Indian Winter Style: Stay Warm in Ethnic Wear

Indian Winter Style: Stay Warm in Ethnic Wear

There is nothing as diverse as Indian winter. For a country as large (geographically) as India, it experiences diverse climatic conditions during winter. The winter season typically spans from December to February, and the weather can vary significantly in different regions of the country. Starting from the northern part, this region experiences cold temperatures during winter, with some areas witnessing near-freezing conditions, especially in the higher altitudes of states like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand. Higher regions like the Himalayas often receive snowfall during this season, making them popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts and tourists.

Moving to the western part of India, this region enjoys moderate temperatures. States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan typically have milder winters compared to the northern regions. Daytime temperatures are pleasant, while nights can be cooler. Winter is a popular tourist season in western India as well, with visitors flocking to destinations like Goa, Rajasthan, and Mumbai to enjoy the pleasant weather. Similarly, southern Indian states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala experience relatively mild winters. Daytime temperatures remain comfortable, and nights are cooler.

Most parts of southern India witness dry weather during winter, making it an ideal time for travel and outdoor activities.

Eastern states like West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand experience cool temperatures during winter. While it may not get as cold as northern India, the weather is generally comfortable. Winter is also a festive season in eastern India, with celebrations like Durga Puja in West Bengal and the Konark Dance Festival in Odisha. Further, the second half of the year, which sees cooler temperatures largely throughout the country, sees cultural and seasonal activities like Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Dussehra, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, among other festivals. In some regions, the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti is also observed. Overall, Indian winters offer a diverse range of experiences, from snowy landscapes in the north to milder temperatures in the south. The season is marked by various cultural celebrations, festivals, and the enjoyment of traditional winter foods.

Traditional Winter Outfits

Traditional winter outfits in India vary based on the regional climate and cultural practices. Depending on the varying climates that this vast country has, there is a diverse range of traditional winter clothing in India. Here’s a glimpse of the most prominent Indian winter fashion styles. Traditional winter outfits not only serve practical purposes by providing warmth but also reflect the cultural diversity and richness of traditional clothing across different regions of India. This choice of attire often depends on local customs, climate, and individual preferences.

Pashmina Shawls

In states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, people often wear warm Pashmina shawls made from the wool of Pashmina goats. These shawls are known for their softness and ability to provide insulation in cold weather.


Traditional winter attire in Kashmir includes the Phiran, a loose-fitting woolen garment that covers the body and provides warmth. It is often worn over other layers of clothing.


In Rajasthan and parts of North India, the Angarkha is a traditional winter garment. It is a long, flowing robe with overlapping panels, often made of wool or other warm fabrics.

Ponchos and Shawls

In states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, people opt for warm shawls and ponchos made from wool or other cozy materials during the cooler winter evenings.

Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees

In South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, women may continue to wear silk sarees, such as Kanjeevaram silk, during the winter. These silk sarees provide some warmth while maintaining an elegant look.

Sherwanis and Jackets 

In states like West Bengal and Odisha, men may choose to wear sherwanis or jackets over traditional attire during winter weddings and celebrations.

Layering A Lehenga

Fashion takes precedence for all of us, even in the coldest of the weather conditions. So when wearing a lehenga, it’s best to layer stylishly. Layering a lehenga involves adding additional garments or accessories to the traditional lehenga choli outfit to enhance its overall look. It can be a creative way to add depth, texture, and style to your ensemble. Some ways to layer a lehenga are dupatta draping. One can double drape, pin the dupatta or better yet belt the dupatta. Adding a stylish belt to the lehenga, and draping the dupatta over one shoulder will secure it for a contemporary and structured appearance. The most logical way would be to layer with a long jacket or cape. A floor-length jacket over the lehenga choli is a smart addition to the ensemble. The jacket can be embellished with embroidery or contrasting fabric for a regal touch. One can also add a cape with intricate embroidery or a contrasting color can be worn over the lehenga choli, adding a touch of drama to the outfit.

Perhaps a fuller blouse with long elbow length sleeves or a peplum-style blouse can add a contemporary touch to a traditional lehenga, giving it a fusion look. One can even opt for an anarkali-style flared top to layer for a royal and voluminous look. This would cover more skin, making your outfit a little more warmer than a simple blouse style. One can even layer with a saree. Remember to balance the layers to avoid overwhelming the overall look. It makes sense to experiment with different combinations to find a style that suits your taste and the occasion. Layering offers endless possibilities for personalizing and elevating the traditional lehenga choli ensemble.

Accessories For The Winter

When styling a lehenga for winter, it’s essential to consider accessories that not only enhance the overall look but also provide warmth. Some winter accessories to complement your lehenga during the colder months can be a shawl or pashmina wrap, warm/thermal leggings to wear underneath the lehenga and closed toe heels or even socks. Remember to balance the practical aspects of staying warm with the aesthetic appeal of your accessories. The key is to choose winter-appropriate materials and styles that harmonize with your lehenga, creating a cohesive and stylish winter ensemble.

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