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        Volume 7 | Issue 01| January 06, 2013 |


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A knee length sweater with your saree will help you pull off a sophisticated look.

Beautiful Collision: A Mix of Western and Eastern for winter

Naziba Basher
Photos: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

The New Year has kicked off with more weddings than any other celebration. In Bangladesh, winter is known to come with piles of wedding cards stacked on your desk while you have to stare at clashing dates, giving priority to one wedding over the other and, most of all, what you are going to wear to each of those weddings. Yes, January is the time when you raid your wardrobe for all the best looking sarees, panjabis and suits you own and put them to good use!

With all that outfit planning, thinking about matching shoes, bags and jewellery, also need to be done so that you have the perfect ensemble for every wedding that you attend. With the chilly winter breeze, you cannot possibly think a saree draped over you will do more good than bad. Winter, at this time of the year, seems to be getting harder to handle, and a shawl can't possibly be enough to keep you warm. Luckily for boys, it is easier to keep their temperatures under control considering that panjabis and suits are more covered compared to sarees.

It’s easier for boys to wear shawls with traditional clothing compared to girls.

Most people consider sweaters to be 'tacky' when worn with sarees for the clash of western and eastern in an outfit. While that may be true in some cases, you have to know the right colours and the right kind of sweaters to put on to pull off a look combining the two garments. The newly famed knee or thigh length sweaters have become very popular around Dhaka city amongst youngsters who love wearing sarees from time to time. These sweaters are just about perfect to help you pull off a very sophisticated look while still keeping true to your traditional side. These are available in various colours in stores like Doja Market (Badruddoja Market, opposite to Dhaka College) and Banga Bazaar. The colours, of course, play a vital role in your get-up. When combining with a saree, which already has to be gorgeous enough for a wedding, you would not want to wear a sweater of a loud colour. It will overshadow the beauty of your saree and you will be remembered as a fashion disaster amongst your friends and foes. To keep that from happening, you have to stick to dull and dark colours- black, grey, brown, beige, khaki, white and the like. There are different materials that will also provide different thickness to the apparel. Make sure you know which sweater you wear at which wedding depending on the venue. If it is outdoors, than a thick, woollen sweater will be just what you need. Indoors, a thinner one would be helpful. Apart from these sweaters, even overcoats or trench coats can be worn with sarees to serve the same purpose. They not only look classy but also add a very 'retro' feel to your outfit.

Boys, who usually opt to wear panjabis during holuds and such occasions, can choose sweater vests or even cardigans. Although, since panjabis are usually the more covered sort of outfits, a simple shawl can do the trick for you. With suits, on the other hand, most people choose to not wear anything extra because of the suit or blazer itself. But it is always helpful to wear a sweater vest or cardigan on the inside to beat the chills. Both sweater vests and cardigans can be found in the above mentioned stores at a reasonable price for student shoppers.

Even for boys, colours play a big part in an ensemble. So, once again, make sure your sweater is not more extravagant than your outfit itself and make sure the colours are contrasting. That way, you can be sure to catch more attention than you had expected (the positive kind, of course).

Throwing in a muffler in your get-up is not a bad idea, for both girls and boys. It all always depends on how you wear it and how confident you are with your look to be able to pull it off. Don't just let it hang around the back of your neck. Put it to use and do it in style. Drape it around with two ends hanging from the front or try different methods for it to go with your look and the rest of your outfit.

Obviously, pairing up western winter clothes with very traditional eastern outfits is a risky venture to take on. But the trick to pulling off any such fusion is making sure you walk with poise and boldness so that people can understand, just from your body language, that what you are wearing is the right thing to wear. With all the warm clothes thrown on you, make sure there's some confidence in there too!

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