TV Segment: Gala Dressing With Traditional Indian Clothing

This story airs on Great Day Houston on September 1, 2015. When it airs, I’ll post a link and video clip below. Thank you to Roop Sari Palace for providing the clothing, accessories and location for the shoot!

Fall is Gala Season! This is the time of year for professional and society fundraiser Galas. Many of these events are  formal and dressing for these events can get monotonous and pricey. Deborah found a great source for black tie dresses and today we’re here to explore…Roop Sari palace.

This isn’t the first place you’d think about for Gala dressing…or maybe think about EVER. Traditional Indian, Pakastani and Persian attire translates really well to these formal events….and they can be significantly less expensive.

Screenshot_2015-08-31-11-49-45-1Here are some things to know about shopping here.

  • South Asians and Middle Easterners come in many shades, from the lightest of lights to the darkest of darks. No matter what your skin tone is, you’ll find clothing in colors and shades that flatter you. Yes, there are lots of brightly colored clothes and there are other colors too.
  • Clothing comes in sets. All the pieces are sold together, but that does’t mean you have to wear them together. The price marked is for all the clothes in the set.
  • Every outfit is one-of-a-kind. You will never walk into a room and see someone else wearing the exact same thing. If you like it, buy it because there isn’t another one.
  • Every outfit has lots of room for altering. Each garment has 2-8″ of extra material in the seams, so if it does’t fit “off-the-rack,” it can be easily taken in or let out. There is an onsite tailor for alterations.
  • If you don’t see exactly what you want or your size isn’t available, you can custom order just about anything. Custom orders take 45 – 60 days.
  • The sizing can be hard to figure out. Ask the staff for help finding styles you like and sizes that fit you.
  • Explore. Many of these outfits don’t look good on a hangar. Try on a bunch of different styles and colors to see what you like and what flatters your figure.
  • Speak your mind or bring a friend. The staff is used to dressing people in a traditional way, so they will have opinions about how a garment should be worn and accessorized. It’s very useful to let them show you these traditional ways, because you might like some of them. It’s also important to wear these outfits the way you want to and accessorize them according to your taste.
  • There’s room in the price to bargain. Bargaining is normal in South Asian cultures. If you aren’t comfortable, then ask “what is your final price?.” Chances are, the price will come down 10-20%.

And now for the models! Here is what they are wearing…

Screenshot_2015-08-31-11-13-40-1Model 1: Jackie

The first look is very traditional. Jackie is wearing a traditional ornate silk sari with gold and crystals on the boarders and body of the sari.

  • A sari is graceful, feminine, modest and sexy.
  • For a more body-consious look, opt for a shorter under blouse (choli) and chiffon sari. Chiffon is sheerer and drapes closer to the body, for a sexier look.
  • You often see saris in bright colors, but they come in all colors. There are plenty of shades that look good on every skintone.
  • Three options for wrapping a sari
    • If you want to wrap your own sari, the staff here are very helpful and will teach you to wrap it for yourself.
    • If you don’t want to learn, you can bring your sari to the store a couple hours before your event and they will wrap you up.
    • You can also buy pre-wrapped saris that are already stitched in place so all you need to do is snap it together.
  • Sari sets range start at $20 and go up into the hundreds and even thousands.

What Jackie is wearing

  • Sari set with under blouse (choli), under skirt () and sari – $299
  • Jackie accessorized with her own earrings and bronze pumps.

Screenshot_2015-08-31-11-20-17-1Model 2: Shana

Shana is also wearing a traditional outfit called a Shalwar Kameez.

  • It’s a tunic top (Kameez) with skinny pantaloon pants (Shalwar) and a scaft (Dupata).
  • The tunics can be different shapes and lengths. They can also come with short or long sleeves.
  • This Kameez is shaped very much like a sleeveless dress.
  • The Kameez can be worn as a dress without the pants and scarf.
  • You don’t need many accessories when the outfit has so much embellishment

What Shana is wearing:

  • Magenta Shalwar Kameez set with dress, skinny pajama pants and scarf $279
  • She’s wearing the scarf as a headband
  • She’s wearing her own shoes and earrings.


Screenshot_2015-08-31-11-33-45-1Model 3: Cookie

The Cookie is wearing another traditional outfit called a Lehenga Choli.

  • It’s a top (Choli) and skirt (Lehenga).
  • These come in lots of different colors and styles.
  • Wear it with the scarf (Dupata) for a more traditional look or without the scarf for a more western look
  • These pieces can all be used separately
    • Scarf as a wrap
    • Top with jeans and blazer or dressed up with cigarette pants
    • Skirt with a silk shell or sweater

What Cookie is wearing

  • Lehenga Choli set $199
  • Traditional ornament set – headpiece and choker $109 (with earrings)


Screenshot_2015-08-31-11-39-34-1Model 4: Stella

StelIa is wearing another Lehenha Choli, with a crop top.

  • Here is another version of the Lehenga Choli. These come in lots of different colors and styles.
  • You hardly need any jewelry with such an ornate outfit
  • Here, she’s wearing traditional earrings, but you could easily substitute simple gold hoops or even stud earrings for a more western look.

What Stella is wearing

  • Lehenha Choli set $199
  • Traditional earrings


Screenshot_2015-08-31-11-45-29-1Model 5: Sandhya

Sandhya is wearing a gown.

  • You can even find lots of western-style gowns here.
  • The gowns come in lots of colors and styles with light or heavy beading, embroidery or embellishments.

What Sandhya is wearing:

  • Black tulle gown with gold embroidery, $179
  • Chandalier earrings $49
  • Her own shoes

What Sarah is wearing

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