5 oh-so-easy styling tips to Crackle in this festive season!


By: Ekta Manchanda & Pallavi Thakur

When its about style during the festive season, all the kurtas or the dresses just dont seem to fitting the mood, or the occasion. Does this sound like you, days before Diwali?

Shopping in a frenzy, picking erratically without actually reflecting. “It just might work” hope that justifies unsatisfied spending. Does this sound like you days before the Diwali party?

The result – horizontal wardrobe on your bed, wet tissues, screaming match with whoever was unfortunate to pass by or comment and finally blaming the entire season, hectic schedule, house-office drama and of course COVID for the sartorial dilemma. Finally when you do get dressed and step out, wearing your make up bravely (thank the Lord for the YouTube videos) and smile valiantly – you know deep down – YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER!

So yeah how to deal with this festive season pressure practically, economically and most important sanely?

Worry not, we got your back, top-bottom, front – actually the whole of you. Read the below while lazing or while completely losing it – we promise that you will not be disappointed. For sure, one of the five will give you the much-needed tools to be the “life ” of the party.

Style Tip 1: Define your palette:

Colour palette is unarguably the foundation of your wardrobe – festive or not. It defines your unique personal style. Usually the colour of your wardrobe should fulfill three criteria:

  • Suits your personal style
  • Suits your complexion
  • Go well together
Define your palette!

Are you one of those who wants to make a bold statement or are you the subtly elegant one. Both have their own charm, but it is important to understand the difference and use it to your advantage. A simple way is to choose three words that define you and based on that choose your primary colours. You can Google it or do it instinctively. It is okay to do it multiple times till it feels right.

Remember more than any other emotion, your personal style – in this case colour should feel right.

Ekta Manchanda

Remember more than any other emotion, your personal style – in this case colour should feel right. One easy way is to imagine yourself in various scenarios- would you be comfortable in those colours? Usually, there is no restriction on the number of colours that go into your palette, but there should be a balance between neutrals, complementary colours, accent colours and metallics.

Your neutral and complementary colours are your base colours and your accent colours and metallics are your highlights. The colours that you choose could be on the same side of the colour wheel, like pink and orange or completely contrasting colours like teal and orange, both types of combination work.

Metallic colors add bling!

Metallics like gold, silver, copper, rose gold and the varied kinds of bling can lift up your outfit by a couple of notches. However never ever overdo your metallics, there is a thin line between radiating and looking like the disco ball of the party.

Hence, metallics are great accessorising in terms of shoes, belts, jewelry, scarf and anything else you might want to add on. If you are opting for a sequined top or bottom, try to tone down the rest of the outfit.

Experiment with metallics!

Style Tip 2: Select your go-to garment

That super heavy kurta looks so good in pictures right? But if I asked you, did you have fun or were you worried about the outfit – and if your answer would most likely be the latter. It is time to ditch ‘the look’ over comfort attitude. Never compromise on comfort for the sake of fashion. Discomfort reflects on your face, and dampens the entire effort.

So be your most comfortable self, no matter what the occasion demands. For this festive season you must have in your wardrobe a couple of very comfortable bottoms like a ghagras, a sharara (loose flared ethnic pants) and a pajama (ethnic pants) which fit effortlessly. If saree is what you are comfortable in, you can add that in too.

Classic Saree

These base garments should definitely be from your palette. Your base garments must be single colour, preferably neutral so they would be super easy to layer. To add a festive touch, they can have highlights in the form of embroidery, mirror work, self print and so on. Getting dressed is like making a cake. As long as the base is nice and solid, you can add any kind of icing to make it pretty.

Sonia Manchanda and Raji Math of Spread Design looking ever so elegant in their classic sarees!

Style Tip 3: Mix and match

Once you have overcome the largest roadblocks, it’s time to have some fun, here is where you can unleash your creativity. Try being experimental, try new looks – rummage your Pinterest as you would rummage your cupboard. One key piece of advice is never think of any piece of clothing individually – once you start doing this, you will subconsciously shop for pieces that can be combined in a myriad of ways. Now that your base garments are sorted, each one of these can be worn in multiple ways to create different moods.

Pick one of your base garments and find multiple tops that go with it. For example, if you have a fuchsia ghagra with a minimalistic border, you can wear it with a matching or contrasting brocade blouse with golden zari or embroidery. This is a classic traditional look, perfect for a pooja, a traditional family dinner or a visit to family and friends to wish them for Diwali. On the other hand, the same ghagras can be worn with a tube – metallic, embellished or even plain one with a stunning choker – there you are fun and funky for poker night with buddies.

Devika Thukral, from Propel Design, draped in style with an ethnic touch!

The same ghagra further can be your festive daytime wear with a floral crop top. The beauty of matching and layering are that the permutations and combinations can be infinite once your base and key outfit is sorted. Thumb rule for mix and match is to throw into distinct pieces together to create the magic.

Think of experimenting with colour, texture, print, textile, outfit type and so on. Some of the best mix and match outcomes are when the outfits combinations compliment or contrast visually keeping in mind the tactile nature and fall of the garment. So, cotton with satin or velvet can be an intriguing combination if done tastefully.

Varying colours from your palette also creates completely different looks. If you wear a monotone look it will be subtle and elegant, however if you wear a highly contrasting look, it will surely be vibrance. Put your look together based on the calendar of events, location, crowd and above all your comfort – then you are ready to rock the party completely stress free.

Style Tip 4 Accessorize

The most boring of outfits have come to life with the right accessory. Apart from being the final touch to your entire look, it can elevate your look to the exact notch you want. Over the top, blingy, demure or just simply elegant – all this can be achieved in the same outfit just by changing the accessories. No wonder it is the most powerful arsenal in the stylist’s bag. Contrast is one of the trend during this festive season. Follow and complete the look only after defining your key statement piece.

The rest of accessories should work to accentuate your statement piece not overshadow it. If your prints are dainty, go for chunky jewellery. A monotone look would be complete with a unique necklace or jeweled belt. Never wear a heavy neckpiece with heavy earrings. However, if you are wearing a blouse with a lot of work, then keep your accessory subtle, here you can do stylish hairdos. There are parts of your body that you want to accentuate which you can easily achieve by wearing the right accessory. For example, when you wear a plain saree with very light work, a bold belt will lift it up and make it really special.

Nisha Umashankar, a top model, loves jewellery!

Bags/ clutches as accessories also add an extra zing to your outfit. Footwear too can lift the look and you can try from the widest variety, from baubled flats to stunning stilettos. For a long night ahead, a wedge would just look and feel as good. Just remember not to over-accessorise and keep your comfort at the centre.

Sherara a go to comfortable ethnic wear

Style Tip 5 Get Conscious

2020 is a very different year, for so many reasons. Things have changed with almost a sense of certainty, including our sense of fashion. What was at the outskirts of the fashion world, a constant recurring conversation but never taking the centre stage is the approach to conscious fashion. From buying of eco friendly labels to upcycling – all fall under the larger movement of conscious fashion.

Upcycling sarees into outfits, making dresses out of ornate dupattas, wearing your rather heavy kurta with a fun twist and many more creative explorations and experiments have definitely gotten the nod right from climate activists to fashion gurus. If you dig deeper into your closet you might not need to even shop.

Sarees can be repurposed!

While some saris and dupattas might be too precious, you would surely find some that would rather be used than be in the dark corner of your wardrobe. Make this year the year of good change and shine like never before.

Wishing you a gorgeous, fun-filled festive season!

Ekta Manchanda’s role as the personal style editor of is to empower the reader to define and create their individual style, based on the perception they want to create about themselves. Follow her on Instagram.

Co-Authored by Pallavi Thakur (

TFPR Editorial

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