Lehenga Choli: Dare to Flare

-By Somdyuti Bhattacharya 

No Indian occasion is bereft of the sight of a Lehenga Choli! 

The draping of the dupatta can be done in various ways to achieve modified looks. Lehengas are usually worn to weddings and other grand occasions owing to its heavy and opulent features. Lehanga is basically a three-piece ethnic attire that has an imperial touch to it.


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Lehengas have been winning the hearts of North Indian women since the 1800s. They evolved centuries ago as a palatial attire among the Mughals. The fine artistry of ancient artisans gave birth to an attire as glorious as a Lehenga.

These initially emerged as a modification of draped pants but gradually the stitch between the legs was compromised for and finally an efficient and glamorous outfit known as Lehenga emerged. Lehengas are quite comfortable and mobile, makes moving in them easier. Just a tie around the belly and you are all set!

The minimalistic feel yet luxurious outlook of the attire is what makes it an easy grab for weddings and other glam events. Historically, Lehengas were made of cotton fabrics and dyed with patterns later royal fabrics and embroideries were used to stitch Lehengas thus turning them into an imperial attire.


The Making

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Of course, making a three-piece attire will surely be extensive and time-consuming. From yarning the fabrics to ornamenting the embroideries intricately, the execution of one Lehenga Choli can take up to half a month. For more exquisite hand made Lehengas, it could take over a month to finish, owing to the details and length of the drape. Communities and onsite producers decentralize the work by assigning separate tasks to various individuals. This helps to make the process go faster and also efficient.



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Still undergoing transitions, Lehenga Choli has conditioned its modification with several cultural variants constructing its delineations or styles in the vivid versions of the present-day visions of Lehenga Choli known to us.  

Talking of cultural variations, Lehenga Cholis come in innumerable avatars. A tie-dyed cotton Lehenga, along with chaniya cholis are donned by women from Rajasthan and Gujarat meanwhile, Lehengas intricately embroidered with zardosi or gota is found around Lucknow.

While wedding Lehengas are immensely ornamented with heavy beads, pearls, Kundan or Swarovski crystals, the ones meant for party wear are usually lined on georgette or silk.

Traditionally, the variations of Lehenga as bottoms included Sharara, Lacha and Gharara. All of these variants emerged during the 1200’s and came into popularity during the 1800s.

A Sharara drapes from the knee onwards. Shararas are essentially pants that have flared bottoms. The flares in Shararas are decorated in numerous embellishments. They are usually complemented with Kurtis and the dupatta is a disposable accessory here but it can elevate your whole look too.

A Gharara can be differentiated from a Lehenga in terms of volume. The numerously spread pleats in Ghararas contribute to its density and volume. Ghararas are also a part of three-piece attires with its blouse and dupatta.

A Lacha consists of an elongated blouse that reached almost up to the knee. The design might be similar to that of a Gharara or Lehenga but here the variation lies in with the blouse rather than the bottoms.


Innovations and Modifications

Worldwide trends and recent fashion influences casted a lasting impression on this imperial ethnic attire. The contemporary world has accepted the Lehenga even without its original partner, the Choli/Blouse.

From being topped with shirts, crop-tops and shrugs to wearing it as a half saree. From just finishing in a rounded flare to newer creases like umbrella cuts, fish cuts and mermaid cuts. From primary fabrics like cotton or satin into more heavy and luxurious fabrics, Lehengas are the most experimented on the fashion industry.

Presently various modern world fashion designers have popularized a more pop and more finessed form of Lehengas. Ranging from Manish Malhotra’s glittery glam collections to Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s grand wedding collections, A Lehenga’s flare with glamour is not only limited to India but also pretty popular in the whole wide world.

Every girl dreams of a Sabyasachi Lehenga for her wedding no matter what her culture is.  A flexible garment like a Lehenga has imbibed the modern and contemporary styles with grace.



A Lehenga Choli isn’t something that you keep buying every now and then, hence the maintenance should go hand-in-hand. Washing with detergents and rinsing should be avoided no matter what. Dry cleaning is the only way to sustain a pair of Lehenga Choli also, storing in a dry place wrapped in newspapers or plastic is recommended.


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No occasion is fulfilled without posting a graceful slomo twirl in your gorgeous Lehenga. An attire that keeps the Indian traditions in place and is flexible enough to adorn with contemporary designs, what more could a girl ask for?

Posted on 3rd June, 2021 at YourLibaas


About Somdyuti Bhattacharyya

Somdyuti is an experienced Content Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the fashion, health, and computer software industry. He is skilled in Painting, Dance, Communication, Creativity Skills, and Fashion. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor of Science - BS focused on Economics from Maulana Azad College. 

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