Different Types of Indian Dresses & Indian Outfits

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Let’s talk about Indian dresses and the best Indian outfits!

You won’t believe just how diverse the Indian fashion scene is. But for a country with such a high level of cultural diversity, nothing less is actually expected. We’ll discuss many of the beautiful and colorful dresses worn by the over two thousand ethnic groups that make up the very fabric of the Indian nation. If you’re just as interested as we are in India’s different types of traditional ethnic wear, you’ll no doubt enjoy this article. Namaste!

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1. Saree dresses

Fashion trends come and go.

But the saree has remained one of India’s best traditional clothing of all time. It is simple, yet beautiful; trendy, yet timeless. Traditional Indian saree is comprised of three different pieces of clothing. These include;

  1. A cropped blouse
  2. Petticoat skirt, and
  3. Unstitched drape (6-yard fabric)

The saree is a cult-favorite among lovers of South Asian fashion and beyond.

These outfits beautifully highlight the female body’s natural curves. And you can style the drape in several ways to create different looks. It’s just so versatile, stylish, and significant that you can’t discuss Indian dresses, outfits, and fashion without mentioning it.

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2. Lengha Indian outfits

The lengha is a lot like the saree.

The significant difference between the two is that the lengha is somehow easier to wear. But it’s not like the saree is challenging to put on, too. Like the saree, the lengha comprises a three-piece outfit that includes a drape that’s often smaller than the one you’ll find in a traditional Indian saree dress. This 3-piece outfit includes;

  1. A cropped blouse known as choli
  2. The skirt, known as lengha, and
  3. The drape, referred to as a dupatta.
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The lengha is a dress for all occasions.

You can rock it at receptions, sangeet, engagements, and more. And even more recently, it’s become a huge wedding fashion trend. But, regardless of the occasion, you can trust that a well-made lengha will look very good on your body.

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3. Anarkali suits and dresses

Many beautiful Indian dresses come in three pieces.

The saree and lengha are popular examples of three-piece Indian outfits. Anarkali suits are also another beautiful example. These suits come in slightly different styles. However, they mainly comprise a long-flowing top known as the kurta, leggings or pants referred to as churidaar, and a dupatta scarf.

Anarkali suits also blend well into different styles and occasions.

The flowing flattery dresses will complement your beautiful body, and it’s one dress that never goes out of style. One more thing, Anarkali dresses exude royalty and beauty. The dress is named after the legendary Anarkali, a famous courtesan of the Great Emperor Akbar’s court.

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4. Sharara dress

The sharara dress has evolved over the years.

This piece of elegance and simplicity is perfect to wear on all occasions, easy to wear and maintain, and no doubt, a significant part of Indian fashion and culture.

This three-piece Indian ethnic wear usually comes with a kurta, the blouse at varying lengths, although short kurtas, also known as kurtis, are more preferred. The outfit is then completed with a wide leg pant and a dupatta.

Like the Anarkali, the sharara dress traces its roots to the Mughal Empire’s aristocracy. This outfit exudes elegance and royalty and may often be embroidered with intricate stone work, sequins, beads, etc.

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5. Kaftan outfits for women

Kaftans have an origin traceable to the west of Asia.

Over the years, they’ve become a popular ensemble in India and the rest of the world. It’s more like how the saree is now a global fashion piece.

Kaftans are not three-piece outfits like most of the other Indian dresses we’ve discussed.

Indian women’s kaftan is usually in the form of long-flowing, oversized, floor-length blouses. These dresses may be embellished with simple and intricate details and are great for many occasions. Most popularly, they are more prominent at weddings, Mehndi, Sangeet, and similar events.

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6. Salwar suit and sets

Most people will agree that Salwar Kameez is one of the most popular dresses for women in India. In its basic form, the Salwar kameez is a two-piece ethnic Indian dress consisting of a tunic top known as the kameez and a loose trouser with narrow ankles, referred to as the salwar.

While a dupatta is usually not necessary with salwar suits, you might still use it if you’d like to cover your head and shoulders. Salwar suits are what most people know as Punjabi suits. They are beautiful and will make you look glam and fabulous!

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7. Kurtas and kurtis

You’ll like the beautiful simplicity of kurtas and kurtis!

Kurtas are one of the most widely worn ethnic dresses in India. They are simple and elegant and less demanding to maintain, compared to sarees and lenghas.

The Kurta is basically a long top, measuring down to the knee.

It’s the same thing as a kurti, only that kurtis are shorter, often measuring only down to the waist or hip region. So, you’ll want to pair your kurti with skirts, leggings, jeans, or whatever suits you.

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The kurta can be paired with other dresses of your choice, such as a salwar or churidaar. You can also choose to complement the outfit with a dupatta as well. They are great for parties and events and are also suitable for casual outings.

Conclusion

Only a few other cultures can boast of the level of diversity on display in the Indian fashion scene. Indian ethnic dresses have evolved and are now becoming more prominent than ever in the global fashion scene.

Whether you’re new to the Indian fashion scene or looking to update your wardrobe with trendy and timeless Indian dresses, the likes of sarees, salwar suits, Anarkali, sharara, and the other Indian outfits highlighted here should be top of your list of priorities.

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