Outfit for Diwali: Do I Wear a Lehenga or Saree?

Outfit for Diwali: Do I Wear a Lehenga or Saree?

The right outfit can make all the difference when it comes to important celebrations and cultural events. That’s especially true of Diwali, or the festival of lights, which is generally celebrated in the fall each year. 

Picking out clothing and accessories for Diwali can be an excellent way to pass down important cultural traditions to your little ones and to connect with friends and family when you’re far away from home. 

Lashkaraa is here to help. We carry traditional Indian clothing for parents and children alike, along with accessories that will help you to elevate your look so that it stands out.

Check out our growing collection to find the perfect outfits for Diwali, like lehengas and sarees made from net, organza, velvet, and silk.

Classic Outfits at a Glance

Two of the most iconic and versatile outfits for special occasions are lehengas and sarees. They come in various styles, from flare skirts to V-neck necklines to short cholis that show off the body's natural curves. 

Embrace traditional craftsmanship skills with embellishments on your lehenga or sari. Popular decorations include detailed beadwork designs (such as florals and patterns) and zari embroidery in thin metallic threads.

From modern and subtle outfits that imbue sleek and minimalist shapes to bright, fun, and functional pieces perfect for parties that last all night long, you’re sure to find lehengas and sarees that you love, including the following. 


Lehenga cholis are typically worn for special events. In fact, lehenga cholis have become so popular they’re now a staple for wedding wear, both for honored guests and the bride herself. They are made up of three individual pieces. 

The lehenga is the skirt section, typically reaching down to the ankle in a traditional design. The choli is a blouse, which usually has a crop top cut and sits above the waist of the lehenga. The length of the choli can vary, depending on how much of your midriff you want to cover, and lehenga skirts can have a high or low-waist design to match.

You can style the choli with different sleeve designs, like bell, sleeveless or long sleeve, and neckline configurations, like sweetheart, v-neck, high-collar, or square collar. 

Last but not least is the dupatta, which is a scarf or shawl. You can wear the dupatta around the shoulders, head, or waist and may cover the head entirely or drape loosely at the elbows.

You’ll want to show off the detailed patterns or metallic hem of your dupatta, which can you can do by adjusting the fit. If the design is organic and repeating, a loose drape from the elbow will allow it to ripple and move. A more specific design with a central point will look enchanting as it falls from a high chignon or draped over the shoulder. 

Materials and Embellishments

Lehengas are available in a wide range of materials, like luxurious silk and rich velvet or soft and breathable net and organza. The skirt can have an A-line, mermaid cut, or even a train for bridal lehengas. Some other popular fabrics include organza, crepe, and brocade.

You can further personalize lehengas with intricate beadwork, zari embroidery, mirror work, and more. Typically, lehengas are rich in embellishments around the hem and waist, but you can find options with geometric repeating patterns or cascading sequins and others dedicated to one large design. 


The saree, or sari, is one of the most recognizable and versatile outfits for Indian women. It can be easily adjusted to match your sense of style for this upcoming Diwali celebration. Like the lehenga, it has a choli top accompanied by a petticoat on the bottom.

Sarees don’t have the same fitted, flared skirts that lehengas do. Instead, they’re made up of a single piece of fabric several yards in length. This fabric is draped over the body in a robe style and tied around the waist. 

While the most common configurations of sarees include single-shoulder draping, there are various ways to style a saree, like a pleated drape, belted drape, or pant style. 

The fabric used to craft sarees is typically woven. Across India, there are over 136 weaving techniques and styles for sarees. Often, artisans combine these techniques to create unique textures and contrasts. 

Some people prefer to drape their sarees by hand. Others may prefer pre-pleated sarees

What Should I Wear for Diwali? 

So what should you wear when the time comes for upcoming festivities? The short answer is — either!

Sarees and lehengas look complete in minimalist or maximalist styles. You can fashion either option to match other parts of your outfit, like your jewelry size, accessory color, or the height of your heels. 

Generally, Diwali lasts five days, giving you plenty of opportunities to showcase the styles you like best. Just check out the expanse of our collection, from partywear lehengas to bridal lehengas and casual sarees to wedding sarees.

Here are a few details and tips to consider when deciding between a lehenga or saree for your next Diwali celebration:

How Formal Is the Event?

You’ll likely attend many events and parties throughout your Diwali celebration. You might even be hosting one of your own. 

One thing you want to keep in mind when deciding whether to wear a lehenga or saree is the event's formality. Some events, like dinners with friends and family, can be more casual, and some can be more formal. 

A lehenga may be more suitable than a saree if you’re attending a more formal event, either in your community or at a friend or family member’s home. Traditionally, lehengas are worn for more refined events, although there are more casual lehengas for everyday wear. But they are often associated with events and occasions like wedding festivities and holidays, which means they tend to be more esteemed apparel. 

Casual Lehengas

Lashkaraa can help you find those elaborate lehengas. For example, check out our Periwinkle Floral Chanderi Lehenga, with a floral pattern in shades of pink and copper kiran lace adorning all four sides of the matching dupatta.

The ensemble is soft and flowy, crafted to imitate the bursts of floral bouquets covering both the lehenga and the dupatta and to evoke a sense of summer in the meadows. The brilliant scoop neck choli is cropped and form-fitted to the body, perfect for dancing the night away. 

Formal Lehengas

Or maybe our Blush Embroidered Anarkali Style Lehenga is the style for you, featuring an applique hem and border and zari thread work in shades of pink and silver, accentuated by stonework and shimmery sequins.

An interwoven pattern of metallic columns connects the choli to the lehenga and helps to draw the eye down the length of the dress to evoke movement and elegance. This lehenga is brief and evocative, with a soft blush color and sparkly applique. 

Comfort and Environment

Another thing to consider when deciding between the two outfits and the variations available is comfort. While both lehengas and sarees come in different styles, fabrics, and designs that are easy to customize and fit your own personal style, each is better suited for different purposes and climates.

To that end, you want to think about the material and style. Will it be warm or cool enough for your celebration with friends, and will it allow you a full range of movement for cooking and dancing? You may also want to think about embellishments and accessories, which can feel heavy after a long day. 

Options like the White and Hot Pink Floral Organza Saree are the epitome of lightweight, comfortable traditional festive wear. Organza is a lightweight fabric, and the garment’s spaghetti straps will help keep you cool no matter how much you end up dancing. 

Colors and Embellishments 

Diwali is a festival of lights and new beginnings, which is why it’s often best to wear new outfits to the festivities, as they do not come with past memories.

Additionally, bright colors, associated with luck and new beginnings, are popular for most celebrations. That’s why you’ll often see Diwali outfits in shades of reds, yellows, and blues, like a Teal Heavy Thread Embroidered Lehenga offset with silver accents.

The bottom of the choli is lined by a hem of perfectly stitched beads, mirrored by a matching line along the waist of the lehenga. Much of the organic, leafy pattern on the lehenga is crafted in a darker teal, creating a mysterious appearance of movement and texture that invites a closer look.

What Is Your Personal Style? 

The biggest thing you want to ask yourself when it comes to Diwali outfits is, what’s my personal style? Diwali is an important celebration and a chance to connect with the community, family, and history — you should feel confident, proud, and comfortable doing so.

Start with a Marigold Floral Georgette Saree that reflects the marigold wreaths of the Diwali holiday decor. The pattern of golden floral bursts is set against a bright orange background made of a soft georgette material, and the hem is an overlaid scalloped design in golden-hued lace. 

On the other end of the scale, you’ll find a Purple Embroidered Velvet Lehenga with lace pearl-like beads and a gota lace finish. The unapologetic floral bouquets burst brightly from the rich velvet background in plum, and the sweetheart neckline makes for the perfect match for large, short necklaces in matching metallic shades. 

Of course, you always want to check in with hosts or family before dressing for a specific event or occasion just to ensure you’re being kind and respectful. Lehengas tend to have a more modern appearance, and you want to be sure that you’re wearing the best outfit to represent your culture.

Ready To Celebrate

Diwali is an extraordinary time; you deserve an extraordinary outfit when celebrating. That’s where the collection of lehengas and sarees available at Lashkaraa comes in. 

If you prefer one style of dress over the other, that’s okay! Both sarees and lehengas are appropriate outfits for traditional Diwali celebrations at home and worldwide. If you’re not sure where to get started, don’t worry! Every woman has had that moment of looking into a full closet and not knowing where to start. 

Not only will Lashkaraa match you with the perfect outfit for your Diwali festival, but we’ll help you to stylize and personalize it, so you can focus on having the best celebration with your friends and family. 

When you’re ready to find lehengas and sarees for Diwali and much more, make Lashkaraa the team you turn to first. We carry a comprehensive inventory of traditional clothes with a modern twist, and there’s something in our collection for the whole family.



Diwali | Definition & Facts | Britannica

How Is A Pure Zari Silk Saree Made? | VOGUE India

Tutorial on How to Wrap a Sari | Learn Religions

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