Exploring Traditional Lehengas

Weddings in India are characterized by the heavily embroidered and rich garments worn by each and every guest. It is customary to wear Indian ethnic attire for each of the numerous ceremonies and occasions that are a part and parcel of Indian weddings. Thus, it is not uncommon for women to wear traditional lehengas, sarees, anarkali suits, and so on. More often than not, brides wear lehengas for the cocktail ceremony as well as the main wedding ceremony. Traditional lehengas have three main components that create the ensemble. The first is the heavily embroidered long skirt that reaches the ankles. The second is the blouse which can be in any form. For instance, crop top blouses known as cholis are extremely popular as are corset top blouses, backless blouses and modest blouses that cover the entire torso. The choice of the top depends on the woman’s aesthetic sense and tastes. When worn with a crop top or choli, the outfit is known as a traditional lehenga choli. Finally, the last component is the dupatta, which is also usually heavily embroidered. Though with recent trends many women have learned to shed the dupatta for the cocktail night, it is a popular part of the ensemble as it adds a lot of elegance to the look and ties the two other components together to create a cohesive garment. This outfit has been one of the most popular forms of wedding attire in India because it is extremely graceful and makes women look taller because of the fall of the long skirt.

Traditional lehenga choli designs have now been merged with western aesthetics and concepts in order to create interesting new garments for the runway such as traditional lehenga sarees. Over the last few years, the Indian runway has truly seen some extremely interesting forms of innovation that have elevated a garment that is considered to be traditional to the status of high fashion. This has also lead to Indian designers being lauded for their work all over the world, thereby also leading to a greater demand in Indian ethnic wear abroad. Traditional lehenga collections in India are sold most often during the wedding season which takes place from the months of September to February as they are considered the most auspicious times to get married.

Style Traditional Lehengas

Traditional lehengas are fairly easy to style if you pair the right types of accessories with it. As this garment is usually worn during the wedding season for ceremonies, it is always better to wear heavy Indian jewelry with this as opposed to casual street jewelry. This is because it is customary to wear intricate and expensive forms of jewelry during a wedding. In India, some of the most popular forms of jewelry are Kundan sets, Meenakari sets and Polki sets along with western gold and diamond jewelry. These are extremely popular in India and can be found anywhere. The jewelry pieces that are worn in these styles include necklaces, rings, toe rings, earrings and maang tikka along with bangles and anklets as well. These are worn by both guests and the bride although the bride is expected to wear more than one set. Women prefer saving their most intricate forms of jewelry for the main wedding event and wear lighter jewelry during the cocktail and mehendi functions. Essentially, the rule to follow is: the heavier the jewelry, the more the important the function. Also, the closer one is to the family of the bride, the more likely it is that they have to wear heavy jewelry.

Apart from jewelry, traditional lehengas-ghagra cholis are styled well when the right type of shoes are chosen. Obviously, women do not wear western footwear with these garments as they clash horribly. Instead, they wear high heeled shoes or high heeled sandals. This is because they compliment the way the skirt flows and falls, adding more elegance to the overall look. They also make women look taller which has always been a strong reason why women prefer heels over flats. Some women prefer pairing their lehengas with Indian flat footwear such as juttis. This is, again, purely an aesthetic choice though it is widely believed that the heels look much better.

In terms of handbags, Indian handbags tend to match the outfit more than western handbags. Cut dana handbags and moti work handbags are widely popular choices for lehenga cholis, followed closely by embroidered handbags. Clutches are also carried quite frequently with lehengas. Depending on the function, women choose between bags with straps and bags without straps. When there is dancing involved, it is certainly more advisable to carry a bag with straps so that one doesn’t have to worry about misplacing it while dancing.

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