Do spend an hour or two with your beautician before the Diwali.
Believe me, a glowing complexion adds more sparkle to ones looks and Diwali than the most precious of jewels and clothes.
And that goes for feet as well. Feet, badly in need of a pedicure, look terrible through dainty, strappy footwear.
Dont wear clogs, platforms or bellies with your graceful saris, salwar suits and lehengas. Delicate and graceful looking open heels would suit traditional wear.
The former can go with a trouser suit or an Indo-western outfit.
It should be kept in mind that style and grace are the keywords in the choice of footwear.
Select jewellery that goes well with the outfit. While pearls go well with plain pastel silk, chiffon and georgette, gold would be a better choice for bright and darker shades of silk.
If wearing a heavy sari, gold or something in kundan work would do well, but keep the jewellery light. Diamonds go beautifully with satin, velvet, chiffon, georgette and crepe.
Dont wear a lot of jewellery when wearing a heavy outfit. Let the outfit shine through and support it with just one piece of jewellery.
Heavier sets in gold or pearls can be worn with plain length of silks depending upon the colour.
Traditional colours like maroon, mustard, green, yellow look good with gold ornaments, while paler contemporary shades go well with pearls.
Delicate diamond sets do wonder to a chiffon, georgette or velvet outfit.
Dont mix and match jewellery. If you must, be careful of how you do it. As long as one is wearing a necklace, one should have earrings to go with it. In the case of only earrings and bangles, one can match them with gold and other gold- based ornaments.
Dont carry bulky leather bags or purses to a Diwali party. In fact, leather is best kept out. Beautiful purses, beaded, embroidered or studded with Swarovskis, or simple velvet or satin purses in matching shades look perfect to brighten Diwali.
Clutch bags or bags with small clutch straps, or a long chain string for a strap are just right. Possibilities are simply immense. You can cover it all or go dare bare.
In todays age, both fashion and flexibility are possible.
The six-yard magic has survived all kinds of upheavals in the world of fashion, from minis to over sized T-shirt. Trends have come and gone but the sari has remained the same, with not even the self-proclaimed bad guys of fashion designing, daring to play with it.
Left with no choice, the axe always falls on the poor choli. It is cut, elongated, tightened, loosened and occasionally made to disappear.
Also there have been questions about what is behind it. Add to it a few other bizarre accessories, and the sari in the nineties remains the same but at the same time offers quite a few interesting possibilities.
The sari is being worn with everything from singlets to shirts. Bustier was quite a rage that has calmed down a bit now for very practical reasons. Very few Indian women have the required statistics to carry it off.
Draping the sari in the right way is most important and thanks to our diverse tradition there are a thousand ways in which you can do it.
You could wear your sari in the Gujarati way, if you want to be really bold, draping it like a sarong and teaming it with a tube top or singlet.
If wearing a heavy sari, pleat it in such a way so that it leaves a slur in the front to show off your shapely legs.
To be called a colourful person no longer means that someone doubts your character or that your lifestyle is under any kind of scrutiny or discussion.
It is a perfectly harmless and non-analytical statement that draws evidence from your physical appearance. After all, you cant expect people not to notice you when you hit the streets resembling a traffic signal.
Colours have captured everyones imagination. From blazing yellow and roaring red to baby pink and electric blue, the sheer range and variety boggles the mind.
And if you think that this sudden obsession with colours is restricted just to clothes, then you certainly need your eyes checked.
How else would you explain seeing a blue-haired beauty when you have gone for a harmless drink in the neighbourhood pub? You also see some flaunting green nail polish and bronze lipsticks.
People want to express themselves. This sudden fondness for all things colourful can be attributed to the fact that products are available in various hues.
Gone are the days when being formally dressed meant wearing a sedate suit or an elegant chiffon sari.
Now, for a night in town, the requisite garb is anything that is bold in colour and bolder the better it is considered to be.
Woman of the modern world does not stray away from the conventional nature of festival but at the same time her sense of style comes through subtly.
This woman is not the one to wear every piece of jewellery she and her mother- in- law possess. Some women wear everything but their kitchen sink. And most Indian women have a tough time understanding that less is more.
I feel if one has decided to wear a heavy Benarasi sari or a beautiful brocade one, wear it and enjoy it. There is no point in accessoring it with too much jewellery and ending up looking like a Christmas tree.
My ideal Diwali wear for the current season is a heavy crepe like 80gms georgette, which has a lovely fall and is light enough for the warm weather conditions and heavy enough to take surface work.
More specifically, may be an old pale peach moquash sari out of your own trousseau or collections teamed with a new brocade blouse and with a brocade batua and jewellery of old gold or kundan or jadau work.
And again, do not go overboard. To wear a sexy blouse is one thing and to wear a shocking one another. Of course you can bare and dare in the crazy youthful parties that precede the Diwali night, but that is again dictated by personal choice and comfort.
Elegant jewellery, not necessarily precious, if one is not part of the couples family, will do very well, while matching shoes and bags are important.
Following make-up and hair trends go a long way in reflecting how socially upbeat one is. The favourite colours for Diwali this year include red, chocolate, burgundy and rust.
My ideal Diwali outfit for men is a long, beautifully beaded velvet jacket sherwani with a pair of tight churi jeans and maybe a shaded shahtoosh shawl, loosely draped. The jacket could be floor length, slatted along the sides and full sleeved with French cuffs, in a lovely champagne colour with stunning beads, pearls and Swarovski set in geometric or floral patterns.
Shoes and bags should match in colour and fabric surface but plain and simple.
Minimal jewellery, maybe just one stunning piece, either a lovely bracelet or an exquisite ring would complement the outfit well.
Blow-dried straight hair studded with a diamond hairpin, make up with full lips and a diamond stud like bindi would complete the simple, chic and well-groomed picture that I recommend strongly.