- The Indian lehenga choli is one of the most beautiful outfits for women, worn in villages and towns since the 10th century A.D. in many parts of India. The simple but colorful ghagra choli from Rajasthan evolved over the years and then spread to many other parts of the country, finally becoming the stylish and attractive Indian lehenga choli that is today seen in designer collections and at traditional events. Though the ghagra choli variation still exists and is widely worn in Rajasthan and Gujarat, it is the Indian lehenga that has truly achieved a mass appeal and become popular with women around the world.
- The Indian choli is the common aspect between a ghagra and lehenga outfit. It is a fitted blouse that usually falls just above the navel but can end above or below it as well, with sleeves varying in length from sleeve-less to full-sleeve. The Indian choli is always worn with a long skirt and a flowing scarf or dupatta. Indian lehengas are more formal and fitted as compared to ghagras. These skirts are always long and floor-sweeping but they can vary in terms of their silhouette between the classic straight cut, the modern a-line or mermaid style and the anarkali style flowing circular fall. Thus between the style of the blouse and the type of the lehenga, there are a lot of different Indian lehenga choli designs to choose from.
- Indian lehenga designs tend to be quite ornate, as these outfits are preferred as formal wear for weddings and festivals. The designs are usually created using a variety of Indian techniques, like zari, Resham embroidery, cut dana, gota patti, ek taar with crystal work, patch border work and aari work, weaving together various ethnic motifs of flowers, leaves, plants, trees, birds, peacocks, fruits and intricate geometric shapes. The simpler varieties for festivals may utilize simple thread embroidery and bright colors, keeping the glittering embellishments limited to the border area, while a Indian bridal lehenga will be completely covered in rich designs all over the fabric. In terms of fabric, all types of fine materials can be utilized to create Indian lehenga cholis. Exclusive silk varieties like Tussar and Banarasi silk as well as fine cotton and crepe fabrics can be easily decorated and colored and hence are popular lehenga choli fabrics. Nowadays, georgette and chiffon are also widely used because of their beautiful appearance and feel. Layered net lehengas are also extremely trendy right now.
- There are also many variations in Indian choli designs to choose from, in terms of design and fabrics as well as in terms of the cut and silhouette. The classic choli design includes a relatively deep, round neck with half sleeves and ends just above the navel. Designers have come up with many trendy variations, including different types of neck lines and sleeve-lengths. The blouse can either be exactly matched with the color and designs of the lehengas or bring in an element of contrast with dramatic brocade designs and patterns.
- Indian lehenga dresses are favorite garments of designers and they love experimenting with new silhouettes and styles. For instance, lehenga sarees combine the saree with the lehenga choli to create a graceful and fun outfit that blends the elegance of sarees with the beautiful fit and colorful look of lehenga cholis. Such styles are frequently seen on red carpets and consequently they are considered very glamorous and trendy.
Styling Tips for Indian Lehengas
- Lehenga choli fashions change with every season, just like with any other style. While at one point soft pastel shades were in fashion, recently designers have embraced bright neon shades and dramatic contrasts. Intricate embroideries and embellishments come out beautifully against a neon background and hence are frequently worn at festivals and other special occasions. For weddings, red remains the preferred color although many designer bridal collections now include different shades of yellow, green, pink, blue and even white or beige.
- Experimentation with cholis is also a big trend right now, with the focus being on classy looking vintage styles like the dori-tied backless blouses or full-sleeve, high collar cholis. A great way to dress up for a party or a celebration is to pair a heavy and well-fitting designer blouse with a relatively plain lehenga and a net dupatta; this highlights the figure of the women and looks elegant and classy at the same time.
- Indian lehenga cholis look best when accessorized with Indian style jewelry like Kundan necklace sets, Meenakari bracelets, Polki earrings and Thewa necklace sets. Diamonds and pearl jewelry can also be worn with stone encrusted lehengas. It is essential to wear lehengas with high heel sandals to achieve the right fall for the long skirt.