For young millennial women, ethnic wear has become synonymous with easy-to-wear kurtas and the occasional festive lehengas. We tend to overlook how rich our country’s heritage and how much we can learn from traditional wear in other regions than our own. Each state in India has its own gem to offer, traditional dresses in a mix of styles, colours, textures and fabrics. Backed by a rich history, it is any self-proclaimed fashion lover’s responsibility to keep them alive and seen.
Well, we have been looking and there are a few amazing styles that deserve your attention. A collection of completely unique looks from all the four corners of the country, we curated the best styles for you to try this year. From two-piece sarees to gorgeous embroidered robes, these pics will improve your desi fashion diction like nothing else!
Originating from Lucknow city, Chikankari is a fine and artistically done hand embroidery on fabrics like muslin, silk, chiffon and a few others. A niche-style with urban women, you can find a variety of pastel-heavy Chikan sets and fabrics in your nearest boutique, just take a look!
POPxo Recommends: Biba Chikankari Embroidered Kurta (Rs 1,079)
Every girl gang has that Bong friend who will step out in the prettiest saree during Durga Pujo. Arguably one of the most recognisable saree style, the Aatpoure or Ghorua is draped without pleats. Its signature look comes from the pallu that is tossed over your left shoulder. Get help with draping this style and maybe tie a bunch of keys at the end of the pallu if you wish to commit fully!
A traditional Angrakha is a short calico vest which is tied to either the left or right shoulder. The fit and flare silhouette is complemented by bright colours and minimal embroidery. We love how this style has evolved with time and now Angrakha kurtas are available in a variety of lengths, prints and designs.
POPxo Recommends: Madder-Yellow Ajrakh Cotton Angrakha Kurta (Rs 4,490)
You might have seen your favourite celebs donning this style but did you know that it originated from Punjab? Traditionally Punjabi women would pair their kurtas with contrast coloured lehengas and Phulkari dupattas. Recently though, the style has taken a less extravagant turn with deeper hues and detailing that is easier on the young eyes.
Worn by both men and women of the region, the most popular outing for this style has been in the picture frames Indian families who pose in the traditional garb on their vacation! These robe like garments are either ankle or knee length, with rich embroidery on the neck and sleeves. Try one on to create your own ‘Alia Bhatt in Highway’ moment.
POPxo Recommends: Kashmiri Embroidered Pheran Kurta (Rs 999)
The Galle is a cotton ankle-length wrap-around skirt, very popular in the region. Largely covered with geometric designs and prints, these skirts are also available in pristine white and cream palettes. Maybe switch your usual vacay sarongs with a couple of these pretty little things instead?
A vision in white and gold, this is one of the earliest forms of saree, which covered only the lower part of the body. Modern women today often wear it for weddings and Onam, in the form of a half saree with a blouse usually mirroring the saree border. A very simple yet elegant piece of clothing, this Kerala saree will be a breath of fresh air for the lovers of all things saree.
Mekhla Chador is a two-piece garment, with a print-heavy cloth (Mekhla) draped at the bottom and a lighter fabric on top which is the Chador. With many designers from the Northeast coming front and centre in the Indian fashion scene, we expect to see this style more often. More recently, a variety of Mekhla Chador was presented by designer Sanjukta Dutta at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2018 show.