You’ve just chosen your choli from your favorite designer and now it is time to accessorize for that special occasion! There are a plethora of options out there to compliment this Indian wardrobe staple, which can actually make decision making more difficult.
To take the guessing game out of the process, focus on the four main accessory areas – the face, neck, head, and hand, to start building your complete choli outfit.
Other than the stunning choli itself, the first thing others will see is your face. That is why your face should be first on the list when determining how to accessorize.
Makeup in India is ruled by culture and tradition, and is not about covering imperfections, but to tell a story. A woman with a red streak on the edge of her hairline, or a red dot between her eyebrows then she is married. If her face is covered in other regions, that is also a sign of marriage.
Other than a special occasion, you likely won’t see many Indian women wearing makeup regardless, as it’s often discouraged.
2. Head & Ears
The next, highly noticeable area to accessorize your choli, is going to be your head (including your ears). Without focusing too much on it for this purpose, the earrings and any headdress you wear with your choli should compliment your hairstyle.
Earrings are usually an obvious accessory, but there are some things to consider when choosing earring to match your choli. The first is your choice of metals. With silver, gold, and nickel alloy options, you want to look for a color combination between metal and choli that compliment each other.
Gold tends to compliment yellows, reds and oranges, whereas silver looks great with blues, blacks and darker colors. Be sure to choose an earring length that flatters your hair design, and doesn’t take away from any hair accessories if you are wearing them.
If you are wearing a headdress or a tika, be sure that your earrings are the same metal and include the same jewels or ornamentation. This may seem redundant, but by keeping it the same it creates a more classic and traditional look.
Did you know that necklaces worn close to the heart are believed to control one’s emotions and love? You will want to add a necklace or necklaces to accessorize your choli that enhance the outfit, and not distract from it. Depending on the neckline of your outfit, you can choose from a variety of different necklace styles to compliment your look.
A bold choker can make a bold statement, while a bib necklace can provide fancy embellishment if your choli is more on the subtle or plain side. If you are an Indian bride, you can opt to go for the traditional gold neck piece but have it feature diamonds or your favorite gemstone.
A highly embellished scarf can also serve as a great neck accessory, and match the choli perfectly by being in the same fabric. Adding jewels will create the same light catching effect and highlight your outfit with style. Regardless of the style, to really add the dazzle to your choli creation, you have to consider accessorizing with a necklace or scarf.
You may not consider your hands when you first think about accessorizing your choli. However, depending on the occasion, your hands could be the main focal point of your outfit overall.
First of all – there’s the engagement ring (if you are a bride-to-be of course). And if you are already married, this accessory is always complimenting your outfit. You may want to avoid wearing any other ring if you already have these. In addition, it’s important to be sure that none of your hand accessories take away from the attention of your engagement ring.
Bangles, or bracelets can be a great accessory, especially since they usually come in a variety of metals, colors, and styles. Match the bangles to your other jewelry but not your choli itself. After all, you want them to stand out, and since your hands are often against the fabric of your choli, you’ll want it to be noticed. They also make a great gentle tinkling sound, adding fun and energy to your outfit.
If you are going traditional, you may choose to use henna on your hands in lieu of jewelry. This is especially true if you are a bride and want to honor Indian tradition.
There are dozens of ways to accessorize your choli including these four major ones – makeup, earrings, tika, necklaces, and hand rings, bracelets or tattoos. Always keep in mind that accessories are meant to accent and enhance your outfit, not take center stage. Doing this well brings the entire outfit together for a stunning overall result.