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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

June DC (Arlington) Wedding

As promised earlier, here are some photos of the great wedding we went to in June at the Key Bridge Marriott.  While the venue was technically in Arlington, Virginia, it was right across the bridge from Georgetown in DC and the rooftop ballroom had views of the city to die for!




I love these flowers! They look so lush with all the reds, pinks and greens.  The color scheme appeared to be red and gold with accents of pink and green.  I love how reds and fuchsias work together!  So much so, that I even incorporated them, along with purple, in my wedding...and accents of orange and green.  Including a bright pop of color in a flower will really stand out against a muted tablecloth.  They add a lovely richness to the floral arrangement.  That being said, I'm also a huge sucker for all white and other monochromatic centerpieces as well! 




Nothing is more gorgeous than fresh cut flowers...  Except for maybe these piñatas of the bride and groom below!  What a fabulous likeness!  One of the bridesmaids, who is self described as very crafty, made these herself.  Amazing!  And the best part is that they were filled with candy and mini plastic bottles of booze for people to dig into after the reception ended.  Great job with these girl!  Let me know when you open your Etsy shop so I can advertise for it.




Here is the bride in her sari and veil getting ready!




Lovely details in the gold and maroon/red sari and gold jewelry.




These two also planned their ceremony layout so guests would be facing the DC skyline as a backdrop.   Great idea!  I loved seeing the city views.







The groom and groomsmen came into the ceremony in their matching kurtas and scarves dancing to bhangra music and having a great time!




Subtle gold tablecloths at the reception... and a water glass!  So thirsty!




This is when my husband's boutonniere came off for the night.  It just got in the way of dancing!







Lovely simple and elegant low centerpiece.  There's that red and fuchsia combo I love!




I love favors I can eat!  These cute M&M's got snacked on very quickly while we were sitting at the table.  I noticed my neighbor even polished off mine!




I love the cute details on the M&M's, they had the couple's names on them and some had a little drawing of champagne glasses.  Aaaa-dorable!!




Well that tops off this lovely wedding and details!  Nope, I did not take any pictures of us dancing.   Some things are best left unposted.  I hope you all enjoyed these gorgeous wedding details and future brides got some great inspiration.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sequin Shorts for a Night out

While I wasn't in love with the idea of wearing shorts for a night out in general, I am liking the trend of wearing a sequin short out on the town!  I think the addition of sequins does make it less casual and takes into semi-formal territory.  Although I have yet to try this myself, I could see this looking really cute on a lot of different women.  Particularly if you find a well tailored pair like the ones below with some cuffs, which lessen the hoochie factor (discussed in this previous post).  Dressing up for a night out has another great semi-formal option.  Who knows? Sequin shorts, as trendy as they are, could be the new great alternative to a cocktail dress.  Let's face it, haven't you walked among a sea of cocktail dresses before and seen someone wearing one that you either have work before, have seen somewhere and liked or are wearing at that same moment?  Mortifying!  If this hasn't happened to you, count your lucky stars!  I've been out when someone wore the same dress as I did and, just a year ago, was walking to work and saw a girl wearing the same exact dress in the same exact color!  Needless to say I crossed the street in a different direction before passing her on the sidewalk... It's a weird feeling to potentially be compared to someone wearing the same exact outfit.

One great thing about wearing sequin shorts out is that you can dance or get out of a vehicle without showcasing things you'd rather no one else would see, while still showing off your fabulous legs!

Check out the outfit I put together on Polyvore below.  I'm loving every piece here!  Especially the top and the uber-cute clutch!



Sequin Shorts for a Night out


Top
€36 - pamelascott.ie

Pleated shorts
€105 - welikefashion.com

Snake skin shoes
£133 - oxygenboutique.com

Gold handbag
$40 - purseboutique.com

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Leopard + Color-blocked = Gorgeous Pumps

While I didn't watch the teen choice awards this past weekend, I  definitely got my fill with the coverage of them afterwards on the entertainment news websites and E! News.  Entertainment news is for me and my friends what ESPN is for all the men that I know:  addictive, informative and entertaining all in one! 

I wasn't really paying attention to the stars showcased on the pink carpet until a picture of Hayden Panettiere came across the screen and, most importantly, her shoes.  That's the shot that got me hooked to my TV screen, her fabulous shoes.  I've seen leopard done to death but not combined with color-blocking in this way.  They were completely unique and over the top but I loved the outrageous-ness of it all.  I have seen plenty of leopard print but I've never seen it done that way, alternating four different colors of leopard print into one shoe and actually make me like it.  Rather than inducing a negative physical reaction, considering this combo could have easily gone so wrong.  Unlike those leopard print booties I have just not gotten into! Yuck!  I know they're totally fashion-y but they just overwhelm me with nausea.  These are actually a much better version because of the black (Love Betsey!). I don't even mind the fringe here.  Well, you can't like everything...

Hayden's shoes however, were, in the words of Ms. Tyra, "FIERCE!" 

A couple more choice words that came into my head included powerful, wild, bold, exciting, innovative and covet worthy!  I was a fan of the purple leopard print and noticed that separating the heel, sole and platform portion into slightly clashing colors actually worked here.  My absolute favorite parts would be the teal heel (hey! that rhymes!) and the leopard sole.

So, inspired by this shoe, I went on a search for other leopard print and color-blocked shoes.  What I found was more than I could imagine being in creation!  Check out these gorgeous heels below!  I even threw in a marvelously striking orange pair with a black and white leopard print sole and one with a zebra print on the platform of the shoe. Check out the fabulous collage of covet worthy shoes I put together below!  Leave it to Betsey Johnson to be completley bold with those cobalt pumps with the heel detail, and still classy with the addition of leopard print subtly on the inside of the heel!  She absolutely designs creatively but definitely understands how to balance her pieces brilliantly! 

Be it bold or subtle, there has got to be something out there to exhilarate everyone's inner tigress, leopard or zebra.

Leopard + Colorblocked = Gorgeous Pumps


MIA high heels
endless.com

High heels
sheinside.com

High heels
sheinside.com

Qupid platform shoes
zooshoo.com

Leopard print shoes
$28 - debenhams.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedding Style 2012


With wedding season in DC well into the swing of things I can't believe I haven't discussed bridal style!  I just love, love, loooooove wedding dresses!   I loved my own so much that I wanted to wear it to the grocery store or just anywhere to get a chance to wear it again!  It is such a shame we spend so much money on probably the most beautiful and extravagant dress we'll ever get to wear on the most important day of our lives and then, that's it! .... Finito! Sayonara! Adios! Fin! The End. Goodbye!

Well, I still get to live vicariously through the friends who are getting married.  ...And secretly plan my vow renewal... But that's not for years and years and years! *Sigh*

As much as you loved your dress, don't you wish you could wear another similarly extravagant dress again?  I guess Hollywood stars get to wear those kinds of dresses all the time so perhaps a wedding dress (and sometimes a marriage!  Ha!) isn't that big of a deal.

All kidding aside. I really found some gorgeous looks on Polyvore and I just had to share.  I hope you enjoy these! There is definitely a gown out there for anyone.  The problem is finding your one and only out of the bunch!   If you like what you see, click on the collage and get redirected to my Polyvore page where you can find the items in each.  Happy viewing.  




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Husband Has a Kurta In His Closet

A couple of our friends just got married this past June and to my delight, they incorporated some cultural details from the bride's Indian background as well.  The result was a great mix of two cultures and families coming together.

My husband and the rest of the groomsman even got in on the action by sporting Indian clothing throughout the ceremony and reception.  Here's a view of his closet.





And a closer look.





One of these things just doesn't belong here.  One of these things just isn't the same.  Can you get which one is doing its own thing?  Now it's time to play our game.  It's time to play our game! (Thank you Sesame Street!)

When the idea to do this first arose, my husband, to my surprise, actually told the bride "I'll wear a sari for your wedding!"  My surprise came from his reluctance to try on South Asian clothing before and then from his offering to dress in DRAG for her wedding.  After being together for over seven years (married for almost 2), I guess I haven't spent much time teaching him the ways of South Asian clothing.  Despite my having worn saris as a bridesmaid in several Indian weddings and having my bridesmaids wear saris in our own wedding, somewhere along the way I guess he hadn't realized that a sari was a women's outfit.  Needless to say, I probably spent a good long time giggling before I explained why that statement was so wrong.

South Asian clothing (including -- but not limited to -- India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) is actually not too complicated but many people are only aware of the name "sari" (it's also spelled saree in publications and websites) and don't know the differences between the different types of clothing.  So I thought I would include a refresher on the different types of South Asian clothing.  In case you ever go to a South Asian wedding, participate in one or need to buy clothing for one this could come in handy.  With so many South Asians in the DMV (DC, Maryland Virginia area), there are a lot of large and traditional weddings.  Hopefully this post will be helpful, or at least informative!  I hope you enjoy!

So let's start with women's categories.  There are several outfits to cover, including the well known sari, lengha choli (literally meaning skirt blouse) or ghagra choli (skirt blouse in the Punjabi language), shalwar kameez (loose pants and tunic, which also comes in different forms like a pajama and an anarkali (discussed below)), gharara (wide leg bottoms cut in a specific way with shirt or tunic) and sharara  (also wide leg bottoms and shirt or tunic).   Side note: in Pakistan they refer to a shalwar (pronounced shal-var) kameez (ka-meez) but in India they call it a salwar (sal-war) kameez, which has to do with the differing alphabets and language history of Urdu and Hindi, the national languages of each country, respectively.  Also, depending on where someone is from regionally, the ways they wear their clothing and what they call it will differ based on the local traditions and regional dialect.  I'm using a northern Indian, Pakistani, Punjabi (Punjab = province in both India and Pakistan) perspective.  Growing up with so many family parties, weddings and religious holidays, I've worn all of these on at least one occasion.

A sari is a length of fabric about five to six yards long (maybe shorter or longer, I actually have never measured mine but approximated this) and is paired with a cropped blouse and a skirt with a tie waist called a petticoat.  The fabric of the sari is wrapped in layers and pleated around the petticoat and then pulled over one shoulder with a trail of fabric hanging off of the back of the shoulder (this trail hanging over is called the pallu (pa-loo)).  It looks like this:









This is my absolute favorite sari I've seen this year!

The sari photos, and many of the ones below except for those captioned otherwise are courtesy of Seasons India, one of my favorite websites to browse South Asian clothing online.  As you can see, the models are showing off a lot of their midsection but for the most part, saris tend to cover a bit more of the tummies even with a more sheer material and because of the length of the petticoats, which have to be tied a bit higher.  These models are just exhibiting these for the camera mostly!

The tail end of a sari can also be pulled over the front of the blouse.  This style is called Gujarati style after the province (Gujarat) that it originated in.


Photo courtesy of www.indianshaadi.org


To wrap a sari, which can seem pretty complicated, here's a video tutorial.






To add to the confusion or for your enlightenment, which ever way you'd like to view it, there are several other ways to wrap a sari based on what region in South Asia a person is from.  There are tons of web tutorials on these as well.

A lengha (len-ga) choli (or ghagra (gug-ra) choli) is a skirt with a blouse.  Also just called a lengha or ghagra.  They are always paired with a "veil" called a dupatta (doo-pa-ta) or a chunari (choo-na-ree) in Urdu and Hindi -- these are just different words for the same veil.  If you don't carry your veil with you, your outfit is considered incomplete.  I've definitely had people say something to me when I've left mine behind before!  The lengths and styles of blouses vary depending on what is in fashion.  This also goes for the skirts which may range from a traditional A-line to a mermaid style.
















Next is a shalwar kameez or salwar kameez, pronounced as one or the other depending on where one is from.  Shalwar refers to the baggy pants paired with a tunic, called a kameez (ka-meez).  This is actually one of the more common everyday and formal outfits worn.  They're easy to move in and dance in.  Also note, they also always come with a dupatta (AKA chunari) and the same rules apply!




It can also be varied in terms of tunic and pant lengths and style depending on what's in fashion at the time.  Shalwars are classically loose but a tighter skinny style, called a pajama is very much in fashion these days.  Here's a pajama shown below for you.  If the bottom is bunched up a lot around the ankleto an exaggerated extent, it's called a churidar (choo-ree-dar) pajama.









And here's another version called an anarkali (a-nar-ka-lee).  It's where the top is cut in a dress style with a fitted waist that flares out into an A-line skirt over pajamas.










Another note: a "kurta" (koor-ta) is also a term for a top but, in my family, it's mostly used when referring to mens' formal wear.

Ghararas (ga-ra-ra) and shararas (sha-ra-ra) are not seen as often but their popularity also comes in waves.  Ghararas were very popular in Pakistan and India in the 1960's, and as such, my mom has passed on several to me from the good ole days.  They also just seem to have been more popular in Pakistani fashion.  They're pretty fabulous I must say.  And yes, they traditionally do come with a veil as well.


Gharara, courtesy of Deemasfashion.com
Gharara, courtesy of theheer.com.  Can you see how both legs look like one long skirt when together?

This is a sharara courtesy of fashno.com

The subtle distinction between the gharara and sharara is in the legs.   The gharara usually has a distinct separation between the top and bottom of the pant at the knee which flares out into a wider leg, like two wide legs which are more pleated at the knee level and flare out at the knee, while a sharara is just two super wide legs.  Confusing enough for ya?  I can't even get all the little distinctions between all these outfits correct myself some of the time!

Here are a couple of outfits I own which my mom had bought me as gifts for my wedding, to wear to other fancy South Asian occasions as a new bride.  I've yet to break them out and am itching to get a chance sometime soon. 


Shalwar kameez in a halter style top with shalwar on the left and veil draped across the top.  

Lengha


Some up close detail of the lengha.

Love this bead work! 


Finally, moving on to men's fashions.  Men usually wear shalwar kameezes (baggy pants and tunic), kurta pajamas (skinny pants and tunic) and sherwanis (pronounced: sher-va-ni) (button-down fancy tunics and pants of some sort).  Sherwanis and kurta pajamas are usually worn for more dressy occasions.

Casual style men's shalwar kameez.  There is a benefit to the baggy pants and long top... comfort!
This guy looks like he's smelling something...
Image courtesy of www.dressrepublic.com


Fancy men's shalwar kameez, complete with baggy shalwar (pants) courtesy of www.utsavsarees.com.


Simple kurta pajama, along with shoes called khusa (pronounced koo-sa) - the term for one of these style shoes.  Image courtesy of www.aweardresses.com

Fancy kurta pajama with scarf and khusa.  Scarf is used for more formal occasions like weddings.  Image courtesy of www.nihalfashions.com


Men's sherwani, also with khusa.  Very fancy top that is usually embroidered and buttons down the front.  Usually worn during weddings.  Image courtesy of www.nihalfashions.com.


So... with all that being said, here is how my husband ended up with a kurta in his closet which he wore as a groomsman in the June wedding.  Just by first volunteering to wear a sari!  These looked great on all the groomsmen by the way!  I love it when people wear traditional clothes of another culture.  Needless to say, I found my husband so handsome in this and he carried this look off amazingly well. 







Since it wasn't an all Indian wedding, I left the South Asian clothes at home and went with this dress instead.  I love the detail and bead work which really evokes the detail included in South Asian clothing as well.


Yep! This is THE dress I've been talking about for weeks now! I loooove it! 




These details of sequins, stones and lace are gorgeous! 



Paired with the necklace, bracelet and earrings I got from my jewelry party! 



I get to wear these shoes again too!  Yay!  Sparkle and shine all go together in this look.  Particularly because the bright orange color balances out the sequins on the dress so the accessories have room to shine! 


We had a great time at the wedding.  I'll include some more on those details later on.  For more ideas on outfits for South Asian affairs, check out this collage I put together on Polyvore. 



South Asian Wedding Inspiration