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Gaurav Raina of Midival Punditz in a Rajesh Pratap  ensemble with a stole.
Gaurav Raina of Midival Punditz in a Rajesh Pratap ensemble with a stole.

Wear that stole with style

Designers tell you how to pair the versatile piece of cloth with flair

From lightweight textile to heavy drapes, digital prints to plain pastels, those shaped like neckties or tasselled necklaces, stoles and wraps have left many other fashion pieces behind. One of the most popular and high-selling fashion separates, stoles are part of unisex clothing and on top of a stylist’s list.

Many Indian designers send out stoles and scarves on the ramp—in comparison, the dupatta’s popularity has dipped. Stoles are versatile and can be paired with a variety of garments. Since they are available in cotton, chiffon, georgette, mul, pashmina and numerous coarse and soft silks, they can help create an entire look. Here are some expert tips on styling.

Nida Mahmood, designer

A scarf or a stole helps add a whole new dimension to an ensemble. To style a dress, a scarf can be thrown around the neck or pinned and worn on just one side. One can tie a stole around the head in the French way. Print on print is big this season. Also try checks with checks or a mix of checks with floral. Throw on a floral scarf (with a chequered outfit) or the other way round. Stoles are magical with a pantsuit. Experiment with prints. For formal or evening outfits, light-weight silks work best.

Rina Singh, designer, Eka Clothing

A stole is a perfect stand-alone piece for both men and women. Wear a linen jacket with a floral stole for an androgynous look. For a monotone effect, try a pair of pants with a white shirt and white linen stole or a khaki dress with a floral pastel stole. A khaki tunic with a linen stole minus the trousers will tune it to summer but if you team loose pyjamas with a linen tunic and the stole as an accessory, you can make it work for autumn. Also use a stole with a loose khaki dress with thin straps or wear it as a colour accent over a mundane outfit such as a white denim shirt.

Anupamaa Dayal, designer

A stole is a trusted, multi-purpose accessory; it’s also the only way to wear a textile in its original form. Use it as a halter-top with trousers, denims, skirts, shorts, even bikini wear. Wear the light fabric ones such as cholis with a sari or lehnga during summer. In winter drape the pashmina stole to stay warm. Mix up the look by using it as a sarong or tying it over a skirt. Indian bodies are perfect for drapes, so have fun with it. Go for the dramatic bandana, a turban to hold your hair or just cover your head. You could even use a stole as a headband.

Ujjawal Dubey, designer

Stoles add an edge to any garment. Worn the right way, they can make what you are wearing look either mellow or over the top, so choose well. Simple kurtas can be “jazzed up" with a stole for a wedding. A boring trouser and shirt can be made interesting by adding a stole. It is also a great way to add colour or a bold element to a dull ensemble. My new collection features simple kurtas with bold striped stoles that instantly add an edge.

Nikhil Mansata, fashion stylist

Wear a soft pashmina around your neck over a casual T-shirt and jeans and an oversized cardigan for great travel style. You can add a patterned (skinny) silk scarf under a tuxedo jacket for a sexy peekaboo effect on a night out. Try draping a tasselled or fringed scarf over a folksy maxi dress to create the effect of a necklace.

Gaurav Jagtiani, designer

Stoles are the best way to fall in love with any fabric. They go well with shirt dresses and long tunics. Pair pants with stoles in solid colours. If you are adventurous, use print over print and pattern over pattern by wearing a printed stole over a printed top. Since it is the perfect unisex accessory, not sized or fitted, drape it around underneath the jacket to get a chic look.

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