Quintessential Bengali Cool…

I have been thinking a lot lately of a quintessential Bengali woman’s wardrobe. What are the must have items one need to look the perfect Bengali goddess? I came up with few essential items and think these items should exist in our wardrobes. Well, there is nothing called must, but I think, to uphold the tradition, one needs to have certain amount of Bengali cool.

Among the quintessential Bengali woman’s well kept treasures, the first is her signature style. It may be the bindi (tip) on her forehead or dark long wavy locks, whatever her statement may be she needs to master one.

No woman is born with a style, it comes naturally from her mother or the family she grows into. The skill is a form of an art. The deep dark kajal on her long eye lids or a perfectly draped saree, but a style to identify you, is essential. Once you know what suits you the most the rest just falls into its shape. I believe the style should be simple, empowering and sexy. Find out your best feature. Make your best feature the centre of your style mantra.

However there are few items, that will lead you to find your own look, with the help of the traditional must haves.

Wrap yourself in the 12 yard prettiness:

First is the saree. I know and admit that salwar kameez is lot comfortable and easy to wear but nothing beats a saree. It can be ever beautiful, envious Jamdani or simple zari paar tangail taat. Find what you are comfortable wearing and collect along that line.

IMG_0144Darky locks:

Take care of your locks. You can have short bob cut or long lovely locks but a good hair day can never go wrong. The haat khopa, long braid or just keep it open, whatever you choose to do you need to have glossy shiny healthy hair. And of course some beli to go with it. A Bengali woman is half without the beli.

Ring a toe:

Yes, people do notice your toe rings or anklet. A silver anklet and small petite toe rings can distinguish you among a thousand.

Silver anklet
Silver anklet

Glow and glitter:

Own a good piece of jewelry. It can be silver, gold, beads or imitation but a good ornament and knowing how to carry it will assist you in getting the perfect Bengali look.

For the love of tradition:

I love how Bengali Hindu women wear their shakha pola or shidur (vermillion) to make her style statement. In modern days many have ditched the traditional accessories but on important occasions these items can actually give depth to your makeup. And I think such lovely style can be adopted by anyone. It is not essential to keep it sacred for any specific race.

Deep eye magic:

Keep it simple, a little kajol, light lipstick can add more to your look than you can ever think of. By birth we Bengali women have long black deep eyes. Therefore a little touch up is all you need.

The nose pin:

Every Bengali married woman wears a nose pin or nose ring. This is a very important style statement of a Bengali goddess and I think this tradition must live long.


I am no style guru, but I grew up in a fashion forward family and acquired these knowledge from what I saw, read and felt. Style is for you only. Never dress up to impress others, and then you will end up following others. Personal style gives you empowerment and confidence. Style helps you to stick out and take life head on. If you think you still don’t have a style of your own you may consider the following tips to help you get started.

  • Your personal style is like your face, unique. It should make you feel beautiful and add confidence to your personality. Therefore always be true to your style and own up to it. Being true to your style doesn’t mean you won’t do adventures. Be bold and adventurous. Don’t be a monotonous dull chic.
  • Overhaul your closet. Never wear something ill fitting, shabby or faded items. Keep your closet thin. A huge closet makes you confused. Know what suits you best and build the closet along that line. You will have enough space to include new things and get rid of the old ones. However, few sarees are always there to stay. So taking good care of those treasures are also needed.
  • I always feel it is better to have few quality items than an empire of cheap materials that doesn’t help you to stand out. I know you must be thinking, quality doesn’t come cheap. Well, it doesn’t but it also doesn’t cost you a fortune. Rather than buying from designer stores buy from local markets or producers. Learn to resist buying filthy expensive clothes that you will not wear more than once in your life, and also resist buying short cut disposable items.
  • Trends come and go but personal style is here to stay. So you also need to learn to say no to every trend. Also know your colours well. Following trends often makes you invest in styles that doesn’t stay for long. In this way you tend to spend more. Pull the grip stick to your style.
  • The kajol, the beli, the bindi or the toe ring, always add that extra touch to your daily fashion. A little effort goes a long way. While choosing your accessories, you should remember, it has to be stylish and at the same time comfortable. Nothing should you wear that holds you back and don’t let you work comfortably. And if you don’t have anything good to wear, wear your best smile. That will do a lot of work for you.
  • Last, live for yourself. Be outgoing, independent and empowered. Nothing suits you better than these three attributes.
Shakha, shidur and kajoldani
Shakha, shidur and kajoldani