NaMo to RaGa: Best dressed Indian politicians and tips to recreate their looks

18 May,2024 05:30 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Aakanksha Ahire

Indian politicians have constantly promoted Indian textiles by donning the rich handloom produced in the country, be it khadi or Banarasi silk. Fashion experts say that their iconic looks can be replicated by commoners with the help of these friendly tips

Out of the many politicians, some prominent figures stand out in their style as they beautifully weave together handloom and evolving fashion trends, all while keeping the essence of Indian attire intact. Photo Courtesy: PTI/ANI

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently spotted in a well-starched white kurta-pyjama with a bright saffron-coloured shawl looking radiant. This is not the first time he has created a buzz for his unique outfits. He is also not the first neta known for his style sense.

Indian politicians, since the time of independence, have looked elegant and stylish be it former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru famous for his Nehru jacket or Indian National Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi known for neatly pressed, stiff white and pearl sarees of different kinds.

What's more, our Indian politicians - men and women, have constantly promoted Indian textiles by donning the rich handloom produced in India. Be it khadi or Banarasi silk, the charm of all Indian textiles has been kept alive by these politicians to date.

Further, the choice of clothes and attire also comes from a sense of understanding of the masses and what is acceptable for them. While men have stuck to wearing kurtas and collared shirts, women have opted for sarees that make them look modest and exude the ‘Bhartiya nari' vibe.

To elevate the looks, accessories like bindis, sunglasses, short purses, Gandhi topi, tika, Kolhapuri chappals, shawls, etc have stood the test of time, thereby preserving the Indian culture.

Also Read: Why should netas have all the fun? Stylists share dressing tips for voting day

Out of the many politicians, some prominent figures stand out in their style as they beautifully weave together handloom and evolving fashion trends, all while keeping the essence of Indian attire intact. They include Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sushma Swaraj, Shashi Tharoor, Nirmala Sitharam, Eknath Shinde, Mahua Moitra, among others.

Now, with more and more actors venturing into politics, the fashion game in the Indian political landscape has grown even stronger.

As Mumbai approaches its voting day, ropes in two fashion designers holding immense love for Indian crafts â€" Archana Jaju and Shilpi Gupta, who reflect on some of the best-dressed politicians in India and also suggest fun ideas of recreating those looks to those willing to experiment with their style on D-day.

"Indian politicians create a fashion statement by bringing in new elements to the fashion industry," says Shilpi Gupta. Interestingly, Gupta tells, "Politicians, especially those in the spotlight, have fashion stylists like celebrities do. Styling becomes crucial as it impacts visual perception. The stylists curate a wardrobe that helps the politician project and maintain an image in front of the public. It is more common with young and new-age politicians who are more active on social media, where image and perception play a significant role in shaping thoughts and ideas."

Gupta opines that commoners too, can adopt styles of Indian netas on various occasions. "From formal business meetings, conferences, and presentations to cocktail parties, social gatherings, and dinners, these looks can be effortlessly worn. Outfits that include casual shirts, T-shirts, and kurtas are perfect for a casual outing, brunches, cafe hopping, movie nights, and travels, all of which exude laid-back and relaxed vibes. Lastly, sarees and kurta pyjamas paired with Nehru jackets can be recreated at weddings, cultural ceremonies, festivals, and religious events."

Also Read: Fashion pundits dole out styling tips to elevate your summer looks

Styling tips to recreate iconic looks of prominent Indian political leaders

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Shilpi Gupta: Achieve PM's signature look by opting for a tailored kurta pyjama in a solid colour palette designed in comfortable fabrics like linen and cotton. This outfit exudes sophisticated and elegant features.

Pair a sleek Nehru jacket for a contemporary look with well-fitted trousers or chinos. Experiment with different colours and textures to add visual depth to your outfit.

Channel the Prime Minister vibes in a high-collared jacket and buttoned-up suit designed in rich fabrics for a refined look. You can level it up with a crisp Modi jacket over a shirt and trousers or a traditional kurta pyjama for an effortless look. Try it out in neutral tones for timeless elegance.

Archana Jaju: Pair a brightly coloured kurta with a contrasting Modi jacket for public appearances. Opt for traditional juttis to complement the look. A traditional Indian brooch and an elegant wristwatch are perfect add-ons. This look can be styled for national celebrations.

2. Opposition leader and Member of Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi
Gupta: Elevate your everyday look by pairing a solid-coloured kurta with denim that oozes comfortable vibes. Emulate Rahul Gandhi's look in a casual shirt and linen trousers in summer hues and fabrics that keep you relaxed and at ease.

Opt for a monochrome bandh gala suit to channel classic charm and voguish vibes and make a statement at gatherings. You can pair a nice polo
T-shirt with linen pants for a rich and sophisticated outfit. This outfit of Rahul Gandhi's will help you exude timeless elegance and classic style.

3. Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Jaju: He is known for his iconic style of wearing the bandh gala jacket, Nehru cap, and a rose in the buttonhole. To recreate this look, choose a tailored bandh gala in classic colours like black or navy for formal events. Complement it with high-waisted trousers and polished Oxford shoes. Add a Nehru cap for cultural events or national holidays. A vintage watch and sophisticated eyewear will round off this dignified look perfectly.

Also Read: Embrace white in style: Fashion pundits dole out styling tips to elevate your summer looks

4. Former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi
Gupta: Opt for a cotton or silk saree and pair it with a high-neck blouse featuring heavy embroidery. This look oozes a majestic and regal tone. Experiment with a sleeveless blouse and pair it with a printed cotton saree for a comfortable summer look.

Try to play with different patterns and motifs and opt for unique draping techniques that will give you a different feel and create a visual impact.

You can never go wrong with a khadi saree paired with a contrasting blouse to create a unique and beautiful statement. Embrace Indira Gandhi's style by opting for a cotton saree with a plain border. Choose colours including white, cream, and beige for a neat look.

Jaju: Known to wear elegant cotton sarees, Indira Gandhi's look was elevated by her unique short natural hairstyle. To recreate this look, select a handwoven saree for both formal and casual gatherings. Keep jewellery minimal, focus on a large bindi, and opt for a neatly tied bun.
A statement watch and subtle earrings will enhance this classic look.

5. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi
Jaju: Sonia Gandhi always looked simple yet elegant wearing handloom sarees in dark colours with sophisticated blouses. To recreate her look, opt for a dark-toned chiffon saree paired with a lighter blouse. Choose minimalist jewellery to keep the focus on the elegance of the saree.

6. Women and Child Development Minister, Smriti Irani
Gupta: Channel Smriti Irani's look by wearing a printed blouse with a crisp plain saree design in breathable fabrics for a relaxed and comfortable look. Opt for a traditional silk saree featuring intricate designs and embroidery that makes you shine as a timeless beauty. You can also get your saree hemmed into a salwar suit as well, and make a unique statement.

A Banarasi saree adorned with zari oozes a beautiful and elegant look that makes heads turn.
Opt for unique blouse designs, including sleeve length and necklines, for a more playful and elegant look. This can break the monotony of the outfit that you are wearing.

7. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa
Gupta: To recreate her iconic look, you must opt for a classic Kanjeevaram silk saree with an intricate thick gold/silver zari border in jewel tones for a regal and elegant look. You can also choose to wear traditional South Indian attire in a bold colour palette and vibrant patterns for a majestic look.

A classic cotton or linen saree with a bright border will make you look refined and elegant. You can customise your silk sarees and get them designed into pant suits for a contemporary look.

Make a statement in a pattu saree with an elaborate design and pallu. This outfit will make you look extremely beautiful and luxurious.

8. Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Raghav Chadha
Gupta: Elevate your look by pairing a fine knit sweater over a collared shirt for a casual and comfortable look. This everyday look keeps you in style and makes a perfect fit for your wardrobe.
Channel the style of Raghav Chaddha by opting for a traditional kurta paired with an earthy-tone embroidered Nehru jacket. This versatile outfit makes you look charming and oozes ethnic vibes.

A perfect summer look can be achieved by pairing a casual, fitted button-down shirt with tailored pants. Opt for versatile colours and experiment with textures and patterns.

A well-tailored business suit can never fail to impress. Opt for a classic colour palette of charcoal grey, navy blue, and black, and finish it off with a crisp white shirt and silk tie or bow.

When opting to dress in these attires, always keep these general accessorising tips in mind:

1. When wearing a formal business suit, you must complete the look with cufflinks, polished leather shoes and belts, and a sleek watch.

2. A semi-formal or casual outfit can be paired up with loafers or sneakers, a chain, a pair of sunglasses, and a minimalist watch.

3. A traditional look can be elevated with mojaris or juttis, an embroidered shawl or stole, and a brooch for elegant flair.

4. Women can elevate their look by pairing their outfits with pearl or kundan accessories and a set of bangles. They can also choose chand baalis and jhumkas with stylish clutches and pairs of heels.

Also Read: Beat the heat in style: Your guide to summer fashion

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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 narendra modi rahul gandhi sonia gandhi indira gandhi smriti irani life and style Lifestyle news
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