Consisting of lightweight blouses to formal tops, waistcoats, or jackets, a kurti top comes in a wide variety of shades, fabrics, and designs, for all of life‘s occasions. When it comes to special occasions like weddings or major milestone anniversaries, the neck design, in particular, can help take even the subtle designs to the next level.
Read on to learn about the design features to seek out when you’re looking to dress to impress.
First Things First — What Is a Kurti?
Kurtis and kurtas are two of the most commonly worn garments within southern Asia and the Indian subcontinent. While these two types of clothing are pretty similar, they do have key differences.
A kurta is a versatile, longer garment traditionally designed without a collar. Designed to comfortably be worn in the region's warmer climate, kurtas are worn by both men and women on casual and formal occasions. Kurtas are available in a wide array of styles and designs. During the cooler months, many people opt for kurtas made of a silk and cotton blend for a little more warmth.
On the other hand, a kurti has a much wider array of neckline designs, making them ideal for those looking to make a fashion statement. Kurtis are typically made up of lighter-weight, flowy fabrics, often giving them a more feminine look. Kurtis tend to be fitted at the waist and flow outward, whereas a kurta is much less fitted and overall a bit looser.
When it comes to the obvious features of a kurti, the actual neckline might not be the first thing we think of when looking to dress for a special occasion. Usually, we think about the color, the trim, and the embroidery. While these aspects can change the neckline of your kurti (more on that in a bit), let’s look specifically at just a few of the many necklines available first.
1. Boat Neck
A boat neck, also commonly referred to as a bateau neckline, is wider than it is narrow, running from one collarbone to the other. These necklines are usually slightly curved in shape and not very low cut.
Some boat neck trims might cover the collarbone, while others are cut just beneath. Several boat neck trims aren’t cut right at the base of your neck in the back, making them great to wear with your hair up to show off any jewelry or special henna designs.
A sweetheart neckline is a softer version of a V-neck design. This design gets its name because it looks like the top part of a heart. More curved than a straight V-neck, a sweetheart neckline is arguably one of the most flattering necklines and looks chic on any silhouette.
Sweetheart necklines can be found on long sleeves, short sleeves, and even spaghetti-strap kurtis. Some of these embellishments or trims go down the length of the garment from the middle to create a more tall and slim illusion while bringing sparkle and shine to an otherwise simple piece of clothing. Sweetheart necklines are popular choices for wedding silhouettes.
3. V-Neck and Deep V
A V-neck is exactly what it sounds like. It is a neckline in the shape of the letter “V,” looking like an upside-down triangle. Some necklines like this are cut a little bit lower than normal — these are frequently referred to as deep V necklines.
Many kurtis with an empire waistline will use the deep V design as a bit of a guideline to incorporate stitching or embroidery onto the top portion of the garment. This might look like elaborate embroidery and trim work centered around and fanning out from this “V” shape. Or, the neckline might be used as a guiding point for where to place larger embellishments, like dramatic floral appliqués.
Several deep V designs may not be very wide at all, with the “V” portion of the neckline being more vertically cut than diagonal. Many of these designs feature a patterned embroidery around the neck and down the length of the “V,” flawlessly combining modern style with tradition.
4. Keyhole Necklines
A keyhole neckline is a fresh way to incorporate the best of both worlds if you are trying to remain conservative while still looking fashion forward. A keyhole usually starts out as a curved boat neck cut with a small, oval cutout in the middle.
Some keyhole necklines can be buttoned shut, but many, particularly on kurtis, are simply left open. These keyhole cutouts can be quite small or larger and cut deeper down.
5. Spaghetti Strap With a Lower Neck
Particularly during the hot summer months, one of the last things you’ll want to wear is a heavy, long-sleeve garment.
Between the high temperatures, scorching sun, and heavy humidity (particularly in coastal locations), a spaghetti strap or sleeveless option might be the best way to go. This style, especially when draped with an elaborately embroidered saree, is an effortless way to combine style, tradition, and comfort.
Spaghetti strap necklines offer yet another way to bring gilded glamour to the neckline of your look, with straps being embroidered with shimmery metallic threads and others boasting beautiful, beaded designs.
In addition to beading and other embellishments, kurtis may actually tie on the shoulders, allowing you to further adjust the length and how low cut your garment is while adding another beautiful detail with a bow.
6. High-Cut Necklines
A very high neckline is a great way to balance out kurtis, which may be sleeveless, or a perfect option when attending a more traditional or religious event.
A higher neckline means more room on the upper portion of your kurti for design and embellishment. Garments with a high neckline usually feature heavy embroidery and embellishments on the top half, sometimes spanning from one collarbone to the other, giving this otherwise conservative design a true chance to shine!
7. Back of the Necklines Need Attention Too!
The front of your kurti doesn’t only get to have all the fun! Some kurtis have added extended embellishments and intricate designs to the back of the garments — an area called the nape. Sometimes, this comes in the form of a lower cut than normal to allow for comfort and breathability while showing off jewelry and henna designs.
Some backs might feature dramatic cutouts, lacing, and other adjustable ties. Other tie details may include tassels or other beads to add other elements of motion to your kurti. For example, the Maroon Kurti Style Georgette Lehenga has a quasi-crew/boat neckline that closes in a dramatic tie in the back, complete with dangling ornaments.
Keyholes in the back may be lined with similar, matching metallic embroidery and other designs to tie into patterns on the front and below the waist. Keyholes might be small, stretching only a hand's length, or could extend down the back to the top of the waistline.
Taking a Neckline From Everyday to Special Occasions
While it may seem difficult to imagine the same type of blouse you wear at home, to run household errands, or attend meetings as formal wear, there are a few distinctive features that can separate formal wear from everyday attire.
From stitching to sequins and beading, here are a few extra additions to look for when taking everyday wear to the next level, featuring both modern touches and classic design.
Stitching and embroidery are time-honored ways to elevate any piece of clothing while also paying tribute to deep-rooted traditions and customs.
Embroidered trim might look like a sleek golden row along the neckline or a more intricate pattern expanding away and outward. It may even extend down to the waist and correlate with the rest of the kurti’s design.
Furthermore, look for embroidery and stitching done in a contrasting or shimmery thread, like zari work. Nothing will help a rich, garnet-red kurti stand out quite like a glimmering, golden pattern running along the edge of the neckline!
Not only will this capture the attention of other partygoers, but it will also draw attention to your neck and face. This boosts any other jewelry or accessories so that you truly stand out from the crowd.
Sequins and Other Embellishments
In addition to zari thread work, beading, sequins, and other embellishments can bring a shimmer, shine, and dimension to kurtis. Like with zari work, intricate beadwork can be seen as an extension of your jewelry and eventually fade into a continuous pattern along the length of the garment.
Beading might be very small and placed in simplistic lines, or it may be made of larger components, sewn into very intricate creations. Custom beadwork may be designed to mimic specific features in your jewelry, acting as an extension of other accessories.
Besides beards, mirror work may be used along the edge of the neckline and match the waist and arms, giving your kurti a mesmerizing touch. It can bring even more movement to your look, making it perfect for festive occasions.
Just like how some embellishments can take a kurti from everyday wear to something notable, color choice can have a hand in what you should choose to wear for special occasions. Some traditional gatherings and more formal occasions may require guests to dress in certain colors.
For wedding guests, lighter, pastel colors like mint green, soft rose pink, or lavender are smart for morning and daytime celebrations. For weddings specifically, it’s usually a good idea to avoid dressing in black, white, or red unless the happy couple instructs otherwise. On the other hand, vivid, rich jewel tones of sapphire blue, emerald green, or ruby red are perfect for holidays and similar occasions.
All in the Details: Handcrafted Harmony
While it may not be the first design aspect that comes to mind, the neckline and its design features can actually be one of the most significant ways to elevate any garment to something extraordinary.
Whether it’s a wedding, Diwali, or celebration of the new year, our wide array of traditional and modern designs are ready to ship and customizable, with something for every member of your family.
Shop our new arrivals at Lashkaraa now and see how each unique neckline provides every look with a wholly unique aesthetic.