Senior Fashion Writer
The other day I was incessantly flipping through channels, desperate for some mind-numbing drama to pull me out of my bored trance… When the TV gods finally answered my prayers with Tip Tip Barsa Pani. As I watched Raveena Tandon try to seduce Akshay Kumar with her iconic yellow saree, I couldn’t help but wish I could pull one off without tripping, falling and chipping a tooth (not saying that ever happened, but if you ever spot a chipped tooth in my selfies, ignore it). Also, bathroom trips don’t usually end up so well. If only there was a way for us women to wear sarees… without actually wearing them.
As usual, Bollywood’s boss women helped me out. From Taapsee Pannu to Shilpa Shetty, the new and ingenious fashion favourite showed me that pants + dupattas = saree, if you truly believe in yourself! This contemporary take on sarees boasts of all of its elegance and none of the paraphernalia. Here are 6 pants and dupatta combinations you need in your closet, stat -
Jacqueline Fernandez sizzles in this show stealer of an ensemble. Being extra but not completely OTT is an art this Bollywood beauty excels at, obviously. While all the embroidery, colours and tassels make Jacqueline’s version of a saree a winner, it’s safe to say, what I love the most is the use of two dupattas to make an impact. Drape one over the shoulder, cinched with a belt and tuck it in the back and carry the other around like a wrap.
If there’s ever a saree look I’d wear to a casual lunch or coffee, even, it’s this one. A black silk blouse, wide-legged linen pants and a classic drape. Even though here Taapsee pairs a saree with pants, a dupatta would be an excellent substitute, wouldn’t it?
P.S. Whoever thought of pairing the whole look with leather finish oxfords, you’re brilliant.
Which do you like better, traditional Indian or 21st-century Indian? Kat’s all red look is the best of both worlds and it’s a personal moment of joy for me. A monotone look like this could never be monotonous, could it (sorry, not sorry for the pun)? Follow up on this inspo and style your solid hued palazzos with a cropped bustier and a pretty dupatta in the same colour.
A rather unique version of the saree, this look is definitely something I’d expect of Shilpa Shetty. Her Indian wear choices are modern to the T, but are an image of pure elegance. Notice that her dupatta creates a ‘side slit’ drape effect, doesn’t it? Thanks for showing me how to pull off a bell-sleeved off shoulder top with a dupatta and sheer leggings, Mrs. Kundra. You’re an inspiration.
You can always rely on silver to make you look, and feel, like a shining star. Now, if you follow her looks, Indian or western, you’d know Sridevi is all about those details. So it’s only natural that she picked this sheer long jacket with intricate embroidery to elevate her pants + dupatta look. Steal her version of the saree by adding a long cape and belt to your outfit.
If you want to give your ‘almost a saree’ look a sharp edge, take a cue from Bollywood’s Evelyn Sharma and wear all black. Keep it simple with solid hued leggings and a chunky bordered dupatta. Like Evelyn, keep the drape simple and classic; accessorise with a heavy, detailed ethnic necklace, black pumps and an embellished black bag.
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