The Indian lehenga choli is a garment that is a culmination of opulence and grandeur - multiple yards of fine fabric stitched to create a dress that is traditional in design and royal in its appeal. Simply referred to as ‘Lehenga’ in short, the attire comprises of a long floor-sweeping skirt or lehenga paired with a blouse, called the choli and a long dupatta that is draped on the blouse.
Ask any girl about her dream wedding outfit and she is bound to say that she wants a lehenga designed by her favourite designer. Such is the charm of these outfits – they are the stuff of every woman’s dreams. Owing to the exquisite work and rich fabrics that go into making them, lehengas tend to be primarily preferred for weddings. This also makes them heirloom pieces – that are stowed away carefully to be passed on from one generation to another.
Silk, jacquard, brocade and georgette are some of the fabrics that are used to make lehengas. The long, flowing skirts are adorned with heavy borders, complete with embroidery, zari or zardosi work that beautifully complements the rich fabric. Sometimes, you might even find lehengas that are completely covered in exquisite handwork and these are by no means light. But despite their weight, such lehengas are in demand because of their extravagance.
Teamed with the lehenga is a blouse, called the choli. The design of the choli is the first thing that is noticed in the outfit and hence a lot of premium is placed on it. Conservative designs have cholis that are waist length, not allowing for any show of skin. But if you want to add some sizzle to your lehenga choli, you can find cholis that are cropped, sleeveless, backless or why, even go in for a corset instead of a regular blouse! In this age of fusion wear, you can find women pushing the envelope by pairing jeweled tube tops with their lehengas. Lehenga choli sets can be simple with an elegant border or can have brilliant embellishments all over.
The colour scheme of a lehenga choli can be monotone, dual or multi-tone. In monotone outfits, you’d find the lehenga, choli and the dupatta, all in the same colour. Dual tone outfits have differently coloured top and skirt with the dupatta matching one of them. Most popular this season are multi-tone lehengas where there are multiple colours in the lehenga itself, with the blouse and the dupatta matching or contrasting against one of them.
The dupatta is the piece that completes the look of a Lehenga-choli. Made of silk, georgette or sheer fabrics, the dupatta is usually dotted with sequins and is adorned with a border that is similar to the border of the skirt. The dupatta can be worn draped on one shoulder if you want to show off your choli. For women who want to achieve the saree look, the choli can be draped across the body like a pallu and tucked into the lehenga on one end.
As we mentioned before, the heavy designs on the lehenga cholis make them perfect as bridal lehengas for Indian weddings. If it is your wedding and you are unable to decide between a saree and a lehenga, we would suggest the latter because a wedding needs an outfit that is one of a kind! A wedding lehenga is not only more opulent than a saree but is also an outfit that is especially made for weddings. Wear it with a heavy studded choker, lots of bangles and a maang tika and we assure you that it will be hard for people to take their eyes away from you! And if you are wondering as to how to pick a splendid lehenga for the wedding, we’d be happy to help you figure that out. You can also take a look at our exhaustive collection of designer lehengas and get in touch with us to get them custom-made for you!
Red has traditionally been the most popular colour for bridal lehengas. Pink, Yellow, Green and Orange are also quite traditional choices. Brides in recent times have however been experimenting with a range of colours including non-traditional colours like Black, White and Ivory.