New Delhi: It`s those five days when the closet gets a facelift. And this Durga Puja, it`s not just the elegant saris and ethnic kurtas that have made it to the wardrobe - jeggings, gowns made of Baluchari saris, maxis and Benarasi corsets have followed suit.
Popular markets are flooded with narrow-cut jeans, jeggings, butterfly cut tops, spaghetti strap gowns, printed short dresses and maxis. Shopkeepers say the demand for Western dresses has gone up this season.
"In our retail stores, Western dresses for both men and women are selling more than traditional dresses," said Manish Agarwal, business head (east) of Future group, which operates popular retail stores such as Pantaloons and Big Bazaar.
"For women, the first choice is narrow cut jeans, a mix and match of loose floral print tops with jeggings and for men the most popular clothes are short length cotton shirts with narrow-cut jeans, cargo shirts," Agarwal told IANS.
As per tradition, men and women, irrespective of their age, put on new clothes during the five days of the Puja. New clothes with a touch of both latest trends and tradition are considered a must.
"Women look best in saris during Pujas. But this year, other clothes such as Anarkali style dresses, one shoulder dresses, kalidar kurtus and bandhgala waistcoats with churipants are also getting a good response," said Pali of the renowned fashion designer duo Mona-Pali.
Agnimitra Paul, a fashion designer who has designed outfits for Bollywood personalities like Sridevi and Esha Deol, says: "Young girls who love to wear gowns during pujas can opt for gowns made of Baluchari saris."
However, the demand for conventional red and white saris that ooze the perfect look for the biggest cultural gala of eastern India remains high.
"At this time, the sale of saris increases by up to 75 percent. Saris such as jamdani, tussar silk, pure silk, dhakai benaroshi, rajshahi silk and ikkat are hot favourites," said Binoy Chandra Pal of the 100-year-old Ramprasad Bastralya Sari store.
On the other hand, young men are also experimenting with Indo-Western fashion.
"Young men and college-goers are also trying Indo-Western fusion clothes such as jeans with traditional kurtas which has a lot of embroidery work on it," said Abhisek Dutta, a designer.
Short-length cotton shirts with narrow-cut jeans, cargo shirts in mono colours, striped and check shirts are also doing the rounds.
However, some designers feel Puja being a traditional festival, people should stick to dhotis, kurtas and sherwanis.
"Men look best in traditional and ethnic dresses. Young men now try colourful tasar dhutis (Bengali for dhoti) along with kurtas. They also try sherwanis," Sarbari Dutta, who designs men`s clothes, told reporters.