The lehenga choli is one of the most gorgeous Indian outfits, typically worn at weddings, festivals and other special occasions. It is a three piece outfit consisting of a fitted blouse, a long skirt and a dupatta. Lehenga designs are always quite rich and ornate and this combined with flattering way it fits the body has made it a favorite ethnic outfit not only amongst Indian women but internationally as well. It is probably the most glamorous and sexy Indian outfit, while at the same time being traditional; thus, for many women, this outfit combines the best of both worlds.
There are many lehenga styles available today. While there is a lot of variation in terms of color, fabric and patterns, the basic cut and silhouette itself can vary from region to region. Moreover, many of these regional varieties have been adapted to incorporate more contemporary fashions, thus providing a dazzling array of choices for lovers of ethnic fashion.
The ghagra choli is a version of the lehenga worn in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The full-skirted, circular design of lehenga is what sets it apart. A lot of fabric goes into the creation of the skirt which flares out beautifully when one twirls in it. The choli is slightly longer, till the waist, and more loose-fitted. Nowadays this is the must-have outfit for festivals like Navratri and Dussera, which involve a lot of dancing. The free-flowing circular fall of the skirt is well-suited for such events. In terms of design, this outfit comes with a lot of mirrors and patchwork patterns.
The sharara is a type of lehenga style popular in the north of India. This is a Mughal-influenced outfit that is particularly popular in Punjab and Pakistan, though the frequent appearance of this outfit in Bollywood movies has given it a universal appeal. Though it looks similar to a lehenga it actually differs quite a bit in terms of structure. It consists of a long top, like a kurta, worn over loose pants that flare out like a skirt from below the knees.
Besides these regional variations, even the basic fitted lehenga choli can come with modern cuts and silhouettes. For instance, one can get a mermaid style lehenga which is tightly fitted till the knees and then flows elegantly to the floor. It is combined with a tightly fitting choli or blouse that shows just a little bit of the stomach. The effect is sophisticated, yet ethnic.
The most popular bridal outfits are bridal lehengas. These are the most ornate, richly embroidered and heavily embellished outfits, combining a plethora of Indian embroidery and embellishment techniques in a series of unique designs. An Indian bridal lehenga can come in the traditional red and gold shades as well as off-beat variations like orange, pink, blue, green and yellow. These are the not the traditional colors brides are expected to wear but modern brides are open to new styles. On the other hand, wedding lehengas, i.e., those worn by the rest of the wedding party and/or the guests, are expected to be multi-colored with shimmering designs.
A cutting-edge innovation in the ladies’ lehenga choli style is the lehenga pattern saree. Half-way between a saree and a lehenga, this outfit combines the best of two of the most elegant garments in Indian fashion. Easy to wear and manage and ultra glamorous at the same time, this is a great option for modern women who want to be comfortable, stylish and ethnic all at the same time. Moreover, all the classic lehenga patterns utilizing zari, zardosi, cutdana, beads, stones, appliqué, aari, booti and patch border work are available in lehenga pattern sarees.
Trending Lehenga Styles
Indian lehengas are very in-vogue right now and it would be hard to go wrong with this outfit at any special occasion, be it a party, wedding or festival. Latest lehenga choli designs retain the dazzling beauty of traditional patterns, but often experiment with interesting cuts and patterns. For instance, Indian wedding lehengas can be worn with a backless choli for a bold and trendy look. Even Indian bridal lehengas can be sophisticated and modern, incorporating unconventional colors like white, silver, beige and cream as well as deep cut necks and sleeveless styles.
For a glamorous party look, one can pair up beautiful lehengas with an elegant metallic clutch, stone-studded jewelry and heels slippers. The latest lehenga designs with flattering modern silhouettes like the mermaid cut can be paired up with simple pearl jewelry for a classy look.
Another good tip is to pair up the lehenga pattern with the jewelry; for instance, Kundan sets can be worn with Kundan studded lehengas, gold sets can be worn with gold work lehengas and so on.