If you’re anything like me, the ever-increasing pile of invitation cards for November and December is making you hyper-ventilate. There are sooo many weddings and events in Karachi this winter that most wardrobes are going to be super-stretched. Unless you have a wedding in the family or are super-organised, chances are that you’re suddenly realising that you need more outfits than you previously planned. There’s a few tired-and-tested strategies than can help.
1.Clear out your wardrobe
This one probably seems counter-intuitive but bear with me. I’m one of those people who will leave deciding what to wear till the last minute and that usually means rifling through my wardrobe in a tearing hurry and then realising I can’t find some dupatta or that the pants for the outfit I want to wear have a broken zip. Half the time, I’ve wrapped up my formals in cloth bundles or in garment bags and I can never remember where anything is (though it’s often the guest bedroom wardobe).
A good clear out helps you remember what you have squirreled away and ensures that any minor repairs and dupatta-hunts are done so that every outfit is in a fit condition to wear. Organising your wardrobe also helps work out what pieces you can mix and match and which need alteration (sari blouses – every single year, sigh). It’s also a good time to weed out anything that no longer works on you – you can pass them on to charity or cut them up for new outfits or pack them away for your daughters. Just get them out of your wardrobe to make room for things you actually wear.
2. Mix and Match
Get more wear out of your favourite pieces by pairing them in different ways. Wear a sari over a trouser for a modern style twist or wear the same gorgeous embroidered dupatta on a dark and a light coloured outfit. Buy a gorgeous off-white, cream or beige fabric – banarsi or lucknowi or self-textured – and have it stitched into one of those long straight shirts that are so popular these days. You’ll be able to pair various different dupattas and lowers with it for a different look every time. As for the rest of your wardrobe, don’t be afraid to experiment. Mix and match is all the rage .
3. Find your hero pieces
A hero piece can update older outfits. For example, gota is everything this season and several designers have done sheer pastel colour-blocked organza dupattas with gota trimming. Similarly gota is also being used on pants and shalwars and, paired right, they instantly make any kurta look more on trend. Another current trend is crushed peshwazes and anarkalis – where thin silk is crushed into tiny pleats. Both Sania Masktiya and Misha Lakhani are championing the trend and it’s been spotted else where too. You can pair an embroidered jacked or a draped dupatta with a crushed lengha or palazzos for a fashion-forward look.
4. Hit the bazaar
Market shopkeepers seem to know the latest trends. If you’re seeing a particular type of button or lace being used by multiple designers, chances are they’ll be in the market too. The markets are full of velvet and embroidered fabrics for winter festivities. You may not have time to get embroidery done but by judiciously picking opulent fabrics and elegant trimmings, you can get your tailor to run up some pretty pieces. Have a look at what designers are doing for ideas on cuts and silhouettes and remember a popping colour doesn’t need much embellishment. A crushed lengha, a banarsi boot-cut pant, a velvet draped top or an embroidered blouse can update pieces you already have in your wardrobe – the possibilities are endless, as long as you have a good darzi.
5. Grab that pret
Designers know that customers need last-minute outfits every winter and so there’s a ton of exhibitions and new stock in stores. Elan, Sania Maskatiya, Misha Lakhani, Menahel and Mehreen, Shamsha Hashwani and others keep restocking throughout the season. Stock tends to come in waves so it’s worth checking back often. Cast your net further and check out stores you haven’t looked at before and also do check out the high street. I’ve often picked up pieces at Generation, Ideas Pret and Kayseria that look seriously upmarket when styled right. Finally keep your eyes on our weekly what’s on post for the latest exibiitions.