A Fashion Designer’s Guide to choose the Perfect Lehenga Design

Choose the right silhouette for your lehenga and half the job is done! Here's a guide to help you get the perfect lehenga designed for your body type
Variety of Wedding Lehenga Blouses with different shapes & cuts

Have you ever spotted a stunning lehenga on a magazine cover and wondered if it would look as gorgeous on you as it does on the model? Our designers say that whether or not a lehenga’s silhouette or shape will suit you essentially depends on your body type, personality, and your sense of style. Choosing the right shape and style for the blouse and the lehenga skirt is the most crucial step, whether you are planning a dream look for your own wedding or are looking for a stunning lehenga to rock to your BFF’s sangeet.

Here is how you can avoid making the wrong choice of lehenga silhouette that can potentially ruin your entire look

Types of Lehenga Silhouettes

1. Panelled or "Kali Wala"

Wedding Lehenga with fabric panels attached to give volume

Horizontal panels of fabrics are attached along the flare of the lehenga due to which the volume of the flare is increased. It can be made more colourful by using contrasting set of fabrics. A 24-Kali bridal lehenga has the most spectacular “ghera” to it and is a popular choice for royal or luxurious weddings. However, you must also remember that while the kalis or panels add a phenomenal flare to the outfit and conceal wider hips, they will make the lehenga heavy and difficult to maneuver. Here are some tips on how to achieve the perfect flare with your lehenga

2. A-Line Lehenga

A-Line Cut Lehenga Blouse style

In the shape of the alphabet “A”, this lehenga is tight on the waist and the flare increases progressively towards the bottom. This lehenga silhouette suits most body types and makes the legs look longer when worn high-waisted. An A-Line lehenga with a crop top is an excellent and comfortable choice for the Mehendi or Haldi ceremony. When glammed up with a sparkly bustier-style blouse, it makes for an enchanting cocktail outfit. These looks can also be flaunted during festivals

3. Flared or Pleated Lehenga

A pleated lehenga with large flare, worn by a bride

Made from numerous pleats which give it a lot of volume and a large flare, this lehenga style will add a memorable visual appeal to your Sangeet performance. A pleated lehenga with a floral print is perfect for a summer wedding or for an outdoor wedding function scheduled during the day. This lehenga silhouette is ideal for bridesmaids and the sisters of the bride too

4. Circular Cut Lehenga

A bride wearing a circular cut lehenga with blouse

The oldest traditional form of lehenga with a very large flare. It is made gorgeous with heavy embroidery and a heavy border. This lehenga silhouette is what will give you the most breathtaking sit-down shots in your bridal look. You should choose a fabric with a good ‘flow’ for this type of lehenga

5. Layered Lehenga

A layered bridal lehenga with an asymmetrical hemline

Also called asymmetrical lehenga, it has several ‘layers’ of fabric beautifully draped around, forming flares of different sizes. This lehenga style adds a youthful, exuberant vibe to the outfit and is perfect for party-wear lehengas. Another popular variation of this style is the High-Low lehenga where the layers of fabric are longer at the back and end a few inches above the ankles at the front

6. Fish Cut Lehenga

Stylish Maroon colour fish cut lehenga worn by a bride

A fish cut lehenga is a popular silhouette, thanks to how it hugs the figure in the right areas. As the name suggests, this lehenga is shaped like a Fish – it is tight on the waist & hips, till the knee & then flares out. A fish cut lehenga is ideal for those with an hourglass figure who wish to flaunt their curves. This too is a more youthful style and is perfect for pre-wedding events

Other Variations of the Lehenga Dress

Pattu Pavadai, Langa Davani, Langa Voni

south indian style langa voni dress is another form of lehenga choli

Source: ezwed.in

Some of the variations of the Lehenga, particularly in South India are the Pattu Pavadai, Langa Davani and the Langa Voni Lehega. The Pattu Pavadai Lehenga consists of a colourful full-length top that covers the waist region completely along with a flared skirt in a similar or contrasting bright colour. The Langa Davani and the Langa Voni Lehengas are essentially half-saree style lehengas where the chunari that comes separately is draped like a saree pallu around the lehenga skirt, which creates a slimming effect at the hips

Lehenga Saree

A modern design lehenga with pallu stitched like in a saree

Source: a1designerwear

A lehenga saree is essentially a pre-pleated variation of a saree that has a lehenga-like flare, while the pallu can be draped in multiple ways. This is a cross between a lehenga and a saree that is easy to drape, and the pallu comes attached with the lower half of the garment instead of a separate chunari for a lehenga

Anarkali Lehenga

Indian celebrity wearing the anarkali lehenga design

Source: cbazar.com

An Anarkali Lehenga is a modern variation of the lehenga dress wherein the skirt and the blouse/top are stitched together. The skirt has an A-line silhouette with a flare, similar to Anarkali kurtas and the top can have a number of different styles when it comes to the necklines, sleeves etc. An Anarkali Lehenga is a great choice if you want an outfit that looks regal but also easy to slip into

Sharara Lehenga

The pakistani sharara style lehenga paired with a longish blouse

Source: indiamart

A Sharara Lehenga is a variation of the Lehenga where the top is slightly longer and resembles a kurti while the bottom comprises of loose, flared pants instead of a skirt. This outfit is popular among Muslim brides but has now been embraced by women across the country as festive wear. The sharara pants and kurti usually have a heavy border and sequin or embroidery work scattered all over the fabric

Having understood the forms of Lehenga, here are some tips to get the right one made as per your body type. Get your favourite boutique to suggest you designs that they can tailor make & style it to your requirements. Download the Infographic below and bookmark it for reference later

An Infographic showing lehenga type recommendations for different body types

Pro*Tips

From our designers

Add Pockets

Consult your designer regarding adding pockets to your lehenga, which may be possible with certain fabrics and silhouettes. This will allow you to carry your essentials – your phone, a pocket mirror, or a lipstick for on-the go touch-ups, with ease. Here are some styles for inspiration

Detachable Train

You can ask your designer to add a detachable train to your bridal lehenga so that you can make a memorable entrance at your wedding but can also restyle the lehenga afterwards for other occasions by removing the train

With the right lehenga style to suit your body type and personality, you will definitely make heads turn with your ravishing outfit

All the very best with the dream look selection – do share your thoughts/ comments/ questions & will be happy to answer them

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Rashmi Gupta

Rashmi Gupta

Founder & Lead Designer at Lavender, The Boutique

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