New Delhi, April 5: With polling for the 16th Lok Sabha elections starting Monday, "patriotic fashion" will be flavour right till the results are announced May 16 after the nine-phase ballot.
Designers say your wardrobe should reinforce the political spirit. Thus, opt for salwar-kameezes with trendy cuts, crisp cotton saris, kurta-pajamas in new fashionable avatars and multi-coloured waistcoats.
Candidates are busy barnstorming to woo 814 million voters, out of whom a staggering 100 million are first-timers. Apart from the right agendas, the appearances of leaders will help to find a connect with youth.
Cotton is prescribed as must have.
Designer Mrinalini Gupta said that the cotton salwar-kameez accompanied by a dupatta will be a perfect choice for a hot summer afternoon.
"An interesting alternative to a salwar is the classic churidar, and the most classic thing would be the crisp sari reviving the Indira Gandhi's style," she added.
Go for subtle colours in cotton fabrics.
"As most of our great country has a very tropical hot climate, and elections need a tremendous amount of physical effort, natural fabrics are preferred, especially cotton. White, beige and ivory are colours to go for during elections," designer Debarun Mukherjee told IANS.
The changes in society and awareness among the public have led to politicians too undergoing makeovers - from fitness to their wardrobes they are also focussing on grooming aspects while chasing their dreams.
As a result, the once classic white kurta-pajama has evolved. From the lime green kurta-pajama sported by Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to the crisp whites worn by his young rival Rahul Gandhi, the outfit has come a long way.
It shows politicians are putting more thought to their appearances.
Taking a wider view, designer Shruti Sancheti said: "Short-length kurtas with slim fitted pants balance the traditional look with current fashion trends."
"Straight fitted longer kurtas with stylish pockets and shoulder buttons are a sure way to up your leadership quotient. Throw in a monotone waistcoat and a stole around the neck and you're set to wow everyone at the next get-together," she added.
Also, teaming cotton kurtas with the usual straight pants or pajamas could be boring. Therefore, one should try some traditional yet modern pants.
"Ranging from the humble cotton dhoti, to the more playful jodhpuris or the churidar now available in ready to wear versions, these bottoms certainly add an adventurous look to your attire. Complete the look with a fitted short or long kurta and Kolhapuris," said designer Urvashi Kaur.
"The stylish Nehru jacket is now seen not just at political gatherings, but has become a staple at the great Indian wedding! Paired with a crisp cotton shirt and jodhpurs, the Nehru jacket transforms the average Joe into a fashion icon," she added.
Trying different cuts and patterns to look different and interesting would be ideal.
"Men can play with collars and they can also have a little bit of design element on cuffs. Today's youth will connect with them more if they come out in more A-line shirts than just kurta and dhotis, especially the younger lot," designer Gautam Gupta told IANS.
"For women, they can surely play with blouses by wearing shirt blouses, which won't look odd and at the same time look chic in saris. They can go for screen and block printed saris instead of just traditional saris with borders," he added.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)