Goa! That wonderful land which makes you forget all your worldly troubles and lets you live in the surreal for those few days that you’re there!
Personally, I love Goa! I go there at least 3-4 times a year, for a minimum of a week to 15days, and just love to relax by the beach… letting the sand and the sea, consume me. There’s a languid, laziness about Goa… the very air you breathe has the sea in it, which tends to make you feel as calm and as laidback as the sea itself.
One thing that I always believe in is that what you wear and how you look has a huge impact on how you feel. Hence, for me, since the feeling in Goa is so unique and different, I feel that my dressing needs to be able to complement and enhance that feeling, rather than thwart it by making me feel uncomfortable.
I see a lot of women stroll onto the beaches wearing jeans and shoes… often feeling lost and out of place, when they see the swarm of bikini clad, colourful and comfortably dressed Europeans and Caucasians lazing on the beaches.
Now I understand that not all of us can carry off swim suits and bikinis on the beach, but I think there’s a million other ways to look stunning and yet very much a part of the beach.
So I put together this little style guide, for everyone who wants to enjoy Goan feel and become a part of it.
#1: Blanket Rule: Leave your jeans out of your suitcase:
The one thing I can say from experience of many many years is, ‘you don’t wanna wear jeans in Goa.’ Be it the sun, the funk around or just the nonchalant, laidback nature of the place… jeans simply don’t fit in! The fact that they are fitted and tightly snug makes them somewhat up-tight, and they just take the whole Goa-feel away.
Even until last year (must’ve been my 20th odd trip to Goa) I always packed a pair of jeans thinking, ‘just in case’. But I’ve finally realized that No! They never come out of the suitcase and only add to the weight. So last month I went without them, and frankly, I didn’t miss them at all.
Instead I packed a number of shorts and summer dresses.
But if you’re someone who’s not comfortable with shorts all the time, then you have plenty of options like wide leg pants, harem pants, bright coloured palazzos, linen cargos, gypsy pants, etc., all of which lend beautifully to a stylishly casual ‘Goa’ look!
Orange printed palazzos from Global Desi!
For details of this look, read http://www.pinkpeppercorn.in/blog/cape-it-up/22
#2: Cheat on the beachwear
Like I said, not all of us are comfortable wearing swimsuits or bikinis to the beach. But then, when you look at all the lovely bikini clad women, you do tend to feel left out. Well, that’s when a ‘sarong’ comes to the rescue – like an absolute savior!!
Dawn on your swimsuit / bikini and wrap the sarong around yourself… and for all you know, it could simply have been a beautiful, stylish, colourful beach dress!
Great thing about it is that it hides those extra curves, making you look like an absolute style Goddess on the beach.
But the best part, is that you could even completely cheat out of that swimwear, and wear a tank top and shorts under the sarong! No one needs to know what you’re wearing inside, right! So while only you know the truth, everyone else goes… oohh la la! 😉
And suddenly don’t just belong to the beach, you BELONNG to the beach.. Spend the day taking a walk along the beach, reading a look while lazing on one of the sun beds or sipping on beer at one of the shacks, without being uncomfortable and looking stylish all the way.
Pepper tip: You’ll find stores all around Goan beaches selling a variety of sarongs, which are a steal if you can bargain right.
Here, I’m wearing it like a dress…
Style it up with a sun-hat, your glares, a beaded necklace and flip flops. They are great coz they also double up as scarves, towels and beach spreads!
#3: In to the Water
Again, for those of us not comfortable with swimsuits… shorts and a tank top / racer back top can do the trick.
Get yourself shorts in a fabric that dries off easy, and which doesn’t have too many pockets or elements that can accumulate salt and sand. Wearing denim shorts into the sea can be extremely uncomfortable, and you’re likely to find sand coming out of your pockets for weeks post your trip. I’m pretty sure that’s not the kind of souvenir you’re looking for!
Pepper tip: You’d probably want to wear a halter neck bikini top underneath the tank top… It makes sure you get the proper support, nothing shows (that shouldn’t be seen), and it keeps your expensive lingerie from getting spoilt with the sea water. You can easily find these at most stores in Goa and at a good price too.
That’s me trying to ride the waves at Palolem Beach, Goa! The most amount of water-fun I’ve ever had!!
#4: The Pretty Little Tourist
If you’re not planning on going into the water, and just wanna hang around on the beach… then what better than a pretty looking, happy summer dress? Or a short jump suit to pump up the fun quotient.
These are also great when you’re going around sightseeing, to the markets, food trailing or even beach hopping! After all, there’s a lot more to Goa than just lying around on the beach 🙂
My personal favorite though is to buy a kurta off one of the roadside shops there and wear it with shorts! It looks like a brilliantly comfortable, stylish and casual dress 😀
That’s a bright pink Kurta I got from the Palolem market…
Denim Romper from ONLY and this gorgeous cape from Primark (found the cape at an export surplus store at Colaba Causway for a steal)
For details of this look click here
#5: Goan Evenings: Not your city party-wear!
While cocktail dresses, the LBDs, minis and high heels make for lovely party wear in your city, NOT IN GOA!
Even when you’re going to a party in the evening, you’re still in Goa right. You’ve gotta respect the leisurely Goan attitude.
When in Goa, I stay away from fitted dresses, bling or anything that’s formal or too dressy. Instead I opt for maxi dresses, printed summer dresses or maxi jump suits with some funky statement neck-pieces.
Gorgeous red dress in organic cotton fabric from this online store called ‘Samadhi’ (Though when I tried looking for it again, I could never really find it :(( )… & Silver jewelry from Bali!
For details of this look, read here
For details of the above look, read here
#6: Flip Flops and Foot Accessories
Just like jeans or the blingy city dresses, heels too represent city life, posture and civilization.
I personally don’t prefer wearing heels in Goa.. Not even in the night! The maxi dresses and jump suits all go really well with delicate flats or flip flops, to stay in sync with the feel. They’re also good if you wanna hit the beach, after party 😉
From Oshos to Havaianas! Anything works!
And this also gives you a chance to accessorize your feet with funky anklets and toe rings… I personally love wearing bracelets and even necklaces (the adjustable sorts) as anklets… makes for a large variety and makes a unique style statement!
This turquoise beauty is a bracelet from a Tibetan flea market in Leh, that I’m wearing as an anklet.
A bracelet I bought in Goa itself at the Palolem market, I’m wearing as an anklet.
This shelled piece is a necklace that I bought from Heirloom (Bandra), which I’ve tied around my foot to look like an anklet.
The best part about styling up in Goa is that no amount of colour and no amount of funk is ever too much!
So go big on those accessories.. Hats, caps, scarves, colourful beach bags, etc. I also love to funk up my hair with flowers or bandanas and looove those statement necklaces and colourful beads… All things that make for lovely photographs! 😉
Do experiment with those sunglasses… reflectors, different colored lenses and funky shaped frames… they all add loads to that overall beach look!
(Make sure you don’t wear your metal accessories into the water though… salt water isn’t any good for them)
#8: Beyond the shorts and t-shirt routine
Denim shorts and t-shirt / racer back top, is probably the most popular tourist-friendly outfit in Goa… casual, and comfortable.
But when you’re going around Goa, traveling, sightseeing… why not try out something more fun, with different types of pants.
However, if like me, you still find solace in the shorts and t-shirt routine, remember to accessorize and funk it up! 🙂
So the next time you’re planning a Goa trip… pack accordingly and have loads of fun!!! 😀