For years now, kurtis have been unceremoniously dumped into the category of ‘traditional’ Indian clothing. Often cut as a piece of upper clothing so sedate that it bordered on boring, the kurti has only now managed to reinvent itself as a versatile Indian style that looks great even when fused with Western wear.
This year’s fashion weeks in India had a fair smattering of new kurti styles. Designers have deliberately been experimenting with the kurti hem and sleeve length, not to mention fabrics and cuts. So if you’re looking for the usual kurti silhouette (as favoured by your older neighbourhood aunty) you might just be disappointed. The kurti is now bolder, sassier and totally awesome – and it still retains its Indian roots.
You can pick a style and pattern that favours your sartorial sense and body type. The good news is, you’ll always find a kurti that ticks all the right boxes in your fashion book. Without further ado, these are five new kurti styles that are rocking the style charts this season:
Empire cuts and yokes
The classic slim kurti reinvents itself in an empire cut avatar. This type goes well with slim waists and accentuates the bosom in the most flattering way. The kurti may sport short or three-fourth length sleeves. Look for variations on the neckline if you don’t like V-necks – opt for round or square to complement the fit of this excellent style.
Shirt style with a collar:
Who would have thought that the kurti could actually double up as a shirt and be worn to work? If you hadn’t thought of this before, you can safely think it now. This eye-catching shirt-style kurti combines a business-like collar with front buttons and slim sleeves. The best part is, you can totally rock this kurti in both office and party situations. Wear it with a pair of skinny cotton trousers or Lycra leggings.
Style tip: Make this kurti really stand out with a woollen or georgette stole in a darker hue wrapped around your neck. A slim watch on your wrist and a black pair of pumps will give this kurta a corporate edge.
Shirt style asymmetric:
This is another variation of the shirt-style kurta, but is more suited to a Western fashion ethos. It is shorter, with an asymmetric hem (asymmetrical hems are a big draw this season in dresses as well) and features a front button down style. You can wear it with both jeans and slim cotton trousers, and it is suitable for both casual and office wear.
Style tip: Wear the sleeves really short – fold them to above your elbows and wear a chunky watch or bracelet on your wrist. For an even edgier look, tie a string of rudraksha beads on your wrist and sport a long chain around your neck with a bold wooden pendant.
Layered and asymmetric:
This is a new trend in kurtis. The clothing is often layered (sometimes there may be three overlapping layers!), each with a design motif or functionality of its own. Try a flared kurti in a layered style and an asymmetric hem. The beauty of this kurti is that it lends itself well to a variety of textures and prints owing to its layered pattern. Take care to see that the prints and colours do not clash. A general rule of thumb when wearing this kurti is to wear it not too tight around the waist.
Style tip: Pair this kurti with Lycra leggings, a pair of Kolhapuri chappals and a jhola.
We are fans of the sleeveless kurti, and with good reason. It is elegant and sophisticated, especially in fabrics like silk and georgette. It also complements tall, thin women who may be conscious of both their height and their frame. What’s more, a long sleeveless kurti in cotton or georgette and with pretty neck detailing can even be worn as a dress with a belt cinching the waist.
Style tip: If you have a small waist, wear a sleeveless chiffon or georgette kurti over a pair of Lycra leggings and strap on a thin leather belt on your waist.
There you go – five new kurti styles for you to rock this season. And remember, your kurti is a versatile being, so don’t be afraid to mix and match.