Fashion. Dance. Expression.
Manisha Nair was once told that her fashion reflected her dance style. As a member of an esteemed contemporary Indian dance company, The Sa Dance Company, and as a fashion savant, no bigger a compliment could have been made to the founder of the fashion blog, @ifstyledanced.
When Manisha is not dancing, working in FinTech, or experimenting with new looks, a running joke is that she is most likely at a wedding. On average, she has been part of 4-8 weddings over the past ten years — sometimes attending up to 19!
For anyone, finding ways to make your wardrobe last through weddings where you’re likely going to see some of the same guests is difficult. But with all her experience as a bridesmaid and wedding attendee, Manisha has found innovative ways to re-wear pieces and create new looks.
IndianBoulevard caught up with Manisha to talk about how to avoid repeating outfits when you are part of repeat guest lists and how to be the perfect bridesmaid.
1. What is your wedding style mantra?
I love experimenting with new fashion trends and pieces that change up a classic silhouette. This gives me the ability to highlight how each piece is unique while also being able to reincorporate them in fresh ways each time I wear them. For example, a black blouse can be matched with a number of skirts, worn with or without dupattas, layered with jewelry, etc.
2. How is the bridesmaid dress decided? Does the bride decide or the bridesmaid?
It really depends on the person. The easiest situations have been where the bridesmaids all wear the same thing as designated by the bride. However, in some cases, it’s difficult to choose a cut that is flattering on everyone (unless it’s a sari). I think as weddings have evolved, brides are becoming more open to variations of the bridesmaid’s outfit as long as they’re stylistically similar and within the given palette. The variations would be based on the bride’s vision for their bridesmaids as they may designate certain colors from the palette for each girl, or the bridesmaid would be allowed select their cut of the blouse while the sari or skirt is all the same, etc. Ultimately, the bride will always have the final say, and you just have to make it work.
3. What has been your most memorable moment as a bridesmaid?
I’ve been so fortunate to have been included in so many different types of weddings that it’s really difficult just to pick one. Weirdly, the most memorable ones are the ones where you are trying to hide some sort of drama from the bride and groom, but you do what you need to do and ensure that everyone has a great time no matter what.
4. What makes the perfect bridesmaid outfit?
A smile! It’s so simple, but the reality is that whatever you end up wearing is meant to bring together the aesthetic of the wedding and not because of what looks good on you. So even if what you’re asked to wear is not you, make sure you’re OK with your make-up and just smile through it. After all, you are really there to support the happy couple.
5. What does a bridesmaid’s checklist typically look like? ( planning bachelorette, picking the bride’s outfit, etc.)
The typical checklist includes – 1) at least one bachelorette, 2) at least one bridal shower, 3) making sure all bridesmaids have their outfits and that they’ve been tailored appropriately, and 4) ensuring that hair and makeup has been accounted for based on whatever the bride has requested (timing of this is key because it always takes longer than you think). In most cases, individual bridesmaids will be designated to confirm that each of these tasks is complete, including individual requests for dances, speeches, other performances, etc.
Regardless of what you’re asked to do, your main job as a bridesmaid is to be there for the bride and provide the support that she needs. Remember that whatever you’re doing is for her big weekend, and the best you can do is to provide her with positive strength.
6. What is the best and most difficult part of being a bridesmaid?
Making sure you keep a level head. Planning a wedding can be very stressful for people, and it is very easy to lose your temper and patience with the bride or others involved. It’s important to remember that this is just a phase and when it’s all done, life will return to normal. You are a bridesmaid for a reason. At a surface level, it could be that you have known the bride since childhood or that you’ve gotten extremely close to her over a short period, but regardless, you were chosen because she trusts you and wants you there.
Manisha wears a custom-made IndiaBoulevard pink saree as a bridesmaid.
If you wish to know more about Manisha, follow her on her style account Ifstyledanced