Durga Puja Lookbook - How To Dress Up During The Most-Awaited Bong Festival

Durga Puja - these two li'l words are enough to send any Bengali into a tizzy of excitement! These words give rise to images of magnificent idols of the Mother Goddess, loads of good food all around, people enjoying in revelry, and of course, everyone decked up in new clothes (every Bengali woman's favorite part of this festival). Unlike most festivals, that last for a day or two, Durga Puja is celebrated for four whole days! Which means, four days of unadulterated fun, hogging on street food, turning heads in cool clothes and having the most exciting time of the year!

For us, Bengalis, this festival is wrapped in nostalgia & emotions - for these few days, we eat, breathe & live the festival & its rituals with a dedication seldom seen at other times. 
For us, Durga Puja means the first tentative steps we took out of our homes, with friends, without the commanding protection of our parents.
It means the first all-nighter we pulled with cousins - pandal-hopping and biriyani-hogging.
It means the first shy smile we boldly threw at our crush from three houses down the street. And the heart-warming feeling of his eyes on our saree-clad avatar during Ashtami morning pushpanjali.
It means gobbling down unlimited number of phuchkas at any street stall, without anybody stopping you after the 10th one.
It means having egg-rolls, chowmein, ice-cream, cold drinks - all in the duration of a couple of hours, while out pandal-hopping.
It means making back-to-back plans with friends and family, till no time of any of those four days is left free on your calendar.
It means meeting up with friends whom you don't get to see during the rest of the year - the NRIs, the married ones, the not-so-close ones and even the workaholic ones.
And it means flaunting your style at its trendiest best, sashaying down the road in much-planned & thoughtfully-put-together outfits, as if its your fashion runway!

So, this Durga Puja, me and Sayantani from Live Laugh Dressup have come together to share some ideas about how you can dress to impress during this big, fat Indian festival! 
This lookbook features my fashion brand Howrah Bridge (for any of you who are not aware, I am a fashion designer by profession and I own a clothing & accessories brand) and a few chic looks from its new Festive '17 collection. The clothes are trendy & fashionable, while having their roots in Indian tradition, crafts & fabrics - a charming mix of contemporary and traditional, that gives your style the ideal edge in order to stand out in the crowd!
So, check out the looks and get inspired!


The morning that brings with it the rhythmic beats of the dhaak and the spiritual vibrato of the conch shells. The morning that says 'pujo is here'. The morning that urges us to jump out of bed, dress up and go out!
Saptami is all about hanging out with friends, hogging on all kinds of street food and warming up to the festivities that start to set in.
This day is for dressing lightly, but fashionably - nothing too gorgeous, yet something that'll turn heads. An easy-breezy dress, worn with some nice jewellery does the trick. Chic prints and bright colors make sure you command the right amount of attention wherever you go. Add a twist to the tale with some cool glasses or fun footwear, and you are all set to rule the streets!

[Black floral dress/green midi dress: c/o Howrah Bridge | Wooden-framed cat-eye shades: c/o WoodGeek]


THE most-awaited day of the festival - the one we reserve the best clothes and the most exciting plans for! A morning starting with anjali - preferably on an empty stomach, if you want to be in the Goddess' good books - going on to a lunch of yummy bhog, an evening of decked-up revelry and a night of fun. The day every girl - from 9 to 90 - wants to drape a saree. The day the local puja committees bring in the best singers to entertain you or put up the most dramatic cultural programs. 
Ashtami means flaunting the elegant nine yards, saying pious prayers as you throw the anjali flowers at Maa Durga's feet, meeting up with the closest friends or cousins, and preparing for Sandhi Pujo (the ritual which marks the transition of the festival from Ashtami to Nabami).
Of course, we couldn't think beyond sarees for this auspicious day - but we ditched the traditional way, and put our own style spins on it. This year, on Mahashtami, we urge you to go all out and experiment with your saree looks - drape it in an interesting way, pair it with off-shoulder tops or kurtas, accessorize it with belts or boots, and just have fun with it! Give it your own unique touch to stand out in the saree-clad crowd on this special day.

[Checked linen sarees/black ikat panel kurta/kalamkari & ikat blouse: c/o Howrah Bridge]


The second special day, after Mahashtami, Mahanabami dawns on us with a festive cheer bright enough to get rid of the Ashtami hangover. The day when lunch means feasting on sumptuous Pulao and mutton dishes. The day for visiting the last few pandals that you might have missed out on. The day that calls for grand dinner plans with family. The day your crush might come, say hi to you - after the mute exchange of meaningful looks on Ashtami.
Nabami means trying to live the joyful moments flashing by, as the festival gallops towards the end. Nabami means dressing up in your most gorgeous clothes that year, so that you dazzle & shine throughout the day.
Sayantani goes the ethnic way for this day, flaunting an asymmetric tunic with an embellished yoke with trendy straight pants, while I keep it cool & casual in a fun mix-n-match dress for those of you who like simpler styles. Just add statement jewellery to make your looks stand out and get going! Comfy, yet chic, is the mantra for the day, so don't forget that!

[Printed midi dress/asymmetric kurta/straight pants/tassel earrings: c/o Howrah Bridge]


A morning that brings with it bittersweet notes, as the festival draws towards a much-dreaded end. A day of trying to fit in as much fun as possible in the last few hours. A day of preparing to bid the Mother goodbye. A day of farewell rituals - shindoor-khela, bodhon and bishorjon. A day when married women color the Mother Goddess (and each other) red with vermilion and children bring their books to be blessed by the Gods before they depart to their heavenly abode. A day when the whole locality travels with the Gods on their journey towards the rivers/ponds/lakes, to bid them goodbye as the idols are immersed in water.
Dashami is for celebrations that reek of both happiness & sadness. Dashami is for taking blessings from our elders once the Gods are gone. Dashami is for gorging on sweets and indulging in a sense of bonding with your neighbors, friends & family; as if reassuring each other that it's all gonna take place again, albeit after a wait of twelve months.
This day calls for trendy looks that are comfy, stylish and eye-grabbing. Channel a fun, carefree look in cotton dresses - checks are so in right now - paired with sliders or brogues and quirky accessories like bow-ties! You can even unleash your inner boho queen and go for an easy-breezy maxi dress with trendy details like cold-shoulder sleeves. Add a touch of whimsy with a head-scarf or a cute ring. Be fun, fearless and fashionable - after all, it's your last chance to dress up for Durga Puja!

[Cold-shoulder maxi dress/checked midi dress/green scarf/pink mirror ring: c/o Howrah Bridge | Wooden bow-tie: c/o WoodGeek]

Photography by: Shubhadeep Saha

It's time to gear up for Durga Puja!
I know you might be in a mad rush of last-minute shopping, trying to complete pending work before you slip into the festive mode, making plans for the puja days or even travelling towards your hometown - but if you are still in a dilemma about what to wear on the special four days, hope we have been able to be of some help!

Do let us know if you tried any similar looks for the festival, or if our outfits inspired you to try out any new styles this Durga Puja!
We would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Also, if you liked any of the clothes from this lookbook, please contact me on howrahbridgebyadg@gmail.com
You can also follow Howrah Bridge on Instagram and Facebook for more collections and products!

Do check out Sayantani's post for a better look at her outfits for this lookbook.

And of course, don't forget to follow me on Instagram & Facebook for more real-time Durga Puja style updates!!!

Wishing you all a splendid festive season ahead! Eat, drink and be merry!!!

Love & best wishes,


  1. The tassle earrings are looking so sexy!

  2. In love with this post! Happy and beautiful pictures! <3

  3. Really liked the checkered saari.

  4. Good post. We invite fashion bloggers for guest posting at http://fashionstyle.guru/about/contribute/

    Read terms and start spreading fashion tips and your brand with fashion style guru


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