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Article: What shall it be in place of lehenga choli this time for Navratri?

What shall it be in place of lehenga choli this time for Navratri?
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What shall it be in place of lehenga choli this time for Navratri?


Dushhera is round the corner, hardly a week away. If you have been waiting for the exhilarating, entertaining and satiating Navaratri Dandia Raas, wait no more. Only be ready to flaunt your costumes for the nine-day occasion. And don’t you think it is time you needed a change? Why not make it more interesting, starting this time?

If you already have your regular costume from the last year, and still good to go, wear it. If you are planning to buy a new set this time, why not be adventurous and try out something different this time? We have a whole lot of interesting suggestions for your nine day wardrobe that could be a good change, a wonderful costume to flaunt, could even be a trend setter for all you know.

The Chaniya choli or lehenga choli

For the uninitiated, seen both as traditional attire as well as on festive occasions, the choli is the tight fitting upper part with short sleeves and neck. The chaniya or lehenga or ghagra is the lower portion that is long, embroidered and pleated. Until the early part of the 20th century women irrespective of class largely wore ghagras which reached down to the ankles. Secured at the waist or hips and leaving the midriff and lower back bare, the ghagra is an ancient version of the skirt that evolved from the time it was tightened at the waist by pulling together a drawstring. The early ones were largely reaching down to the ankles, were made of coarse khadi fabric and though plain or mildly decorated with gota and badla embroidery on special occasions, the attractive feature being the flared look. This is what creates a flutter when the Gujarati garba dance picks tempo and the ghagra starts swirling.

So what are you going to wear for the fun-filled dances for Navaratri? Investing in a new Chaniya choli?

Or prefer to go western with jeans and kurta ?

We suggest that you get enterprising. The costume has to be colorful and interesting, comfortable yet not prone to wardrobe malfunction when the speed of the dance picks up.

Here is our pick for this season. Try out each at least for a day or two in the nine days of the Navaratri festival.


  • Bandhani Dupattas

Just the right thing for color! The traditional process that has never ceased to amaze, all you need is a dupatta that has lovely patterns arranged in a nice design in spetacular colors. A highly-skilled process involving the Tie-Dye method, it is the skill of the craftsman that several varied dotted patterns appear amid different colored backdrops. Just the right thing to catch the attention of all you come across. These dupattas are designed with extremely beautiful mirror work along with silver beads and shells. Team it up with a nice light colored Chikankari embroidered kurti to be the cynosure of all eyes. Let the bottom be a nice flared lehenga or skirt for that swirl.

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  • Lehenga style Pattu saree with matching top

Why not try out the lehenga style saree, worn over a petticoat just as for saree? The difference?

the lehenga-style saree is worn over a petticoat. The saree could be a jazzy Uppada sarees, Narayanpet sarees or Gadwal saree since there would lots of zari designer work that would do nicely in the light to draw out the compliments.

The Lehenga-style saree is stitched as a long flared skirt with a zip at the side and made to the measurements of the wearer. The wearer need only fasten the zipper and drape the pallu (the loose end) over the shoulders. This requires less technical skill in draping and pleating than the regular saree demands. The pallu has the dramatic effect of the matching dupatta of the conventional lehenga choli.

A lehenga-style saree is a modern garment introduced in India that blends elements of the traditional saree and lehenga choli. A lehenga-style saree is normally 4.5 metres (5 yards) to 5.5 metres (6 yards) long. To wear one, unlike a sari, one does not have to form pleats but may simply tuck and drape.

The top could be a nice Kalamkari blouse that would by itself be an eye-catcher.


  • Long skirt with appropriate Kalamkari top is a very good alternative for the conventional ghagra choli. You get beautiful swirl and with good embellishment of the long skirt with jazzy prints, gotta patti and tassels, mirror work it would serve wonderfully. You can wear it with a lovely ikat top or a simple sleeveless waist length kurti and with appropriate accessories like earrings, bangles, etc. you would look simply fantastic.
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  • We imagine correctly that an Anarkali spruced up with lovely embroidery over a flaring Patiala salwar would do excellently. The flaring bottom would do nicely for a chic appearance as well as give an exotic swirling motion.
  • Fusion lehengas

Bored with the usual? Check out the fusion lehengas. A mix of traditional and contemporary fashion, you would have the popular solids teamed up with aesthetically rich prints and patterns.

  • Desi Lehengas with decorative dupattas

Flaunt your feminine allure with some of those jaw-dropping lehengas in silk, cotton, georgette, khadi, satin, net and the like. Playing garba in these lehengas would definitely do justice to your appearance. And use a dupatta with a lot of exquisite embroidery, Gota,  Phulkari,  Shisha,  Chikankari, Zari, Zardozi, Nakshi, Kundan, etc.

Make sure you wear heavy oxidised jewellery along with a pair of hanging earrings to rock the look. Make sure


  • And what about the Lucknowi Gharara?

No longer is a traditional garment worn daily but only for special occasions. The lovely thing about it is that it consists of a mid length Kurti or Indian tunic, a dupatta and wide legged pants. Normally the leg area called Gota, would be elaborately decorated in zari and zardozi work. The fabric would generally be of silk brocade.

In passing one should not fail to mention, an interesting thing would be to have a tight fitting bottom and a loose top that would also create swirl and style.

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