Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida



Kiran Bahl


Perhaps the two busiest months of holidays and festivals are now in October and November. From Navratri and Dussehra, to Karva Chauth and even Halloween – happy celebrations! Ladies, let’s be beautiful, feel beautiful and also look beautiful with the latest in Indian occasion wear.


One of my favorite times of year is the garba raas and dandiya Navratri celebrations. Thousands of people gather together dressed in color and shine, and dance with devotion and love till late in the night. It’s a time to pray, a time to meet loved ones and a time to celebrate!

The lengha/chaniya choli is the outfit to keep wearing. Yes, some designers have suggested saris as a maybe replacement, but can a sari bottom twirl pretty like a lengha’s while dancing? No. Stick with the chaniya choli! Neon colors combined is the trend, with lots of pattern play, ornate hangings and unique cut cholis/blouses in the back for detail. Hot pink, green and purple are pretty. Yellow, orange and royal blue too! The more color, the merrier! Even black is making a comeback in the Navratri scene, but drenched in bright color all over. Avoid white outfits, even with neons to contrast. It still doesn’t set a night celebration mood.

Jewelry is traditional and plenty and I love it! You can go simple and not overdone at once. Big earrings, maybe a light choker style necklace, and lots of bangles/kadas are good. A tikka, waist belt and anklets added are just right too. Then what’s overdone you’re asking? Long necklaces, multiple necklaces, heavy layered waist belts, and jhumars with tikkas are too much added with all else. Yes, they’re all heavy as they sound, especially together with all else.


Karva Chauth is so fun and lately, not just a holiday for Punjabis (northern Indian). Everyone seems to be getting in on this lovely holiday, where wives fast all day for their husbands’ long lives by abstaining from food and water until they see and pray to the moon at night (which always shows itself later than usual!). Wives dress up in their finest in bridal inspired wear and just shine, in and out!

Red, pinks and oranges are the hues in favor to wear, especially reds. From saffron and tomato shades to maroon and burgundy ones, all reds are the favorites. Blacks and whites are forbidden, no questions.

Saris and lenghas should be embellished with all over sequins and/or embroidery. Even the latest gold foil banarasi trend looks gorgeous drenched on a sari/lengha! Palazzo suits and gharas are still highly on trend and seem fresh and modern after seeing years and years of anarkalis and long straight suits dominate Indian fashion.

For jewelry, just like in garba trends, stay aplenty but not overdone.


Lots of readers have emailed and asked about hair for the holiday season, particularly during garba/dandiya time. Dancing for hours on end, sometimes mixed with an unexpected rain shower getting to the event (it is Florida), can cause hair to look not as perfect as maybe when you left the house/salon. Some quick tips to look classy and not messy:

Hair half up is a bit more difficult to deal with. When hair feels humid and sloppy, it’s easy to flip hair or throw it into a bun/ponytail, but when half up, you may have the hassles of dealing with bobby pins, clips, etc.

Like I wrote above, do whatever you have to with hair, hopefully as stylish as possible, but don’t stop celebrating! We all have problems, issues arise, and circumstances change. But to grow from and beyond them, we need to push forward and celebrate what we can, when we can, with one another. And while growing too, enjoy the journey. And, as always, remember to ‘gro’ with style!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, “An Indian Boutique” in Tampa, can be reached at (813) 843-9040, e-mail kiran@grostyles.com or visit www.grostyles.com

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