Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Two ways to wear a short kameez - outfit recycling

A few months ago, with wedding season in the near-distant future, I was looking through my wardrobe at some of my outfits from years ago, my churidar and shalwar suits with a short kameez. Some of these tops were the perfect fit, and I still loved the embroidery and the memories I had of when I had worn them. Rather than putting them back in the wardrobe for another day, I decided to find a way to re-wear them!

In search of some inspiration, I came across these lehngas by Atsu at Pernia Pop Up Shop:

After seeing these, I made up my mind to have lehngas made to match two of my short kameezes, and after talking through the idea with my sister, she decided to have one made for one of her outfits. I'll be blogging about how my outfits turned out after I've worn them, but in the meantime, here's my sister first wearing her outfit in 2008:

So, the next question was where to turn to have a lehnga made? I don't have relatives that regularly travel to Pakistan/India who I'd trust to buy outfits for me, so we ended up going to Vaneeza's Boutique as they were local to us, seemed to be reasonably priced and in the past we had a good rapport with them (I bought a jumpsuit from them last year which I wore to the Asian Media Awards check it out here)

We took along our outfits and showed them the Atsu lehngas as inspiration. The embroidery on my sister's top was in gold with two shades of blue. We decided to focus on the turquoise shade of blue as the key colour the new lehnga.

Here's a close up of the embroidery:

On the advice from the Vaneeza's team, we decided on chiffon as the fabric and to have a new dupatta made in the same shade as the lehnga. In order to match the colours exactly, we trusted them to keep hold of our kameezes. We paid a 50% deposit and a few weeks later, when our re-invented outfits were ready, we paid the remainder. I think in total each new lehenga + dupatta came to around £75.

Here's how my sister's outfit looked when trying it on:

The lehenga is lined and has a tiny border in a slightly darker shade. In terms of looks, we were really pleased with the colour match and the fit...however when it came to wearing this to an event, we started to regret the choice to have it made from chiffon - after just one wear, there were quite a few pulls in the fabric!

Here's how it looked when my sister wore it to a wedding. I think she looked amazing, I couldn't take my eyes off her all evening!

Here's the "before" and "after" for you again - two ways to wear a short kameez! For anyone interested, on both of these occassions she had her make-up done by Huda Ahmed.

What do you think? Could we have found a better way to reinvent this outfit on a budget of £70? Let me know what you think below or tweet me @nazma_afb, and don't forget to look out for my upcoming blog posts on how my reinvented short kameez outfits turned out!


  1. This is such a cool idea! Thumbs up for the innovation! ;)

  2. Your sister looks lovely, I really like the shade of blue she picked! I've done this with a few of my short kameezes now, where I couldn't get a lengha skirt made, I've bought plain maxi skirts from English shops (which are cheaper!) and worn those instead. I haven't had much opportunity to wear them lately, but will defo be recyling my shorter kameezes for upcoming dholki and mehndi events!


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