Marry Your Cultures With These Hacks

Over the last 3 years, I have found myself worrying lesser about what people think about my unabashedly in-your-face fashion picks. I was certain that my style wasn't relatable at all...until I e-met you all via Instagram and my blog. By now, you too know that the amalgam of Indian and Western is my kinda playground, and although it takes some practice to get groovin', here are some ideas that have helped me own my individualism: 

Photos: Derick Pham (@creativality on Instagram) 

Location: Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Lehenga: Soiree Couture | Top: SheIn | Earrings: Miraya (shop here)  | Clutch: Accessories by Anandita

1. Infuse your favorite trend: Whether it’s an off-the-shoulder number or pleated culottes, pair up a trending piece that you know you can carry off with ease. You can then spend some time finding an Indian lehenga/ blouse to go with it. This way, you’ll only have one experimental piece to worry about.

2. Let your accessories take centre stage: If you want to start small, start by raiding your mum’s trinket box. No, seriously! Playing around with Indian jewelry will help you learn how to work with different metals (a key aspect of Indian clothing is metallic colors), ergo colors. Clutches and shoes with Indian beading or embroidery will also serve the same purpose, and are the easiest ways to add an ethnic touch.

3. Focus on what you want to highlight: Numerous Indian designers have shifted focus to peplums, jackets, vests, cardigans, and kimonos at fashion weeks; you too can draw inspiration and wear your sari/ lehenga blouses with blazers, cardigans, or ponchos. Remember not to overdo it (a blouse AND a sari with a jacket will be an overkill) to maintain that subtle fusion vibe.

4. Separate your ensemble: Most Indian outfits include 2 or 3 elements (blouse, dupatta, lehenga etc.), so think about how you can use each piece on its own. A blouse may be too short (unless it is a crop top length) to pair with skinny jeans or a snug-fitting bottom, but will work with high-waisted pants or a ruffled skirt. A dupatta can be restyled into a shawl or a cape just to give your outfit that exotic edge.

5. Don't be shy, my honey: Okay I know this post was meant to tell you how not to be shy, but I have to be a little upfront here: just because you don’t find people on the street wearing Indian pieces, doesn’t mean you should conform and shy away from your country’s artwork! Wear and share your culture, and hold your head up high while doing so. It will soon become second nature to add Indian elements to your daily street style. And I promise you, anyone that is looking (more like ogling) is only doing so because you’re so GD beautiful, my desi girl ♥️