The subject of cultural appropriation is a hot button issue currently. As a caucasian person living in Asia, it’s something I’m faced with fairly regularly – especially in regards to clothing. Should I wear a kimono? Is it ok to buy that top that clearly is replicating a cheongsam? Am I, frankly, just going to look stupid in that ao dai? Honestly, yes, I think I look stupid in most of those things, but has that stopped me from wearing them? No! IF (really big “if” here) the occasion calls for it.
So what sort of occasion calls for it? What’s the most common sort of event you’re likely to run in to that is region-specific? Weddings!
And which country is generally known for their lavish, glitzy, FUN weddings as well as gorgeous traditional clothing? India!
I’m going to a wedding in India! And the invitation specifically said to dress in appropriate Indian clothing!
Hell yes, I finally have a reason to buy a sari! Be prepared for an inundation of sparkles; I’m not taking this lightly.
With the wedding happening in Mumbai in September, I took advantage of a few trips to Singapore to pick out a sari. Singapore has a very large Indian community, so there are quite a few shops in town to go sari shopping. I knew I wouldn’t have time before the wedding to find one in Mumbai, so I grumbled about the extra cost of buying it outside of India and headed out shopping.
Most of the high end sari shops are located on Selegie Road, just outside the main “Little India” area. The bride recommended we check out Stylemart Bridal and Jinders.
I initially went in to the stores intending to buy a lehenga choli (a crop top with a high waisted wide skirt). After trying on a bunch at both Stylemart and the small independent boutique pictured above, the woman (Misha – ask for her if you end up shopping at Stylemart!) helping me and I decided a sari would be better for my body type.
Both Misha at Stylemart and also the woman working at Jinder’s were very patient with me as I tried on a number of saris to choose the one I liked. There were a ton of gorgeous, lavish options but being as they both cater to a higher-end clientele, nothing came with a budget friendly price tag. I settled on one that wasn’t too crazy.
They measured me up to convert my sari in to an instant sari (you don’t have to worry about tying it. Make sure you leave enough time, as it takes them about 2 weeks to sew it.) and I headed out to pick out my jewelry.
I decided to delve a bit deeper in to Little India, so I headed a few blocks North to check out the Little India Arcade.
There’s quite a few shops inside the arcade selling jewelry, but none quite did it for me. As I wandered around I noticed a shop absolutely filled to the brim with bangles.
A huge part of what makes me want to buy anything is the person in the shop, and for that reason plus the amazing jewelry selection, I highly recommend Amba Ji. The owner is genuine and incredibly nice. She helped me pick out and match bangles as well as provided lovely conversation.
I was only intending to buy my bangles here, but I suddenly spied a hidden jewelry set and knew that was the one for me.
Sari – Check. Jewelry – Check. Stomach medication – Check.
I think I’m ready for this Indian wedding!
I’m saving photos of me wearing it until I get all done up for the wedding. Can’t wait to wear it all!