A dupatta is perhaps the most underrated, yet the most versatile piece in ethnic wear for women. Be it a simple cotton printed dupatta or a bridal dupatta with embroidery and beads, it has the power to instantly lift up any outfit and add a touch of feminine grace. And just in case you thought heavy dupattas were boring or a hassle to carry, that’s only true if you’re going with the old-fashioned styles rather than the contemporary drapes that elevate both ethnic wear for women and make western looks so much more interesting. Here is every dupatta that belongs in your wardrobe and some cool ways to drape it for extra glam and functionality.
Fancy a Suit?
The easiest starting point is a plain suit with a heavy dupatta. This black and gold heavy dupatta is perfect for an evening event. Pair it with a grey a-line kurta and start with draping the dupatta around your shoulders from the back, keeping the right end tail longer and bringing it to the left shoulder to create a cowl-style drape in the front. Make sure you pleat the dupatta before pinning into the kurta’s left shoulder to create a flowy, effortless pleated look. Pair the look with oxidised gold and silver statement earrings and a black kundan potli . Complete this traditional, vintage look with kohl lined eyes, heels or juttis and a messy, low bun with deep red roses.
The Double Drape
Both sarees and dupattas are the quintessential feminine drapes in ethnic wear for women so when you bring the two together in a dupatta saree, it’s sure to be magic. Indian sarees are usually worn with the pallu on the left shoulder and to make it easier to carry, go for a readymade sari skirt that’s as easy to wear as a dress. Complement the soft pink with a subtle gold dupatta and make broad pleats or let it remain open as you pin it to your right shoulder. Use a gold belt to cinch the waist and keep the dupatta saree in place, creating a modern twist for two traditional pieces. Complete the look with some metallic toned footwear and layered crystal necklaces keeping the hair and makeup minimal.
We love our flared, flirty lehengas and we’re elevating this floral skirt and blouse lehenga set by wearing a heavy dupatta in a not so traditional way. To make a dupatta cape choose a lightweight woven dupatta in a bright colour like this pink! Fold the dupatta in half then bring both the end points to the centre point of the dupatta and secure the corners to the centre point with a safety pin. You now have two armholes to slip your arms into while the pinned point goes right at the centre of the nape of your neck. Pair with pearl drop earrings to complement the cream lehenga and coloured bangles to bring out the floral pattern, keeping the footwear minimal with embellished white juttis. Let your hair free in voluminous curls and keep the makeup young, fresh and dewy with glossy lips.
The Boss Babe Drape
Create the perfect indo fusion chic look by pairing a heavy dupatta with a pant suit. Create a customised pant suit by pairing flared white trousers with a white shawl lapel blazer and cami inside. Pleat the dupatta how you would pleat a saree and tuck one end in your waist, taking the rest around your waist from the back to neatly pin it on your shoulder. This cream and gold dupatta can be paired with both monochromatic pant suits or colourful ones so take your pick. Keep the accessories modern and bold with pointed toe heeled sandals , straight hair left open or tied back in a slick ponytail, and a chic box clutch. If it’s a day event, add some oversized sunglasses!
Single Shoulder, Twice the Drama
One shoulder tops and dresses are popular picks for the party season but creating the same look with a dupatta? Now that’s a statement! Get the base right with silk palazzos or blue jeans for a casual event, and a bustier top and choose a heavy dupatta to create the top. Now’s a great time to use that bridal dupatta of yours! Tuck one end of the dupatta into the left side of your waist and take the dupatta around to place the other end on the right shoulder from behind. Now take the loose end of the dupatta to cover the front of your chest with the left side left bare. Cinch your waist with a snakeskin pattern belt to create a one shoulder silk top silhouette and complete the look with complimenting snakeskin print pumps ! Make a strong statement with some traditional jewelry pieces such as a maang tika or a kangan set.
Ethnic wear for women would certainly be incomplete without some beautiful dupattas in neutrals and brights, cottons and silks. While the dupattas remain a traditional piece, rethink styling with western pieces and silhouettes to create some memorable looks for every casual outing or a festive gathering! Now that we have updated your dupatta style, all you got to do is head to Shoppers Stop to purchase the latest of dupattas and outfits to style them with.
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