Guest Blog: Acing the art of Festive Shopping

From the desk of our guest blogger Smrithi Rao comes a story of her and Esha’s escapades to find that perfect outfit to bedazzle in.

“I am broaching the topic of Diwali shopping today. Though most of your cities might not have even recovered from the Navratri hoopla, but here I am telling you that it’s time to make that Diwali shopping trip.

The story goes; Esha’s household always throws the best Diwali parties I know of. A day before, when I get that reminder call is precisely when it hits me that I am going to have to wear a sequence slip dress with a pleated jacquard skirt, stack up accessories and proclaim to all the guests at the party that this indeed is the new festive dressing.

I’ve sworn on the yet to be made Diwali Ladoos  that this won’t be the case during Esha’s big fat Diwali party this year. I am going to only concentrate on making some money at the card table and not be explaining a make believe festive outfit. So Esha and I decided that we’ll already, begin to raid stores. Much before any of you have even thought of fireworks.  We tell each other that this is the best way to snag the best outfits without having to hear the” sold out” or “not in your size” terms days before the festival when everyone is showcasing their ruthless shopping skills. Therefore, having to settle, once again!

Esha is my go to stylist for Indian wear because I truly believe wedding planners can easily compile the next issue of Wedding Affair just from memory. She speaks of Anarkalis fondly and how it refuses to exit the trend cycle. So I decided on Anarkalis for this Diwali party.

Pantaloons recently opened a multi level store at the corner of the longest signal on MG Road in Bangalore. While stuck in a traffic jam/ signal the best thing to do is to gaze at store displays. Maybe it’s all the lovely Indian wear I see daintily hanging on mannequins while at that signal regularly. We decided that it would be our first pit stop.

We walked in with no fixed agenda because when two floors full of beautiful clothes stare at you, having an agenda other than maxing out cards made little sense.  The vast display sections have a style vocabulary. This expressed itself in a good design meets gorgeous fabrics therefore you can spend hours browsing through their varied collections. Brands like Akkriti, Rangmanch and Trishaa  put up an impressive display. Don’t be surprised if choosing seems like a mammoth task.

Esha and I had pre planned on anarkalis.  But, why were we so fixated on anarkalis? Yards of fabric draped to flow always make you feel luxurious.  We both picked up bags full of anarkalis with a lot of help from the floor staff and headed to the trial rooms.  After what seemed like an unending trip to the trial room, I finally settled with two anarkalis after hours of “does this colour suit me better or that one?”. My favorite out of the two is a deep blue anarkali set by Trishaa that is piped with a maroon border. It also has golden paisley accents on it making it a perfect Diwali party outfit. Esha picked out Mughal inspired pieces. These, have beautiful graphic prints splashed in bright colors.  Motifs of peacocks, kings on elephants and mesmerizing pictures of beautiful women on the salwars transport you to another era.

The clothes are in tune with the spirit of Diwali.  After this there really was no need to step into another store. So I am Diwali ready and it’s all good is what I was thinking. The only thing to do right now is to concentrate on polishing our teen patti skills, I proclaim. But first, let’s buy some accessories, Esha suggests.  Hell yes! These accessories are the bling of any Diwali party.  After twirling around the accessory turn table stands. I decide to have an arm party and bought a bunch of things to stack them up along with a gigantic head piece. Esha bought a couple of statement earrings, thin rings to stack her fingers and dainty anklets. I feel so accomplished by the end of that early Diwali shopping expedition. Everything is ready. It is time to bring on the Diwali brightness.

Follow the early bird philosophy and you shall never have rush to finish your festive essential shopping. It also gives you all the time in the world to DIY your party decorations. Make your own diyas, right from taking a pottery class or scout and practice a dessert menu for that perfect ending.

Oh wait I still need my “say no to fireworks placard” but there is plenty of time for that.”