A perfect blend of modern style and historical traditions, lehenga cholis are ideal for weddings, special gatherings, and other seasonal celebrations. In modern times, some brides have opted to wear lehenga cholis in elaborate styles on their wedding day in place of other, more traditional pieces. Nearly as popular as sarees, lehenga cholis are one of the most popular clothing options, available in a vast array of colors, styles, and designs.
Read on to learn about some of the various designs of lehenga cholis and which ones might be best for the next season in your family's life.
Distinguishing One Piece vs. the Other
A lehenga is just half of the look. This piece specifically refers to the longer ankle-length skirt worn over a petticoat or base layer skirt. On more casual and routine outings, many women might choose to wear just a lehenga with a simple blouse up top.
The choli is the blouse, similar to a bodice, usually cut in a cropped style exposing the midriff. Just like lehenga, sarees, and other pieces of traditional clothing, cholis are made in a multitude of colors, fabrics, and designs. There are no limits as to how they are embroidered, embellished, or otherwise decorated.
If you’re attending a party, festival, or a more special occasion, many women will opt to wear a matching set. The blouses in these matching sets will support the same embellishment, beading, and mirror work often found on these intricately designed skirts.
The most obvious thing about our outfits that changes with the seasons is the fabric. In the winter months, or if you plan on traveling to a place with a very cold climate, opt for a thicker, heavier fabric.
Fabrics like velvet or wool are excellent ways to stay warm while dressing to impress. Velvet, in particular, is one of the most luxurious, regal fabrics in all of India, which has been making a major comeback in recent years. With its metallic, almost liquid sheen, velvet lehenga cholis are made even more dazzling with elaborate mirror work, beading, and zari work featuring stunning metallic threads.
When dressing for the chilly winter season, also look for long-sleeved blouses. Not only is this the most functional choice, protecting your arms from chilly temperatures and brisk winds, but it gives yet another opportunity to show off dramatic stitching and the intricate artwork on your lehenga cholis.
Speaking of embroidery, winter is the ultimate opportunity to go for super heavy designs which might be uncomfortable to wear during the hotter months of the year. You may also consider a peplum blouse or layer over the top with a corresponding jacket.
Winter is also prime time for sporting rich, jewel tones of maroon, plum, emerald green, and deep navy blue. Save the pastels for spring and neons for spring and summertime!
A few months into the year, we shed our heavy, protective winter layers to embrace warmer temperatures, fresh blooming flowers, and the colorful festivals that all arrive with springtime. With the sun shining and more events being held outdoors than they might in the winter, you should look for lighter layers and also lighten up your seasonal color palette.
Leave jewel-toned clothing in your closet for daytime occasions. Deeper, rich tones are beautiful for the evenings. Stick with brighter colors or pastels for daytime events, like the Light Blue Embellished Chiffon Lehenga.
Save neutrals for autumn — shades of tan or beige will do anything but stand out in a crowd of festive floral colors and patterns.
Speaking of florals, this is also the best time to look for flowered mirror work, beading, and other similar details. Look for contrasting color choices that will really emphasize these beautiful details and help them stand out rather than blend in.
Lightweight fabrics will be much more comfortable in this warmer season. Some heavier options like velvet might be okay for evening events at the beginning of spring, where you may still get the occasional surprise cold front.
Otherwise, velvet might be a little too heavy and could get uncomfortable when you're standing beneath direct sunlight. Silk, chiffon, organza, and cotton are perfect for springtime lehenga cholis — check out the Olive Yellow Floral Chanderi Lehenga for an iconic example.
During the summertime, high temperatures aren’t the only thing we are working against. Direct sunlight, the body heat given off by other people, particularly if you are in a tightly packed crowd, and humidity levels can easily make it feel like it is at least ten degrees hotter than what a thermometer might say. There are a few things you can do to make yourself a little more comfortable, though.
Avoid dressing and dark colors, especially during the daytime. Shades of black, navy blue, and deep purple attract and hold heat.
Think about it: Have you ever parked a dark-colored vehicle out in the sunlight for a few hours and then gotten inside and almost suffocated from how hot it was? It’s a similar concept here. Opt for bright, vivid colors to not only look festive and celebrate the season and mood of your climate but also to keep yourself cool.
You should also opt for light fabrics. Steer clear of fabrics like velvet or pieces with multiple layers stacked upon one another. Cotton, linen, silk, and especially chiffon (like the Light Pink Embellished Chiffon Lehenga) are all wonderful, breathable options.
Summer is a great time to look for beadwork as opposed to heavy embroidery. Heavy embroidery and thread work is a sneaky way to add a thick layer onto what might otherwise be a light and airy blouse or skirt.
Beading allows your skin to breathe a little bit more and is perfect for the many summer weddings, anniversary celebrations, parties, and other festive gatherings you’ll be attending.
When the leaves change and temperatures start to drop, you’ll want to start phasing out of the wardrobe you’d previously been sporting for the past half year. Heavier fabrics, richer colors, and more layers are smart for combating these cooler days and the occasional chilly cold front.
The arrival of autumn doesn’t mean you need to go ahead and fold up all of your chiffon or silk organza garments to store away for the rest of the year. You can still get a bit more wear out of them — layer appropriately, and you’re set.
For example, instead of draping a silk organza saree over your shoulders and nothing else, consider layering it over a thicker one in a solid color. This allows you to get a little more use out of some of your more extravagant warm-season ensembles, dress up simpler pieces in your closet, and stay warm all at the same time.
While you may not opt for dark jewel tones on the first day of the season, deeper, more rustic shades are lovely, mimicking the falling leaves. Shades like turmeric and saffron are perfect ways to stay traditional and trendy, as are darker shades of magenta, deep red, and brown.
Autumn is a prime time to rock your neutrals. When you don’t want to wear black, but white isn’t necessarily in season anymore, shades of nude, tan, and beige are flawless, especially when embroidered with autumnal shades of gold and bronze embellishment. For something super trendy, look for something with rose gold embellishments.
5. Zari Work, Patterns, and Other Embellishments
Many base fabrics on lehenga cholis are solid and then embellished with threadwork, beading, sequins, and other ornamental details. If you’re wanting to go light on all of the bedazzling and you’re still looking for something a little extra, consider looking for a patterned fabric instead.
For a comfortable option with a bit of flair, consider adding a few tie-dye sets to your wardrobe. They’re ideal for summer weddings and festivals where you want to add a bright flare of color to your look without sacrificing comfort.
Our tie-dye lehenga cholis are made of lightweight Dhupioni silk, carrying a bit of natural sheen. Many of our tie-dye skirts are separated into tiers and adorned with glistening sequins. These garments accentuate your waistline and bring out the glimmer in any jewels you might also be wearing.
Instead of embroidery, consider going for a digitally printed Georgette creation. Thanks to magnificent advances in modern technology, patterns are now able to be printed directly onto clothing with dye, allowing you to skip out on heavy embroidery and beading.
This featherweight fabric, very similar to crêpe fabric, flows in the wind and is perfect for hot summer days. Satin, cotton, and a myriad of other fabrics are also suitable for digitally printed designs. For example, the Lilac Floral Georgette Lehenga is stunning in soft lilac tones with printed florals that evoke the feeling of a moving garden.
If you are looking for a super safe and versatile option, solid colors are probably some of the more versatile options out there. Usually trimmed with some sort of embellishments along the edge of the skirt, these pieces are easy to mix and match with one another. Solid pieces are a staple in any modern woman's wardrobe. They’re well-suited for easy-going days at home, quick trips to take care of errands, and last-minute outings.
A Piece for Anyone, Wherever You Are
One of the most popular and versatile articles of clothing in any Indian wardrobe, lehenga cholis are able to be worn throughout all seasons of the year, with a few differences here and there. By utilizing different fabrics, design techniques, silhouettes, and the weight of the garment, you can easily fill your wardrobe to suit your needs for all four seasons of the year.
At Lashkaraa, our lehenga cholis are exquisitely crafted and inspected by hand in India to guarantee the highest quality and craftsmanship. Browse our extensive collection today and make sure you are ready for the next season ahead of time.