Trousseau shopping means curating a wardrobe for your newly married life. It is the collection of new outfits, shoes, accessories, make-up, lingerie, and other necessities that a bride will need as a newly-wed. Designer Aniket Satam says, “It's not just about bridal ceremonial looks; it’s about having a healthy mix of new looks. It contributes to the new chapter in one's wedded life.” Explains celebrity stylist Maneka Harisinghani, “There was a time when mothers, grandmothers or even brides used to hand sew all the garments in a trousseau. However, now that we have so many options and outlets, brides are more practical in buying things.”
Trousseau shopping can be a tedious process so it is always advisable to start three to six months early to have enough time in hand for hassle-free packing and wardrobe curation. “All the alterations, fittings, trials and dress rehearsals take time, which I'm sure nobody wants to goof up being in a hurry,” suggests Maneka. Designer Parikshaat Wadhwani advises taking it slow to think about the purchases and avoid impulse or last minute indulgence. “It’s also very important to make a list of the things that you require pertaining to your profession or lifestyle because your trousseau depends on the kind of the life you are going to live after the wedding,” states designer Amy Billimoria.
“Always have a multi-purpose blouse stitched; this just works for every sari, saving you time, money and space. Invest in a good heritage sari like Banarsi, Kanjeevaram, south silk or Patola, which are classics, and always in vogue. They can be revamped later into a suit, lehenga, or fusion wear and can also be passed on to another generation,” says Maneka. Aniket mentions, “Clean straight salwar kameez, a range of tunic tops and boho dresses and a timeless floral printed chiffon sari are also to be included.” A bride should also pack a piece of clothing from her mother’s or grandmother’s wardrobe as a memento.
One should also invest in a statement clutch that will go with all outfits and a perfect pair of solitaire earrings. Toiletries, sunglasses and make-up should be set for every bride. “It is very important to invest in good make-up and skin products because skin is always precious,” points out Amy. In footwear, comfortable heels that match with most outfits, sporty shoes which one can wear on vacation or a day out, and a pair of slippers for everyday at home are essential. “As you invest in good lingerie, don't forget to keep your bath gown and towels in that suitcase,” points out Maneka.
The go-to places
A multi-designer store is a great option for both traditional and casual pieces as everything is under one roof. “If you are shopping from Delhi then I would suggest exploring Hauz Khas, Shahpur Jat, South Ex, Greater Kailash, Chandni Chowk and Karol Bagh depending upon your budget,” specifies Manek. They have a variety of designer labels and even boutiques that can replicate your dream designer’s outfits at much cheaper rates. “When shopping in Mumbai, you have Malad, Thane, Santa Cruz if you have a tight budget otherwise head to Colaba, Juhu, Vile Parle, or Breach Candy,” shares Maneka. Aniket recommends, “Go for street shopping for costume jewellery and look for end of season sales for the casual basics. I would suggest custom make some pieces and shop traditional stuff from emporiums and exhibitions.”
The dos and don’ts
“One should not overdo Indian ensembles, which you will wear once or twice. Instead invest in versatile contemporary Indian styles that can be dressed up or down according to one’s need,” says Aniket. Curate timeless classics, which have a repeat value. Focus on creating a multifunctional yet sustainable wardrobe that has emotional appeal. Try to collect only what you think works for your body type and things you really like, it's not the time for image makeover. Avoid trends of the season and opt for classics.
Be organised and write down all your requirements beforehand if you don't want to go insane while shopping. Pack everything in a systematic manner. Setting a budget is a must so you don't buy unnecessary stuff and also know your range for everything,” specifies Maneka.
Being a bride doesn't mean everything in your wardrobe has to be 'dressy', a few simple wearable options for comfort and usability are a must too. “While selecting your lingerie options always keep your outfits in mind so you know you are not spoiling your outfit by making a wrong choice,” says Maneka.
Do the jewellery shopping in the end after you have bought all your outfits. Lastly, go for footwear that is comfortable because you never know how long you might have to stand in that heavy lehenga or sari. “Always consult a make-up artist for the correct shade of foundation and lip colours for your skin tone,” adds Maneka. Buying bags in silver, gold and basic colours will go with all your garments and can totally amp up the look.
Important: Don’t forget to feed and hydrate yourself throughout the shopping sojourns!