There are no hard and fast rules as to what an ideal trousseau should consist of. If you don’t want to go overboard and end up with items that you never use, read on…
Along with most South Asian brides, you probably have a long list of outfits you need to buy for the wedding. It will include pre and post wedding functions, as well as outfits for the first year of marriage. It is customary for a new bride to be seen in all her finery almost throughout the first twelve months after marriage. Of course, this means having to balance your trousseau budget and finding out what is most important to you. Whenever you feel things are getting on top of you, make use of this handy guide to wedding trousseau shopping. It’s full of great tips and options that will help you keep things in perspective.
What do you need?
Typically a trousseau consists of a selection of outfits, jewellery, accessories, make‐up and some household items such as bed sheets and linen. These pieces may be bought or inherited, but remember they aren’t meant to simply grace a wardrobe. Don’t buy something just because convention dictates that you should, as in all probability you will never use it.
Trendy or traditional?
An ideal trousseau will have a judicious mix of tradition and trend. Keeping in mind that each piece is an investment, in both financial and sentimental terms, most of the outfits should stand the test of time, possibly to be handed down in the future to a daughter or daughter‐in‐law. However, do make sure you have some modern pieces, with perhaps a stamp of your individual style.
Traditionally an odd number is auspicious. For instance, some brides take 11 saris, 11 salwar kameez, 9 trendy outfits, like short kurta with patiala salwar, to make a total of 31. Choose colours that suit you rather than going for every colour in the spectrum. Generally, white and black colours are excluded from trousseaux.
All that glitters
Gold is no longer considered a must for bride’s jewellery. Most brides opt for a heavy costume set to match their wedding dress and buy a few real pieces, which could be used with western outfits as well as traditional ones. Contemporary designs in platinum set with diamonds are popular. Antique jewellery has also had a fashion revival, with old kundan pieces at the top of a bride’s wish‐list. For other outfits in your trousseau, you could find trendy costume accessories that are just right.
Things big and small
It is quite easy to get carried away when it comes to accessories. You don’t need to have shoes in every single colour. Generally, around 6 pairs, including one each silver and gold, will see you through most occasions. Two evening handbags and one smart bag for daily wear will be sufficient. When it comes to make‐up don’t buy too much as you won’t be able to use it all and will need to replace it for hygiene and trend factors. This is an opportunity for you to buy good quality in your favourite shades and plan just for the next 6 months, since styles soon go out of fashion.
A good trousseau need not break the bank if it is well planned. Fix a budget that works for you and then take into account your credit balance and your expenses. Don’t buy anything at the first instance, but take notes and look out for similar items at cheaper prices. Time, research and a bit of imagination can take you a long way towards staying within your budget.
Listen to your heart
While you should listen to advice from your relatives and friends, ultimately you must decide what is right for you. A lot of items from your trousseau will be with you for a major part of your life, so make sure you get what you have always desired. This is probably the biggest shopping spree of your life, so remember to enjoy every minute of it!