Moodology

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Todays blog is going to focus on how dressing is actually a reflection of your frame of mind. This can be a reflection of your personality but sometimes you have to dress in colours which attract what you want.
  Dressing should always be for yourself if you feel good then you will always look good. Your mood can change if you dress in bright colours. Colours are considered season and occassion appropriate as well.
   So tips will be mixed on colour and styles of dressing  to perk up or reflect your mood:
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1. Interview Dressing : while dressing for an interview always ensure you dress in soothing or calming colours e.g. blue, green, white, pink are all soothing for the eye even pastel shades are good options. Blue has the most calming effect and definitely helps in making the interview go well. Dark and bright colours can be distracting, black and grey work when paired with other colours, red might be too bright. So while choosing your outfits, ensure the colour will make you look good and also is not harsh for the eyes. Ensure that the clothes give you a good fit nor loose or tight, not revealing either. They should be formal but in terms of fabric, cuts and style and not partywear or shiny. If you wear a suit layer or with a colour to break the monotony, if you wear a Salwar suit ensure that you are not a rainbow and have a mix of solid and print. Not too short skirts or low back blouses. Thus, these points show appropriateness and reflect confidence as well. You can also refer to power dressing for other tips.
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2.  Gloomy dressing : when someone is wearing dull colours like beige, grey, dirty yellow or shades with a black tint people might assume that you are in a dull mood. If you are very tired but are wearing a bright shade of green and orange people will think your happy. Colours give an aura around us, and reflect our skin and moods.
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3.Sexy dressing : by wearing skimpy clothes and provocative colours one is not considered sexy. If you are in a mood to look hot, a lot of it depends on the cut, style and fabric of the outfit. A hint of a nice figure, a peep of the gorgeous skin and the richness of the fabric coupled with your confidence are more alluring than a tube top with hot pants. Deep colours and earthy colours can be sexier than bright red or hot pink or animal print. You can also refer to subtly sexy on tips for alluring sexiness.
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4. In your stride: the way an outfit looks depends on your confidence to carry it. If you are uncomfortable, it shows cause you will be self conscious. Weirdly everyone’s favourite colour always looks good on them, so when you wear outfits in that colour you look happy and confident. Don’t follow fashion for the sake of it, as its not necessary that palazzos work for you or anarkali gowns are drowning you. Always wear cuts and styles which suit your figure, you might have a signature cut of low backs but because you like them you will always carry it off and it will never look unclassy on you. Most people have a favourite neckline, back or sleeve style which they are partial too and always looks good. If you want to feel confident opt for colours and style that make you feel good, and then you will definitely look good.
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5. Seasonality: growing up in Bombay I never knew that colours change as per season. After moving to the States and spending time in north India, I could identify how colours and fabrics are reflective of seasons. Warm and dark colours are favoured during the cold months and pastels and whites during summers. I always tend to wear bright colours during the gloomy rains to brighten my mood when outside is all dull and grey. There are lots of rules regarding colours on festivals and occassions, but eventually wear what makes you happy. Earthy tones rule autumn months and bright during spring. Wear colours that work for your undertone and make you look brighter.
Colours and styles are just tools to boost your confidence and enhance your beauty. Sometimes even colours we hate might look great on you, so go out of your comfort zone and try cause you never know what might be your lucky charm.
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Footloose

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Sorry for missing for more than a week. As I have been travelling, currently in my homeland so being more accessible for my indian readers. Will be back with 2 blogs weekly starting next week.

Shoes are not only the final touch but also an integral part of every outfit. They can make or break your look depending on the coordination.There are certain essentials needed to create the perfect shoe closet. Just like the apparel essentials in timelessness, there are certain shoes which you can always rely on to make your outfit perfect. So lets look at some of these:

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1. Black pumps: Pumps are ideal as they can make any outfit look classy. Essential for work wear, but dress up a pair of jeans with these for a night out or mute a bright evening dress. They go equally well with ethnic wear. Best pairing with churidars or straight pants. Heels can vary from kitten to stiletto, the sharper the shoe the better the effect.

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2. White Slides: White shoes are as essentials as black heels. So, the question is why slides or sandals? White as a colour is very stark and stands out, in the form of a sandal or slide, due to the straps it balances the colour on your feet and gives it a natural and less matt effect. White looks great with coloured outfits especially dresses, keep in mind while wearing black bottoms black might look better as the contrast can sometimes be an eyesore instead of an eye candy.

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3. Nude Peeptoes : Peeptoes are the best combination of pumps and sandals, they have the combined elegance and ease of both. The best part of nude shoes is that they don’t take away the focus of the outfit, plus make your feet look naturally beautiful with just a little hint of your nail colour to make your feet pop.They go with all colours and outfits and are perfect formal wear.

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4. Brown wedges : Brown wedges are the perfect casual sandals, and make any outfit casual chic especially with capris and maxi dresses. Brown is fast becoming one of the most basic shoe colours, and can go with all outfits.

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5. Flats : be it ballet flats or beaded gladiators, flats have their own uniqueness in the shoe closet. They  go well with shorts, capris and pants. Mojris are a good turn on ballet flats, and add funkiness to casual jeans and t-shirts. Ballet flats look nice with cigarette pants and add elegance.

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6. Sneakers : whether you own a pair of street keds or flt flops or good running shoes. They are a shoe staple especially when you are on the run. Salwar with bulky keds always remind of the Bhaji on the Beach aunties, so here is a style tip, if you wear only ethnic clothes than opt for street keds or fitflops as they are below the ankle. Sketchers have a really good variety in these. Good sneakers are very important especially with shock absorbent so the impact of hard surfaces on the foot is lesser.I have tried many but now have become a loyalist of New Balance.as they have the most comfortable sole and the best work out gear.

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7. Shiny shoes: the wedding and party wear essential. Finding an outfit is easy, the shoe the hard part. Gold and silver are wedding staples, but copper and rose gold are not far behind. The varieties in this section are ever-increasing be it shimmer, stone work or metallic. My personal preference has always been gold shimmer pumps and a metallic silver kolhapuri. These 2 will go with all the wedding finery.

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8. Ruby slippers : there is something alluring about red that it makes everything instantly sexy. Strappy or wet leather or even suede, they can make a boring outfit pop.The colour and the style is what makes it sexy, pair a monotone outfit even with red strappy wedge sandals and see the heads turn.

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9. Knee high Tan boots: just like summer essentials are wedge sandals, winter’s are Tan boots. Knee high boots are more for warmth, but now are a fashion staple. Tan is a more muted colour, and somehow the rusticness enhances its winter charm. Paired with knee-length skirts or skinny jeans, and be stylish while walking through the snow.

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10. Designer heels: one pair of fancy designer heels, is what completes a desirable shoe closet. Be it Mui Mui patent leather pumps, Manolo Blahniks peepstoes, Christian Louboutins strappy gold stilettos, Jimmy Choo’s ankle strap mary janes or Steve Madden wedge sandals. Just ensure that when you are selecting, invest in something that’s their signature cause that is the best. If you buy Salvatore Ferragamo ensure that they crocodile leather or Aldo flats are the most comfortable. Own a pair which is what epitomizes your style and will be the perfect addition.

Thus, shoes are not just an accessory or what you need on a daily basis. But the style becomes a part of your personality. You can judge a woman by her shoe, so they should be well maintained, stytlish and compliment your oiutfit. So don’t wear stone work shoes with a stonework outfit, you do not have to be matchy but complimentary. So, go ahead and start your shoe closets.

Jacked up

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Jackets, blazers, shrugs, coats, etc are just more than a covering. They have become an important part of the outfit, defining the style based on the one worn.
   We use jackets for formalizing an outfit, covering up or sometimes we feel it is required to turn up the style quotient. You might be thinking that there are no rules for something as frivolous as a jacket, but you are wrong. The style of the jacket, is what sets the tone of your outfit. So here are a few pointers :

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1. Jackets : this particular style is a basic jacket. It is front open, with buttons and is long sleeved. It has 2 breast pockets and is most popular in denim, codrouy and cotton.  They are good during chilly weather, I personally think they look best when paired with a nice summer dress as they look summer chic. Very popular during travel as they provide just the right amount of warmth during cold flights and are light to carry around.

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2. Blazers : these are popularized by men and also some school uniforms. Their formality is based on the fabric. They are longer than jackets, and have deep v collared necks and have 2 buttons, with one breast pocket and some can be double breasted as well. Mostly made of synthetic materials, but denim, corduroy, linen and wollen blazers like twill, jersey, etc are also available. They are good options one doesn’t want to wear business suits. Coloured blazers are the best to brighten up a monochromatic sheath dress at work. Pair jeans with a shell and blazer with folded sleeves to glamourize an evening look.

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3. Suit jackets : as the name suggests these are a part of formal business suits. They come in different styles, with collars, sleeve and jacket length varies. They also have different shapes and necklines and are also becoming popular work wear and paired with different bottoms. They can up the style quotient of office wear or also for a business do.

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4. Shrugs : they are short with no buttons and are front open. They are normally used as cover ups with sleeveless or strapless outfits. Popular in cotton, lace, synthetic, wool and jersey fabrics. Come with short to full length sleeves. They have the opposite effect of a blazer as they make an outfit more casual. Team them with a strapless dress, jumper or halter and you will be appropriate for commuting. They also add a little bit of sexiness as it just about covers your shoulder and back, especially the lace ones.

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5. Cardigans : they are  front open sweaters with short to full length sleeves. Normally worn with shells underneath, but now are being worn as a top as well.

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6. Hoodies: started as casual winter wear made of fleece but now the variations are immense. They are zippered jackets with a hood and come in sleeveless to full sleeves. Popular in jersey and fleece, and mostly used as work out gear. They add sportiness with a touch of casual, paired with shorts or denims during the onset of winter months. Now becoming a popular alternative to denim jackets for summer dresses as well.

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7.  Leather jackets : biker babes and rockstars have epitomized leather jackets for decades. But now faux leather is becoming popular and also more eco friendly. These are front zippered jackets with full sleeves, some may have pockets. They are lined inside with fleece or synthetic fabrics to keep one warm.Gone are the days when bulky leather jackets with zippers and chains was in vogue, now you have fancy options with even peplumed jackets available. My personal favourite are the ones in tan or even pastel pink, as they look classy and chic paired with denims or pencil skirts.

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8. Wraps: they are stoles or shawls wrapped around formal evening wear to save you from the chilly air. Great for summer evenings and add a little bit of feminity to any outfit.

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9.  Coats : mostly winter wear and made of warm materials like wool, leather and other wool blends. Always lined for warmth, but patterns and styles are glaming up this winter necessity.

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10. Sleeveless jackets : these are more for style than actual covering up. Waistcoats, denim jackets, shrugs, hoodies and cardigans are all its variations. They are good for summer, or even if you are shy of wearing strapless or thin straps. They are boho chic or now even trendy. Denim options paired with maxi skirts and tanks, waistcoats paired with capri length cigarette pants are some of the few options.
  Thus, whether you love jackets to keeping yourself warm or just for being covered or add them for style you cannot avoid them. Gone are the days when they were worn as per weather, but now worn as per outfit. So go ahead and amp up your wardrobe and add a few jacket styles to glam up for all occasions.

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Dolly ki Doli

Wedding-Trousseau©

The festive season is starting soon, an which means the wedding season will  soon be upon us. I have written on dressing write for weddings in Shaadi Shine. But today’s focus is going to  be on the important items of a bridal trousseau. Being a relatively new bride myself I understand the pressures involved in choosing the right outfits and how many outfits to take with you. So here are a few essentials and pointers:

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1. Silk Saree: I think silk sarees are timeless and it is one item you can wear ten years later and still look elegance. The key is choosing at least 2, one which can help you even 10 years later and one which you can wear at the next family wedding. Traditional banarsis with contrasts always work and one south silk always give you the Bollywood bride feel.

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Tip: Light saree with dark borders is younger than dark saree with light borders. Refer to Silken Beauty for your silk saree collection.

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2. Lehenga : one lehenga or Gharara or sharara is a must. As it prepares you for other close family weddings or more importantly an impromptu party in the honour of your wedding. It will be lighter and trendy, opt for net or chanderi silk, as they are more playful. You can also opt for lehenga sarees as they give the same vibe.

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Tip : Ensure the lehenga you choose is very different from your wedding festivities outfits. Like you can opt for a rampuri or chatapati gharara if your nikah or other functions is banarsi or kimkhab ones.

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3. Trendy suits  : whether floor length or palazzo pants, at least have 2 suits  of the latest trends. One can be heavy and one semi formal. While picking outfits keep in mind post wedding dinners, you want to be trendy to create the right impressions.

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Tip: Refer to the latest bridal week to figure which latest style will work for you, but opt for a style which has a longevity, anarkalis have a regality to them and always look good.

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4.  Stonework sarees : they might be dated but now there are loads of variations. Swarovski crystals or pearl work or stones with zardosi on net or georgette sarees shimmer in the most elegant manner. Colours of nude, champagne gold, pink, coral and black look the best. My personal favourite is champagne gold or coral as they give you the best canvas to showcase the glitter and don’t overdo the shine.

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Tip: Pastels give the bling the right back drop but remember to pair with a dark solid blouse of a thicker material to amp up the glamour.

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5. Embroidered Suits : whether chikankari or kantha work or whichever 2 suits you as per Haath ki Safai, embroidery always showcases art and culture of its particular area. They never go out of style and work as semi formal or dressy as per fabric and the best part, work on days when you are fed up of being jewelled out. The outfit is heavy and speaks volumes by itself.

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Tip: Choose embroidery particular to your native area or one which is completely different from all your other outfit. The intricacy is what showcases finery and craftsmanship of the outfit. You can also opt for one suit and one saree.

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6. Jacket Suits : whether sherwani  style or chinese collared kurtas, jacketed suits are always a classic. Paired with churidar or pants, they look classy but ensure the outfit is balanced so it can be eye candy and not an eye-sore.

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Tip: Brocade jackets whether open or close paired with silk cigarette pants look the best in deep shades of purple, green and blue.

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7. Borders : bordered outfits whether gotta patti or kundan borders or crochet laces, add a subtle elegance to even the plainest outfit. They look best when teamed with dark colours, as the contrast brings out the best of both the shades. Kundan borders work as embroidery and border both making the outfit heavy but also keeping it young at the same time.

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Tip: Choose a border with lining which compliments the colour of the outfit. Satin and chiffon look best with borders, whether a long anarkali or a chiffon saree paired with a sequins blouse they create subtle sexiness with a combination of transparent and opaque.

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8. Timeless : you should always have at least one masterpiece outfit, whether in embroidery, print or fabric. Something which is rare and traditional at the same time. Whether it is a designer piece, chantilly lace or even gara work saree. One piece which is an epitome of elegance and rich in terms of its intricacy. It should be one of a kind, and something which will last you forever.

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Tip: choose an item whether it is heavy phulkari suit, chantilly lace saree or a jamavar weave lehenga. It is rare, and its richness makes it a priceless possession to your well-chosen collection.

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9. Dress or pantsuit : gone are the days when brides just had to mingle with relatives, friends have taken a front suit and so have business associate. Evening dresses or pantsuits are a good option to keep to attend a business or friend soiree which asks for western elegance. Long dresses or jumpsuits keep you trendy chic and ensure you don’t feel to conscious if you are uncomfortable westerns.

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Tip: Ensure that they have a right fit as per 21 jump street or All dressed up! and do not over accessorize, as they might be plainer outfits but that’s where their beauty lies.

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10. Make-up Box : make up has become as essentials as clothes, especially good make up. In most traditions, the groom’s side send one but a bride needs her own shades. You alone can buy the perfect foundation and know which shades of lipstick suit your undertone. A complete make-up box consists of moisturizer, makeup removers, foundation, primers, lipsticks, glosses, lip liners, compact, blushes, eye shadows – cream and powder, mascara, kohl, eye liners and bronzers. Brushes and sponges are as essential as the make up itself.

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Tip: stick to a brand which suits your skin, you can have a mix of products or choose a more natural make up such so that you find it easy to use. Get colour palettes which suit your undertone and not ones which match the colours of your outfits.

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11. Stuff cases : women need handbags to keep their trinkets and other essential items at all items, whether they are important things like cellphones and wallets, or touch up cosmetics. A handbag even as small as wristlets is important at all items. One should have at least one clutch and one handbag as a part of their trousseau as they are the 2 kinds of purses you will definitely use.

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Tip: studded minaudieres  or sequined clutches (Bag it up Baby!), they always are the needed accessory to a formal outfit. Handbags in colours of tan or black are the most versatile and work well with all outfits and should be big enough to keep all your stuff, a complimenting wallet just adds the polish needed.

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12. Shoes : Just like finding cinderella was impossible without her glass slipper, a bridal trousseau is incomplete without shoes. Pumps or sandals are your best bets, as they work as casual and formals at the same time. It is essential to have a mix of glitter and solids so they can be paired well with any of the above outfits.

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Tip: Gold and silver are wedding staples, but black and nudes are as essential . The shoes can be complimentary to your bags, so they give you style. Personally I feel gold shimmer pumps, nude peeptoes , black sandals and silver kolhapuris or slide sandals are the best combinations as they give you the complete options.

Even though this  blog talks more about the formal aspects of a bridal trousseau, adding some semi formals are advisable. A bridal trousseau showcases your personal style mixed with your sense of formal dressing. Even though you have to select pieces which will last, but you also have to be trendy not to be categorized as a traditional bride. The selection of colours is important, even though red, green and pink dominate the outfits, it is important that you have colours which complement your skin. An ideal mix of deep and pastels add the perfect blend of a good colour palette. Opting for at least one black outfit and one muted outfit creates the perfect balance of glamour.

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Most important is the style and fit, even though most are unstitched ensure, that at least half are as they will help you the most during impromptu functions or when you just cannot find a perfect outfit for any occassion, Ensure you have a mix of suits and sarees, though sarees might not be used initially but will be later on They have their own elegance and look great at any weight or size. Lets hope these tips, help you prepare your perfect trousseau and you can be the iconic bride 🙂

Haath ki Safai

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We have spoken about fabrics and prints but the real showstealer has always been embroidery.  Threadwork comes in different styles and on different fabrics. Mostly limited to Indian clothes, but you can always experiment with shirts and dresses. So lets take a look at the different embroidery styles :

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1. Chikankari : exclusive to Lucknow but now you can find this particular threadwork all over India. Traditionally done on cotton or muslin, but now you get excellent work on georgette, crepe,organza, chiffon and silk. Originated from the Mughal era and the most famous style being Jali kaam (lace) and Shadow work. Though its intricate and designs are mostly floral it is a long precise process involving design and embossing as well. Found traditionally in Salwar suits and sarees but chikan kurtis and shirts have caused a stir in the indo-western fashion.

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2. Aari Work : originated from the Mughal era in Barabanki where it was known as Katla work. Floral motifs are the most famous style but done intricately forming a net pattern. A firm trend on churidars and now also cigarette pants can make an interesting option.

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3. Zardozi : famous embroidery done by metal wires and embellishments. Associated with royalty, originally was done with gold and silver wires but now only with copper wires with metallic polish. Done on heavy fabrics and very popular for wedding wear. Sarees and lehengas are its most popular outfits. Try a zardosi blouse or batwa/ clutch  to capture the wedding audience.

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4. Gara Work: parsi gara work or parsi embroidery is one of the most exquisite threadworks in the world. Originated from China, the intricacy makes it hard to differentiate between the wrong and right side. Till date they are considered family heirlooms and are one of the most expensive outfits to own. Traditionally found on sarees, but now even jacket kurtas and salwars are being adorned by this impressive threadwork.

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5. Phulkari : originated in Punjab, phulkari means flower embroidery, scattered flowers are termed as bagh embroidery. Done on flowy fabrics and adorned with sequins its one of the fastest growing trends. Traditionally done for Salwar suits now they are also popular for sarees, jackets and bags.

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6. Kantha Work : originated from Bengal and Orissa this traditional embroidery is done rural areas by women. It has spaced stitches and designs range from floral and fauna to figurines. Popular on cotton and silk fabrics. Shawls, linens and sarees are famous but recently even anarkalis and skirts are catching on in the trend.

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7. Kashmiri embroidery : threadwork done by wollen yarns and exclusive to Kashmir. Their are different types based on needles used and intricacy of embroidery. Popular on wollen shawls and traditional kashmiri outfits and linens. Has been done on bags, sarees and kurtas now as well.

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8. Sindhi Embroidery : originated in Indus civilization specific to the sindh region but popular even in areas of Gujarat. It’s uniqueness lies in the use of the herring bone stitch and interlacing with mirror work. Popular technique used is resist printing so that it is embroidered from both sides. Bed linens, handbags are popular items, but even Salwar suits and sarees are found with this intricate thread work.

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9. Patti ka kaam: founded in aligarh, this applique threadwork is done by creating flowers and leaf in cloth  and stitching them on to a design. Its done with and on organza, cotton, silk and nylon fabrics. It enhances an entire outfit with it’s vibrancy and now even embellishment. It is done on same colours and even contrasts. Popularly found on Salwar suits, duppattas and linens.

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10. Gota Patti : native of Rajasthan, this embroidery is done using metallic ribbons interlaced together. It is a mixture of zardozi and applique  work. It is formal and used for wedding wear.
   Thus, these are just few of the embroideries existing in India. These intricate threadwork not only make the outfit richer but also give you a variety to wear. Gone are the days when embroidery was done on plain fabrics, now prints and embroidery is mixed in to kick up the vibrancy of any outfit.
  Mix and match, experiment instead of going the safe way by plain Kurta and embroidered duppattas. Fusion wear is brimming with options of embroidery  on western wear to perk up the boring office look. So start adding the handiwork and become a show stopper at all your outings.

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