The young, modern woman of today has the best of both worlds – a strong core of tradition and a contemporary influence, which helps her create a rich personal style of her own. This reflects in her life, her persona and most of all, her fashion. Traditional jewellery in India was worn not only because it looks beautiful, but also because of its various cultural and scientific significance. Today’s woman loves her traditional jewellery and styles it with panache in her own modern way.
Jhumkis and Chaand baalis
Jhumkis are an eternal favourite with Indian women from the North to the South. Jhumkis traditionally have nature inspired motifs like a lotus, intricate leaves, peacocks, or use a representation of some divine form. They can easily be styled with a solid top and a long, printed skirt. Throw a scarf around your neck and you have a bohemian gypsy look!
Chaand baalis, on the other hand, are more delicate with glass or pearl drops. So if you prefer a dainty avatar, chaand baalis are your go-to earrings. They go well even with a top and jeans, immediately dressing up your outfit from day to night.
One of the most important ornaments in a South Indian bride’s trousseau, the vaddanam or Oddyanam has a lot of contemporary uses too. Since it highlights the slender waist of a woman, what better way than to pair it with jeans? If you are stepping out for a party, simply put on a vaddanam in place of your usual belt and transform your look. On the other hand, a vaddanam can go really well with a classic flowing dress. Swish around in a pretty skirt with a vaddanam to cinch the waist, and bask in the compliments you receive.
The North Indian maatha patti takes a bohemian form in its contemporary avatar. It’s perfect for a girl’s night out or a beach vacation. You don’t even need to own a maatha patti; you can simply take a long chain with a pendant, twist it and pin it up as a funky hair accessory!
Kundan chokers and gold necklaces are all representative of the rich Indian jewellery culture, but they don’t have to sit at the back of your wardrobe, waiting for a family wedding to arrive. A choker pairs extremely well with a solid coloured dresses, while heavier gold chains go with a classic white shirt and jeans. These neckpieces can be worn at day or night, depending on how dressy you would like to be.
Anklets are a trend that has caught up in the west, with a lot of women wearing just one anklet with summery skirts and dresses. In fact, an anklet can go with just about any piece of clothing, just keep it simple and minimal. Avoid anklets with bells for western wear, although an anklet with charms around it can look very appealing on the delicate ankles of a woman.
With an array of traditional jewellery and styles available today, you can really transform your heirloom jewellery into a new fashion statement that suits your sense of style and persona.