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How to style your shirt over lehenga

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Wearing a shirt over lehenga as a blouse is the latest trend to hit the Indian fashion scene. Sapna Sarfare finds out more about this interesting style

Nothing reflects change (for the better) than fashion. And it can be seen in Indian fashion scene which is changing for the better. One of the recent trends to be seen around is of wearing a shirt over lehenga. The shirt has literally become the blouse. With the wedding season already in action, this could be that trend to make you the centre of attention.

Bhavya Chawla who is the chief stylist at Voonik reveals the usual fact the one see lehengas as outfits usually at weddings or traditional ethnic gatherings. “So, it’s obvious that this garment required a makeover in terms for it being re-used and also adding a dash of uniqueness so that it doesn’t look drab every time one decides to wear it. The most innovative way in which this could be tackled was to replace the choli or blouse with something more wearable. The best fit for this seemed to be the shirt; it changes the traditional appeal of the lehenga giving it a more semi-casual or a bohemian look. Our first reflection of this trend seems to be inspired from the Haryanvi women of rural Haryana.”


Designer Ridhima Bhasin too speaks about Haryanvi women wearing shirts over lehengas. “This ethnic combination became a trend with the masses when actress Rani Mukherjee wore a collared kurta over a Patiala in her movie Bunty Aur Babli. The trend slowly faded away but is back again with celebs like Alia Bhatt rocking the look wearing a white shirt with pink brocade skirt. We have also seen Deepika Padukone wearing the look in maroon during the promotions of Bajirao Mastani.”

Of course, the best way to vouch for a trend’s success is by seeing it on many celebs. Ridhima has seen Anushka Sharma wear this trend, apart from Alia & Deepika. Bhavya has seen Huma Qureshi wear a full-sleeved blue collar silk shirt with lavender gold lehenga created by Manish Malhotra as a part of a special collection to support the Cancer Patients Aid Association at NSCI, Mumbai. “I also spotted Alia Bhatt wearing a Manish Malhotra lehenga with a shirt during one of the TV shows.”

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Both the designers have their unique take on wearing it. Bhavya reveals, “How innovative one gets with this trend largely depends on how open one is to experimenting. While we’ve been seeing the shirt with lehenga doing the rounds, one could also try wearing a kurta with it or tying up the shirt as an upknot to give it a very chic look.” Ridhima thinks, “Formal shirts give a nice twist to your normal lehenga and instantly change your look from Indian to Indo-western. It’s a great look wear for a wedding cocktail. It also makes up for a great look when work with casual ethnic skirts.”

Wearing great looking attire also means accessorizing it to the tee. Ridhima feels one can have no limit with regards accessories. “one can wear to complete this look since it is mixture of both Indian and western garments. The only rule is to choose the accessories according to the occasion and match them with the colors of the outfit.”

Meanwhile, Bhavya points out, “Wearing a chunky neckpiece on a plain shirt would be a superb choice provided your lehenga skirt isn’t much embellished. If you are up for some uber cool fashion, teaming your lehenga with a shirt and a pair of gladiators could definitely give you some compliments! If you like a mix of the traditional ethnic look, wearing this trend with a nathani could be your next best option.”

Wearing a chunky neckpiece on a plain shirt would be a superb choice provided your lehenga skirt isn’t much embellished. if you are up for some uber cool fashion, teaming your lehenga with a shirt and a pair of gladiators could definitely give you some compliments. — Bhavya Chawla, Shief Stylist, Voonik

Bhavya’s personal favourite way of wearing this trend is simple. “It would comprise a crisp white fitted shirt tucked into a darker shade lehenga and probably do my hair with some beach curls and wear a nathani!” Ridhima has no specific favourite way of wearing it, but thinks a white shirt is perfect with anything. “I’d wear beautiful jootis with the outfit to compliment the look.”

But Bhavya lets slip, “We’d not advise you to wear this trend to a formal occasion as the lehenga in itself isn’t a very formal garment. You can definitely wear this trend to evening parties and social gatherings. Pairing the lehenga with the over the top accessories would definitely qualify for a fashion faux pas.” Ridhima agrees and thinks it’s a great attire for Indian functions. “It also makes a great casual look.”

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The parting opinion is like an icing on cake. Bhavya suggests, “It’s not easy to be a trendsetter. It takes a lot of courage and an eye for good fashion aesthetics! While we truly admire the women of Haryana to be our inspiration, we’d also like to acknowledge our designers like Manish Malhotra & Anita Dongre for bringing this concept into the limelight and with so much panache!”

So, if you want all the eyes on yourself, wearing shirt over your lehenga as a blouse is the latest trend to try out. Just follow our pointers.