Hello my dear Ritz readers, I hope you had a joyous Deepavali! I’m Priyanka Acharya, your resident ABCD who’s always looking to combine the best of Indian and American cultures, from food to fashion and everything in between. This month I’m talking about the pros and cons of three fashion trends that are currently dominating your IG feeds and party scenes.
In the West, the fashion-forward excitedly anticipates the Fall/Winter season, when they can accessorize with chic coats and boots galore. But what happens in a city like Chennai where there aren’t really seasons per say, but varying levels of hot and sultry? We may never be able to don faux fur and cozy knits, but a slight drop in temperature over these next couple months will allow us to mix up our looks a bit.
Off-shoulder and cold-shoulder tops held strong for a couple of years, but now they give way to a variety of interesting long sleeves. Girly tiered ruffles, funky puffy shoulders, elegant bell sleeves that evoke kimono vibes, all of these are an upgrade from a classic button-down blouse.
- These tops are casual enough for daytime wear whether it’s for work or the school run, but funky enough to put that pep in your step. Wear them with jeans or trousers, layer a couple of necklaces, and you’re done!
- These next few months make up the only stretch we Chennaites get to wear long sleeves and synthetic fabrics without sweating buckets. For us, this is as close to winter wear as it gets.
- Don’t you love it when a trend happens to be modest? No fiddling with bra straps or wearing a shawl to leave the house in front of disapproving elders. Bonus–you can skip some waxing appointments too!
- It’s still Chennai guys, where you can break a sweat even on the coolest days. So if you have to be out on errands all day, double up on the deo, or choose dark colors to mask those inevitable pit stains— let’s not be delicate, it happens to all of us!
- Minor inconveniences of dangling sleeves include mealtime hazards, where reaching across the table can result in a sleeve getting dunked into the sambar (I speak from experience). And if you have kids, this is the perfect thing for them to yank on when trying to get your attention…but still better than pulling your pants down (again, speaking from experience).
You can say this has been around for a while now, with the almighty Sabyasachi kicking it off with its tiger belt, but it takes some time for a trend to trickle down from high fashion to the masses. I saw Aditi Hydari Rao in Ajio Ad wearing a black belt on a traditional saree, I knew the trickle was complete. But the real question is, can I still call this a “trend” when women have technically been belting sarees with odiyanams for centuries?
Either way, say “adios” to odiyanams! (No really, try and say that three times fast.) These standard bejeweled golden waist chains have been replaced by thin leather belts with metal accents in the front. Cloth belts made from the same saree/blouse material is pretty much any other finish you can think of.
- A cinched waist never goes out of fashion, and belting your saree gives you that sought-after hourglass silhouette.
- If you don’t have time to upgrade an old saree with an interesting blouse, a belt can instantly modernize your look, sending the message that this ain’t your grandma’s styling!
- If everyone starts belting sarees and we all get used to that vision of a snatched waistline, then wearing one without a belt may make us feel frumpy and shapeless.
- You can’t wear your pallu down with a belt, and for many sarees, the pallu is the showpiece.
- The saree on its own is elegance embodied, perfect for the Indian woman’s figure. Is it a good idea to put the pressure on this garment to be as sexy and slinky as possible? Do we want to give up the option to expand our rib cages freely? I certainly don’t!
As a millennial, I adore this look, because I grew up in the ’90s and clearly remember all the fashion in its original form. Neon and iridescent hues, sparkly hair barrettes and chokers, cropped jacket and mini skirt sets, platform shoes, baggy jeans with baby tees and oversized jackets, basically anything from the movie Clueless.
- There is such a wide range of looks to choose from, from preppy schoolgirl to sporty spice, you can choose whichever according to your personality, or your mood that day.
- Many of us remember our older siblings wearing these styles, and while we were too young back then, now it’s our chance! There’s something extra special about rocking an aesthetic from another decade that you were around to witness.
- Alas, the early ’90s were also synonymous with ‘heroin chic’, the ultra-skinny and sallow physique that modeled most of these looks. Let’s hope that stays in the past where it belongs, and pair our outfits with healthy BMIs and smiles!
- There’s an awkward period where a trend hasn’t yet reached the majority, and the first few fashionistas who don it may face some snide remarks (mostly behind the back of course). 90’s fever hasn’t fully hit Chennai yet, but someone has to be bold enough to forge the fashionable path forward, if that’s you, then hold your head up high and remember, you’ll be having the last laugh 3 months from now when your former critics are wearing the same!