What to Wear to a Bollywood Party

Color and bling are key in a Bollywood costume.

Photo: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Just the name "Bollywood" brings on visions of hot dancing, bared midriffs and tons of sparkle. So when the invite says "Bollywood party," be prepared to break out your most over-the-top Indian attire and slip on some serious dancing shoes. You don’t need to travel halfway around the world to get outfitted, since most everything you need to create a Bollywood costume is probably already in your closet at home. The real key to a successful Bollywood party outfit is accessorizing whatever you’ve got with bling, bling and more bling.

Clothes

Watch any Bollywood movie and you'll notice the leading lady is probably rocking a brightly colored, sexy sari. If you want to go all-out Bollywood style, you can splurge on a tailor-made sari from a local Indian specialty shop. But don't fret if a sari is out of your budget. Modern Bollywood stars often opt for clothes that aren't so specialized. A short dress adorned with colorful scarves or an Indian-style, midriff-baring top paired with a wrap-around skirt work the Bollywood look, too. Plus, they give you the freedom to move around, so you’re ready to dance when the party breaks into a spontaneous musical number.

Shoes

Hit the dance floor with shoes that look great and hold up to a night of heavy dancing. Think chunky heels or ballerina flats instead of stilettos and you've got the right idea. Even better, channel your inner Mumbai princess with shoes that are fun, funky and colorful. Now's the time to whip out that sparkly pair with hand-painted polka dots that you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

Accessories

OK, girls, now's the time to really pay attention because the right accessories can make or break your Bollywood garb. Your biggest risk isn't wearing enough, so open up your jewelry box and get ready to pile it on. For earrings, think big and bold with lots of dangling, sparkly bits. Adorn your arms with a bevy of bangles made of everything from carved wood to gem-encrusted metal. You’ll need something around your neck, too, so layer on a few gold chains or a chunky strand of beads. Last, but not least, slip on an ankle bracelet and clip a rhinestone butterfly clip into your hair. If you think you've overdone it just a bit, you've probably got it just right.

Makeup

Now you've got your Bollywood style spot on, but your outfit won’t be complete until your makeup matches the look of a Desi celebrity. The focus in Bollywood is on the eyes, so go for a dramatic effect that defines your eyelid crease and drapes your lids in vibrant metallic color. You'll want to rim your entire eye with a dramatic dark eyeliner and use a lengthening mascara to further emphasize your gorgeous peepers. Ditch the heavy makeup elsewhere on the face and instead use a light touch for your cheeks and lips. Once you're primped and polished, finish off your look with a red dot or jeweled bindi in the center of your forehead.

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