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By Kiran Bahl

Happy Fourth of July! If you haven’t been picnicking yet, it’s time now. And for desi functions, what better way to celebrate than with super light, super airy clothing?

Stick with the linen/cotton skirts of last month (which, by the way, are still very much in, whether its Indian or American fashion) and breezy kurti outfits. Not only are they versatile and easy to maintain, but they also offer an alternative to traditional looks. Pair them with flats for an ultra-casual look and feel.

Ladies, churidaars are still very much in. Thanks to our Bollywood movies, churidaar pantsuits have become quite the craze. They’re regular churidaars, but with a sheer pantsuit look on top of them. The top is short, almost kurti lengha, and not too flashy. This flowing outfit is now all over the runways and being modeled by popular actresses such as Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai.

Cotton is still cool, but as before, only for casual outfits. Lakhnavi, or chiffon work, is still popular. Many think it is a disadvantage to be wearing a slip underneath these semi-sheer creations, but another option is to wear a tank top or camisole, to avoid over layering (over layering, as you might realize, also can look bulky or frumpy).

Light colors are in, black is out. Remember this simple motto, and you can’t go wrong this season. White is the new black, if that makes sense. Even accessories should reflect light and colorful colors. Bright gold is in; oxidized looks take a backseat for a while. Silver is on top of the list, including jewelry, bangles, tikkas and jhumkas. A note about jhumkas: Smaller is actually better at the moment. Bangle-wise, however, concentrate on lots of them, on both hands.

A new movie hit town, and has started something similar to what “Shabd” had begun -- the combination of three or more bright, bold colors, paired with matching bangles. Rani Mukherji has wonderfully paired vivid colors together to form beautiful creations, such as fuchsia, orange and lime all at once. She wore at least one and a half bangle sets on each hand to create a full, fun look that’s all about summer. Leave your hair loose if it doesn’t bother you too much in the heat, or else tie up that pretty hair in a loose chignon or bun.

Men, kurta pajamas, especially simple, cotton ones are the rage now, especially with this demanding weather. Stick with light colors, such as white, baby blue, and beige. For fancier occasions, stick with olive green, tan and navy blue, focusing on light embroidery patterns.

Remember, life is all about the details. Wear a simple outfit, but accessorize so much where your outfit always looks new. And as always, remember to gro with style!

Kiran Bahl
Gro Styles, "An Indian Boutique"
on Fowler Avenue in Tampa
(813) 903-8334 / (813) 843-9040

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