . Make it top –quality tie/bow /cravat , and match it with the rest of you attire .

Add  some good dress shirts .

Your shirts should be carefully chosen . Take proportion, colour , shape , pattern and texture into consideration .And , not to forget your own individuality.

The five basic patterns: Solid Plains, Pinstripes , Oxford weaves , Checks and prints . Get yourself a mix of each . But make sure you have couple of pristine whites to add formality and freshness to your wardrobe. To spice up your evening look , a black silk shirt is an absolute must .

  1. T-shirts in excellent quality knits is what you need for the casual look .Avoid synthetics if you can , the natural fibre lets you breathe specially in the summer months .

A denim shirt or jacket is an invaluable asset in your closet . And if you can afford one , a leather waistcoat is just what you need to add a touch of panache’ .

  1. Next build up your trouser wardrobe. Start with the basic black , a navy and a grey –these will go with most of your shirts . Then add on some tan twills , corduroys , cotton khakis –beiges and neutrals , and a pair or two of good denim jeans .
  2. A dinner jacket is absolutely essential -in black or navy , as is a blazer to complement your formal trousers .
  3. Accessories –shoes , socks , and belts can distinguish your wardrobe .

Shoes –Dress shoes should have an understated elegance   , so they must be leather .   Choose oxfords in black , mahogany or brown , conventional with three eyelets . Casual shoes include loafers and sneakers . And for traipsing down the street in style , the best quality “kohlapuris”, you can get your feet into . Your ethnic wear calls for “jootis” in brown or black or neutral tones , handcrafted with the most intricate of embroidery or gold work on them.

Socks :match your socks either with your suits , or the shoes , whichever colour is more dominant . No loud patterns , please.

Belts :Simple , dignified and good quality leather is what you must aim for . Make sure the buckle is sleek and simple , no ornate buckles please , particularly for those battling the paunch !

Unlike western wear , ethnic wear calls for dramatic accessorisation , if you can carry it off , get some “kamarbandhs “,a “safa”, with a jewel in it , a long string of pearls , and yes , even a sword sheathed in a leather or velvet case .

What else do you need ?

For the days when the sun is too bright , get yourself a pair of international quality sun shades  , and a dozen or more snowy white handkerchiefs , monogrammed if you wish to , do remember though that neat folding is essential for impact !

  1. Night wear –as in a pyjama suit would not be out of place in your wardrobe –you can’t always be on a honeymoon ….

A robe –a flannel one is a good investment .

  1. Don’t forget innerwear , go wild or subdued , the choice is yours . International quality brands are now in the Indian market , and the local companies are offering you a never before variety , so take your pick .

Beachwear may be a good idea too, choose from bikini style or boxers , depending upon your personal style statement . But buy the best possible quality you can get , this will prevent the garment from the usual sagging .

Sweaters-cashmere, fair isle, cabled , chunky and the luxurious mohair –would not be amiss in your wardrobe .

  1. Ah , yes . Keep the fact that people judge you by the state of your wallet . Make sure it is sleek , and classic in style , and never bulging , that’s crass !

For the informal look , you could also go in for a hand tooled leather pouch to wear on your belt .

  1. Then watch your watch . Try a chronograph –gold plated , ofcourse, or a swatch for sporty everyday use, and a classic leather strapped , old fashioned Roman numeraled to make a nocturnal impression .
  2. And finally –good perfume , the best that you can afford –layer your fragrance with a matching range of soaps / gel , body lotion ,after shave , cologne , and skin moisturizer.Wear the fragrance that goes best with your individual characteristics, be it sporty for the rugged type , spicy for the man-about –town , or nuetral for the guy who likes to keep a low profile.

And , last of all , get  for yourself a positive attitude .!!

A piece of advise -Always buy the best you can afford . A small , good quality timeless wardrobe , carefully selected with an eye for classic style – can go a long way .


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