The Indian and South Asian social, religious, and festive calendars all call for a wide array of styles, including traditional and modern options. With so many fabrics, silhouettes, styles, and designs available, and an infinite number of ways to customize and adorn these pieces, the fashion possibilities have grown to include an endless array of styling options.
Join us as we view the ten Indian dress types you need to keep in your wardrobe and highlight a few of our favorites for the upcoming season.
A saree, also frequently spelled “sari” is one of the more traditional pieces of clothing worn in India and the greater South Asian subcontinent. Sarees can be casual, stylish, formal, and everything in between.
From the runway to the supermarket, sarees are an essential staple in the modern woman’s closet for every day of the week. This long piece of fabric is usually worn over a plain skirt and paired with a choli (a sort of cropped blouse). Sarees can be simple solid stretches of chiffon, adorned with zari work and other embellishments, or completely covered in sequins for an ultra-glamorous touch.
Churidars are more tight-fitting trousers worn by both men and women. They are kind of like a take on the well-loved shalwar pants.
While shalwars are a bit wider at the top and narrow gradually down the length of your leg, churidar pants are much more slim-fitting from the waist to the ankle. This further accentuates the curvature of your legs. Churidar pants are frequently worn with kurtas and can be dressed up or down, depending on the fabric.
3. Ghagra Choli
Ghagra cholis are a particular style of skirt frequently worn at weddings and festivals. These ankle-length skirts are usually adorned with traditional embroidery, beadwork, and beautiful, vivid designs.
While lehenga are a little more form-fitting, ghagra cholis, on the other hand, are much looser in comparison. Lehengas are ideal for showing off your figure on special occasions, and ghagra cholis are perfect for everyday dressing.
Lehenga cholis are a tad more modern in style and cut, and ghagra cholis are more traditional, with these garments having been worn for many generations. With these being a daily staple, it’s essential to keep a number of ghagra cholis in your wardrobe.
4. Sharara Pants
Put simply: sharara pants are a style of flared trousers frequently worn by women. Sharara pants are fitted at the waist and flow down freely without any stitching or gathering, similar to Western-style gaucho pants. For this reason, they are also frequently called lehenga pants.
Typically made of lavish fabrics and adorned with sequins and other extravagant beadwork, they become elevated essentials when part of a sharara suit. While typically worn with longer kurta tops and dupattas, they are now styled with kameez and shorter kurtas as fashion trends evolve.
5. Gharara Suit
Gharara pants are often confused with sharara trousers, but there is one major characteristic that distinguishes the two. Sharara pants are usually only stitched at the waistband and flow freely down to the floor. Gharara trousers are fitted from the waistband to the top of the knees. From there, they flare out dramatically, similar to what Western styles would call a mermaid cut.
Gharara suits are most commonly paired with shorter kurtas and dupattas. Just like sharara cuts, gharara suits are also excellent modern choices for the most exciting events on your social calendar.
6. Lehenga Choli
While there are many parts to Indian attire, a lehenga choli is one of the most common and essential pieces that you will need for your wardrobe. Basically, a lehenga choli is a matching skirt and blouse meant to be worn together.
For meaningful occasions, these two fashion components are usually sold in sets to make more of a solid, dynamic statement. Lehenga choli sets usually feature matching embroidery, mirrored zari work, and the same fabrics, and are also sometimes sold with a matching draping, called a dupatta.
7. Palazzo Suit
Palazzo suits effortlessly combine function, fashion, comfort, and tradition all in one look. Regularly paired with both shorter and longer-length kurtas, palazzo pants are also frequently found in Western wear and boast a similar cut and level of comfort.
These loose, very wide-legged pants are primarily thought of for their comfort and easy wearability, but they are also ideal for showing off sensational beading, embroidery, and other details, thanks to their billowing, voluminous figure.
Our Red Floral Chanderi Palazzo Suit perfectly combines this larger-than-life silhouette with traditional features, especially things to the chiffon dupatta boasting golden floral embroidery, perfectly accenting the kurta’s details.
8. Straight Suit
While wide-legged pants sure are a great way to stay comfortable and stylish at the same time, some kurtas might simply require a straight cut. Some kurtas made from rayon or very lightweight cotton blends might flow best when paired with palazzo pants. Other pieces made of thicker fabrics, like silk, look more polished with more slim-fitting pants.
Our Teal Embroidered Silk Straight Suit features a slim-cut kurta adorned with elaborate gold embellishments, which looks its best when paired with the matching teal silk trousers cut in a figure-hugging style.
9. Punjabi Suit
Punjab, where this style originated, is a region in northern India just outside the city of New Delhi. Traditionally speaking, many men and women in Punjab would wear a longer knee-length shirt over pants, with a long scarf-like garment draped over one shoulder and under the other. Many suits in this style are available in a wide array of necklines, fabrics, and sleeve lengths. Such garments often feature a variety of decorative embellishments.
Our Navy Blue Velvet Embroidered Suit is one popular option to have on hand, particularly in the cooler autumn and winter months of the year. Spectacular attention to detail and graceful, traditional embellishments adorn the trimming and bodice of the blouse, and a breathtaking velvet dupatta boasts gold detailing around all four borders.
10. Anarkali Suit
While many of these suits are available in an A-line silhouette, the volume and width of the bottom portion of these skirts can actually range from very minimal to quite voluminous.
Our Light Grey Multicolor Net Anarkali is one of our more dramatic options, boasting the perfect combination of style and elegance. This suit also comes in girl’s sizes, with a matching set available for both men and boys.
Expand Your Traditional Indian Wardrobe
If you find your wardrobe lacking, now is the time to expand. At Lashkaraa, each of our pieces is hand-inspected in India for quality to ensure you receive the best of the best. Custom stitching and sizing are available, making each piece of our collection the perfect investment piece.
With several of these styles also available in matching versions for men and children, take this opportunity to expand your entire family's show-stopping wardrobe today.