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Trousseau Time

If you are still staring at the limitless options available in the market and trying to determine what and how much to purchase for your trousseau, this column should help you clear your thoughts and put you on the exact track!

By: Pernia Qureshi, Fashion Stylist

It’s wedding season yet again, and I am sure that scores of to-be-brides are struggling with their trousseau shopping. Due to confusion and lack of proper planning, many brides, including myself, make the mistake of buying everything in sight for their trousseau and ending up with a whole lot of things they only half-like. Looking back a few a months ago, before my wedding, I realize I should have done my trousseau shopping a little differently and more carefully.

Building a trousseau is much like building a whole new wardrobe for a new beginning. It must be special, and more importantly, durable. Start by making a list. It is important so that, while shopping, one has a defined direction, instead of running around like a headless chicken. Make a list of ten things that are essential, so that there is a limit, and you only buy what you really need.

It is more important to consider, and reconsider, what you are buying and only purchase what you will really love. If I could do it all over again, my list of top ten items would first include some timeless luggage from brands that I love like Louis Vuitton (the quintessential global favourite of course), Bottega Veneta and Globe-Trotter. Globe-Trotter, especially, gives an old-world feel. Their designs are quite staple and usual, but it’s that nostalgic feel which makes you reach your hand out for it.

Next comes a good skincare range from the likes of Clarins, La Prairie and Elizabeth Arden. Considering the stress one goes through the whole wedding festivities, your skincare regime becomes even more vital! These brands also include some fantastic fragrances you could choose from. Elizabeth Arden’s fabulous, and much famous, Eight Hour Cream, should be a permanent fixture in your beauty case.

New, fancy and practical lingerie is a must and a new bride must have a great lingerie collection. My favourites include La Perla, Eres and Wolford. But of course, being such an intimate garment, make your own experiments and choices when it comes to lingerie.

Two day and four evening bags in black, beige, silver and gold – these will come in handy for all the socializing you are going to do, especially right after your wedding! For evening bags, nothing beats the glitzy, glamourous bags and clutches from Giorgio Armani. Day handbags should be chosen from Bottega Veneta and Hermes – not only for their fabulous design, but also because of their immense functionality. Their large size with specially created nooks and corners ensure you can carry anything and everything you would need on a day out!

When it comes to honeymoon wear, look at a range of bathing suits, sun dresses and sandals. Get a fun mix that is just meant for your honeymoon – obviously depending on the destination as well. The multi-brand store Kitsch, housing brands like DVF, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Catherine Malandrino should be able to give you a variety of choices.

To get a decent start, two sets of flats and two sets of heels are enough. Have a mix of different shoe styles and colours so that you have something for all kinds of outfits. Get some comfortable and soft flats from Tod’s. Heels can be chosen from Yves-Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin (the red-soled high heel specialist). Both these brands will give you enough variety to help you pair them with Indian wear as well.

Don’t forget to put include comfortable day and evening outfits like jeans, blouses and dresses. The key is to buy a few pieces that are either basics or to die for. My suggestions are Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, Anamika Khanna and Atsu. These should help you relax and give some time out from heavy Indian wear. Atsu’s young, hip designs should give you that much needed relief from the blinding bling that you sometimes have to sport initially!

Having said that, a few pieces of Indian wear are certainly essential to include in your trousseau. Keep in mind to buy what you will actually wear, so limit the extremely heavy outfits. Options are limitless, but I particularly favour Abu Jaani and Sandeep Khosla, Sabyasachi, JJ Valaya, Suneet Verma and Tarun Tahiliani. With some gorgeous embroidery encased in rich fabrics and colours, you can’t go wrong with these designers. Abu-Sandeep and Sabyasachi designs have a uniqueness which should make you stand out in the crowd.

A jewellery case is, of course, required to keep all your glittering lovelies gleaming and safe forever. They also come in handy while travelling. You could make a choice between Louis Vuitton and Smythson jewelry cases. From single tray and three-tiered jewellery boxes to cabinets and briefcases, Smythson has a lot of long-lasting and robust choices – some of them in bright pink as well!

Lastly, make some space for a cookbook in your trousseau. Try out some new recipes – after you have finally settled down – and have fun. Test them out on your hubby! Or even better, test them out with your hubby as you both spend some constructive time together in the kitchen! I love the Magnolia pastry cookbook. Any book by Nigella Lawson should be sufficient as well.

The key is not to over buy and have too many things that just end up getting stored. Buy what you love and what you will enjoy. Trousseau shopping is not going to be your last shopping trip. It is better to add pieces to one’s wardrobe every season and build a practical, beautiful wardrobe over the years.

Have a beautiful married life ahead and be gorgeous always!

A fashion stylist and costume designer, Pernia Qureshi worked with Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Conde Nast and Catherine Malandrino in New York before moving to India in 2008. She has worked as a stylist for Indian fashion designers, such as JJ Valaya and Tarun Tahiliani, on their campaigns, look books and fashion shows; explored styling in Bollywood films, freelanced for media; and catered personal clients as well.