Let's admit it... Indian women simply love jewellery. Our mothers and grandmothers, and generations of women since time immemorial have loved it. With the kind of religious, social and adornment value jewellery has, the female wardrobe [and now even the male] is incomplete without jewellery. Jewellery is a must-have accompaniment to the traditional Indian wardrobe, essential for all the religious rituals and celebrations and parties that follow. It's time for decking up for the festivities [Navratri, Dussehra, Karvachauth and Diwali] or the umpteen weddings during this season.
The right kind of jewellery can add oodles of glamour and style to the dreariest outfit. When selecting jewellery, the variety certainly is mind-boggling - in terms of brands and jewellery stores, materials, and precious and semi-precious gemstones, and types of accessories ranging literally from head to toe. How do we match jewellery with our personal style, outfit, occasion and the season's trend? Here are a few suggestions.
Choose earrings to suit your face
First, let's talk about selecting the right kind of jewellery to suit your face shape and height. Earrings require careful choosing. The size should be commensurate with height - petite women should opt for small-sized earrings, medium height women should go for medium-sized earrings, and taller women can choose bigger earrings. The face shape plays a crucial role in determining the earring shape [See box "Earrings by face shape"]. If you are a simple dresser, avoid large, chunky jewellery - you will feel and look uncomfortable, no matter how beautiful the pieces you wear.
Match with your outfit
Next, match the accessories with your outfit. Usually workplace wear is simple, with small and thin being the mantra. Earrings, chains, bangles, pendants in pearl or discreet diamonds, set in gold or silver, or platinum look stylish without being ostentatious. For casual wear like skirts and capris, funky accessories look great. Chunky necklaces, big pendants and earrings, charm bracelets, even anklets and flashy rings are all cool and chic, but wear only one big piece at a time, to accentuate it properly. When you are likely to wear heavy traditional Indian clothing with intricate embroidery and embellishments, the rule of thumb is: less is more. Accessorise judiciously.
Suitable for traditional Indian attire
Let's discuss jewellery selection in detail.
Saris: Wear long chandelier earrings or big studs to give a stunning effect. If the sari border is heavily embellished, skip the necklace and wear a dressy watch and/or a thick kada/bracelet. For simpler saris, thick beaded necklaces with a big centrepiece and smaller earrings look great, especially when teamed with plenty of thin bangles. Try a maangteeka for a unique look, especially if you have long hair. Pair this only with a matching kada or bangles - earrings or necklace are redundant.
Lehengas: These usually come with the works - heavy embellished dupattas, embroidery all over, and beaded blouses. If it's the traditional style of lehenga, you can go in for kundan jewellery matched well with the colour of the outfit. For the mermaid style skirt with corset blouse, the ideal accessories are a thick necklace or choker, a single kada and small earrings. Or, a thin gold chain with a big pendant, and matched large earrings and kadas. You can even try a maangteeka with bajubandhs and a big ring.
Skirts: Long layered necklaces, big pendants on long thick chains and a single beaded anklet look chic with skirts - ideal for Navratri dancing. It also sets you apart from the common oxidised or typical Rajasthani style of jewellery.
Earrings by face shape
|Face shape||Earring type|
|Wide rectangular||Medium-sized chandeliers|
|Round||Long drops or rectangular shaped|
|Heart shape||Triangle shapes with the base down|
|Oval||Any style looks great|
Follow the trend
Jewellery is timeless, but wearing the latest designs adds that extra pizzazz to your outfit. Experts from the industry give us the lowdown on trends for the festive and wedding season. Roli Malhotra, Marketing Manager, Retail and Customer Care, Sia Lifestyles, says "Geometric shapes in metallic shades are trendy. Floral patterns and the traditional look are always stylish. Victorian style jewellery with matt finishing is something new and exciting to wear with traditional Indian attire. It's a rainbow out there - rani pink, aqua blue, peach or carrot and firoza blue jewellery with antique finish are going to be the colours of the seasons of celebration." Another suggestion comes from Aanchal, Designer, Anmol Jewellers: "Intricately designed choker sets in gold and diamond are going to be in vogue. Pearl jewellery would look great. Bold and earthy coloured stones like emeralds, rubies and tourmalines go very well with the festive spirit all around. Traditional designs mixed with contemporary patterns are appealing, so this year a blend of geometric and floral patterns defines the look of the season." Adds Aparna Gujral, Senior Manager- Design & Merchandising, Ganjam Jewellers, "Coloured stones in earthy colours look really grand with diamonds as well as gold. Contemporary jewellery which draws inspiration from the past has become a rage and is especially suited for the festive and wedding season."
By and large, jewellery is quite expensive, so matching jewellery with your outfit comes at a big price. Luckily, we have what Roli calls, "affordable, but trendy and fashionable jewellery which can be used very well without spending too much". Most brands have lightweight, daily wear jewellery. One-gram gold jewellery, gold and silver plated jewellery, and of course multi-hued art jewellery, together ensure that you can indulge in the glitter and sparkle without breaking the bank.
This festive season, get some sparkling trinkets and let your confidence and style dazzle everybody around you!
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