Women’s Indian Outfits

There are probably as many types of Indian clothes as languages in India (22 major languages, 13 different scripts, and over 720 dialects) – we’re just going to mention a few of the popular ones…

Salwar Kameez

A salwar kameez is a combination of pants, a loose fitted top of varying lengths, and a dupatta (a shawl-like scarf). Depending on the amount of work and material, they can be worn anywhere from at-home dinner parties to pre-wedding events (such as the Mehndi party, as seen above). Although we aren’t the fashion police, we would recommend an anarkali, lengha, or a sari for the Sangeet and Wedding events, mentioned below. If you aren’t familiar with the different types of Indian wedding events, read this post.


An anarkali is derived from a salwar kameez, consisting of a dress-like top, bottoms, and a dupatta. The top is fitted until below the chest and the rest is flowy, ending anywhere from the knee to the ankles. This type of salwar kameez is more commonly worn to wedding events due to the formality of it.  

Lengha Choli

A lengha choli (“skirt top”) is a combination of an embroidered skirt (think, A-line) with a fitted crop top of varying sleeves and necklines. This also comes with a dupatta, which can be worn as a veil. Traditionally, Indian brides wear a red and gold lengha as their wedding dress, but will also wear lenghas for their other events in different colors/formality. Guests can definitely wear lenghas as well, but I would highly recommend speaking with the bride and confirming which colors she and her bridesmaids are wearing.  


A sari (also spelled saree) is a single piece of fabric varying from five to nine yards in length and two to four feet in width. Saris are most common and traditional garment in India. Though there are myriad ways to wear a sari, the most common style has the sari wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, showing the midriff. Often, you’ll wear a petticoat and a blouse underneath.

*All photos used in this post are taken by Channa Photography.

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