So how do you know what fits? How do you know if you look okay? While I'm sure your desi partner means you no harm, it's not likely he will tell you the suit isn't perfect, isn't stylish enough, etc. They may not even know. After all it's not a mans place to understand women's fashion is it? Nope. So even if he helps you out a lot and does most of the work helping you pick a suit there are many things you still need to know yourself. Also, try to remember your partner probably has on his love blinders so if you don't look so hot to the rest of the country, you might still look cute to him.
In the beginning you should try out a wide variety of clothes. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to go to the mall and try on several styles of ready-made clothes. You'll want to get a stretch churidar (leggings with extra long legs so they bunch up at the bottom), pajami pants, standard salwar, patiala salwar, lehenga skirts and pretty much anything you see on the rack you've never worn before. (Go for it...you're in a foreign country, you're not leaving the dressing room with it, no one will ever know you experimented with Desi clothing that one time. lol)
Go to the dressing room and try each one of them on. Observe yourself in the mirror. Take photos if you can. Try them on in sets or as singles. Take the pictures from multiple angles. Enjoy yourself and try to get an idea of what you like right away. Take pictures even if you don't like something. Then go home and look through all the pictures.
Notice how your legs, calves, ankles, hips, arms, waist and chest look in the clothes. Does it flatter you? Would you be 100% comfortable wearing this in public with the entire city staring at you while you do? Take the time to seriously consider these questions. Talk to your desi partner and get their thoughts and ideas. After all, we're our own worst critics and it's better not to rely solely on our own opinions. Then sleep on your thoughts and check the pictures again the next day to be sure.
After you've decided what you like and don't like, then you're ready to pick out suits and send them to the tailors. There are several important points to keep in mind when picking out or getting suits made for you.
- Generally, armholes are much tighter in Amritsar than in America. This reduces bulk at the armpit.
- Clothing is form-fitted and shaped like an hourglass. Punjabi's are NOT baggy sweatshirt type people. If you try to achieve this look you will look awful I promise.
- Baggy clothing is out of fashion and baggy Punjabi suits do not look good on anyone. You will look old and a lot heavier than you are.
- No, you can't cinch your kameez with a belt the way you would a sweater dress here in the US. It's simply not done and the look is not flattering.
- Small designs that cover the entire kameez without any embellishment are typically house suits. Most women only wear them to clean the house in and would never leave the house in them.
- Solid colors with no design are generally only worn by maids or other service professionals.
- Your suit is customized. You pick the style of pants, length of the kameez, design of the neckline and length of the arms. Have your way with it. If needed, download pictures from the internet, print them and take them to the tailor. You can also ask for an elastic waist rather than the tie string.
- Most married women don't wear pajami pants or stretch churidar.
- When wearing pajami or stretch churidar pants, wear a longer kameez. You will want your thighs and booty covered. Only salwar look good with short kameez and you also don't want to attract the extra attention to yourself. A common/popular length is just above the knee.
What are some fashion no-no's you've seen?