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What is a Lehenga? Lehenga Meaning History, Types and Styles

By Diadem

04 Apr, 2024

What is a Lehenga? Lehenga Meaning History, Types and Styles

One of the most cherished outfits of all time is the alluring Indian traditional lehenga, also popularly known as lehenga choli. Adored for its exquisite craftsmanship and elegant silhouette, this iconic garment has woven its magic through countless wedding ceremonies, adorning brides with unparalleled grace and beauty. 

During the wedding festivities, the bride's lehenga becomes the focal point of admiration and awe, capturing the essence of the celebration and reflecting the grandeur of the occasion. Such a special lehenga is deeply ingrained in the fabric of Indian weddings. 

Today, in this blog, we'll learn about what is lehenga, its meaning, the history of lehenga, and various lehenga styles and designs. Stay tuned, as we discuss some of the best ideas on how to style lehengas for weddings.

What is the Meaning of Lehenga? 

The word "lehenga" originates from the Hindi language, and the meaning of lehenga primarily refers to a traditional Indian garment worn by women and girls. The lehenga consists of a lehenga - long skirt, choli - a fitted blouse or top paired with the lehenga and a long scarf or shawl called a dupatta, adorned with intricate embellishments and designs that is draped elegantly over the shoulders or arms.

This Indian traditional lehenga choli holds immense significance at weddings and festive occasions, due to its exquisite craftsmanship, vibrant colours, and intricate embellishments, reflecting the rich heritage and traditions of India. 

Lehenga History 

The history of lehenga can be traced back to the majestic courts of the Mughal era in India. During this period, the lehenga originated as a luxurious garment primarily worn by royalty and aristocracy. Its design reflected the opulence of the Mughal dynasty, characterised by intricate embroidery, lavish fabrics, and elaborate embellishments.

Originally, the lehenga was not just a symbol of fashion but also a reflection of status and wealth. Persian lehenga style introduced the use of luxurious fabrics like silk and brocade, as well as intricate embroidery techniques such as zardozi and gota work. Mughals, the patron of arts, introduced their own style with intricate nature-inspired motifs and embroidery techniques like threadwork, zari and mirror work leaving a royal aesthetic.

For instance, Indian lehengas in North are characterised by elaborate embroidery in rich fabrics like silk and brocade. South Indian lehengas, on the other hand, feature temple-inspired motifs, vibrant colours, and lightweight fabrics like kanjivaram silk.

Types of Lehenga 

Whether it's a grand wedding or a festive celebration, there's a lehenga style to suit every occasion. Here are some of the most popular types of lehengas,

Bridal Lehengas for Women  

Bridal lehengas feature intricate embroidery, luxurious fabrics, and rich colours, making them perfect for wedding brides. With their voluminous skirts and elaborate cholis, bridal lehengas exude timeless beauty and charm for brides to make a statement on their special day.

Haldi Lehenga Designs 

Haldi ceremonies are a joyful pre-wedding tradition and haldi lehengas are designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and vibrant, reflecting the festive spirit of the occasion. Haldi lehengas typically feature vibrant hues like yellow, orange, and green with minimal embellishments.

Indo Western Lehengas for Women

Indo-western lehengas fuses traditional Indian lehenga style with western designs that are trendy and sophisticated. These lehengas feature modern silhouettes, unconventional fabrics, and innovative draping techniques, offering a twisted choice for fashion-forward brides. 

Party wear Lehenga Styles

Party wear lehengas are versatile and designed for celebratory occasions beyond weddings. Party wear lehengas come in a variety of styles, from glamorous and embellished to chic and minimalist, to adorn at cocktail parties and festive events.

Sangeet Lehengas 

Sangeet lehengas reflect the celebration filled with music, dance, and joyous, in vibrant colours, playful embellishments, and lightweight fabrics to take the centre stage on the dance floor.

Traditional Silk Lehengas 

Silk lehengas are timeless classics known for their luxurious texture, sheen, and elegance. Silk lehengas are made from pure silk, raw silk, and Banarasi silk fabrics, which lend a regal touch to the attire for traditional occasions. 

Semi Stitched Lehengas 

Semi-stitched lehengas are a flexible choice for women, allowing them to adjust the size and fit and make any customisation in fabric, embellishment and style. These lehengas come partially stitched, with the skirt and blouse pre-constructed and the rest left unfinished.

Explore the 15 Latest bridal lehenga designs and trending bridal lehenga looks for weddings 

Popular Lehenga Colour Combinations

Red and Gold: The best lehenga design for weddings, red and gold exude elegance and grandeur. This lehenga colour combination is favoured by brides for its regal appeal and majestic look.

Pink and Mint Green: Pink and mint green lehenga colours create a refreshing and romantic mood that is perfect for spring and summer weddings. 

Royal Blue and Silver: Bold and majestic, the royal blue and silver lehenga colour combination, exudes sophistication and glamour, on your special day. 

Pastel Shades: Soft pastel hues like blush pink, powder blue, and lavender are trendy lehenga designs for contemporary brides seeking a subtle and romantic look.

Black and Gold: Dramatic and chic, the black and gold lehenga choli design offers a bold and glamorous palette that creates a striking appearance on your big day.

Lehenga Designs and Styles

The latest trends in lehenga styles showcase a fusion of traditional craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics, offering a plethora of trendy lehengas for women as follows:

3D Flowers: Adding a romantic touch, lifelike floral embellishments create dimension and texture on lehengas, enhancing their modern appeal.

Beads: Intricately stitched beads in various shapes and sizes add sparkle and glamour to lehengas, elevating their overall look.

Mirrors: Reflective glass pieces, known as 'shisha,' are carefully embedded into the fabric, adding a festive charm and catching the light.

Stones: Crystals, rhinestones, and gemstones are sewn onto lehengas to create stunning patterns, adding opulence and luxury.

Embossing: Textured patterns raised from the fabric's surface create a tactile appeal, lending a luxurious touch to lehengas.

Embroidery: Intricate stitching of patterns and motifs using coloured threads adds elegance and sophistication to lehengas.

Sequins: Small, shiny discs sewn onto the fabric create a dazzling effect, adding glamour and allure to lehengas.

Zari Work: Weaving metallic threads into the fabric creates intricate designs, infusing lehengas with a regal and luxurious finish.

Looking for the trendiest ensemble? Check out the modern lehenga designs guaranteed to elevate your style and exude elegance.

Difference Between Lehenga and Ghagra 

The difference between lehenga and ghagra varies with subtle distinctions in style. The lehenga comprises a flared skirt, fitted blouse (choli), and draped scarf (dupatta), while the ghagra features a longer, fuller skirt with more pleats and volume. Both lehenga and ghagra are versatile options for women to express individual style at weddings, festivals, and special occasions.

How to Style Lehenga? 

Lehengas are versatile garments that can be draped and styled in numerous ways based on the silhouette, design, and occasion. The following are some tips on styling lehenga designs for extreme elegance: 

  • Choose the Right Style: Opt for A-line, mermaid, or indo-western lehengas for a trendy lehenga look.

  • Accessorise Wisely: Select statement jewellery that complements your lehenga style and experiment with different hairstyles to match.

  • Play with Makeup: Enhance your features with makeup that complements your lehenga's colours.

  • Drape Dupatta Creatively: Experiment with various lehenga draping styles to add flair to your look.

  • Stay Trendy: Keep up with the latest lehenga styles and incorporate them into your ensemble.

Buy Latest Lehenga for Women from Diadem 

Elevate your ethnic wardrobe with the latest lehenga styles from Diadem. Explore our exquisite collection of lehenga designs crafted to make you stand out on your special occasions. Our range boasts the best lehenga designs for women, featuring trendy and unique lehenga styles.

From traditional to contemporary, our stylish lehenga designs encompass a wide range of options, including lehengas for weddings, haldi, sangeet, reception, party wear, and more. Each lehenga at Diadem is meticulously crafted with attention to detail, featuring exquisite embellishments, intricate embroidery, and luxurious fabrics to radiate grandeur and opulence.

At Diadem, you can also customise your lehenga design to reflect your style and taste. Our creative team offers exclusive customisations, allowing you to design your wedding lehenga with contemporary fabrics, designs, and embellishments that align with your vision.

Shop now and unleash your inner fashionista with our stylish and sophisticated lehenga designs.

FAQS on Lehenga 

What is the difference between a lehenga and a saree?

Lehenga vs saree: While both are traditional Indian garments, a lehenga consists of a separate skirt, blouse, and dupatta, whereas a saree is a single piece of fabric that is draped around the body.

How do I choose the right lehenga for my body type?

Opt for A-line or flared lehengas for pear-shaped bodies, mermaid or fishtail lehengas for hourglass figures, and high-waisted lehengas for petite frames. Experiment with different lehenga styles to find what flatters your body type best.

How do I care for my lehenga?

Usually dry clean or hand washing with mild detergent. Store your lehenga in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent damage to the fabric and embellishments.

Where can I buy a lehenga?

You can shop for the latest lehenga styles online at Diadem or visit our offline store at Nungambakkam and T. Nagar, Chennai. Whether you prefer online or offline shopping, you have a plethora of the latest and most stylish lehenga designs to choose from Diadem.