A ghagra choli is a traditional Indian outfit worn extensively in the northern region of India in states like Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Ghagra cholis have been worn by women of all ages for many centuries as this was the staple outfit of women in the Indian subcontinent before the Mughal invasion. To this day, you will find women wearing the ghagra in rural regions as part of their daily life.
At the same time, this unique Indian garment has become a part of high-end fashion collections as well and there are many new ghagra choli designs which are more modern and infuse the ethnic outfit with a bit of contemporary glamour.
Ghagra cholis are often considered the same as lehenga cholis but are in fact slightly dissimilar. They have a similar structure, with a blouse, a skirt and a long scarf called the dupatta, but in terms of style and cut they are different. The skirt or the ghagra is looser and the over-all outfit is simpler and less rich.
This gives the outfit a wonderfully comfortable feel and look. However these outfits can be worn for a wide variety of occasions, from festivals and ceremonies to weddings and parties. Newer ghagra choli patterns incorporate more luxurious fabrics and more intricate embroidery to make them appropriate for important occasions. The dupatta can be draped in a variety of ways to make the over-all outfit traditional or modern as per the individual tastes of the wearer.
Varieties to look for
There are many varieties of ghagra choli for women. They come in a range of colors, from the traditional deep reds and oranges to neon or pastel rainbow hues. Conventionally, they are made of cotton to facilitate comfort and breathability but nowadays luxurious fabrics like silk, satin, chiffon, georgette, crepe and velvet are also being used.
Designer ghagra cholis typically utilize these though the most elaborate pieces are generally made of brocade which is an exclusive, luxurious fabric produced by weaving gold and silk threads. On the other end of the scale, rayon and polyester, as well as faux versions of silk and georgette are frequently used to create low-cost, stylish ghagra cholis for weddings and festivals.
These outfits can be worn by women of all ages and are probably the most popular children’s ethnic wear, perhaps due to how easy they are to move around in. There are many beautiful and comfortable varieties of the ghagra choli for girls.
Typically, they come with bright prints and minimal embellishments in colorful shades to make them comfortable for young children without sacrificing the beauty of the look. The patu pavada is a particular type of ghagra frequently worn by young girls in the south of India. It is now popular everywhere due to its simple yet colorful vibe.
The ghagra choli latest designs combine the best of classic and contemporary embellishments. Thus you’ll find the traditional designs made of mirrors and patch work as well as pretty modern designs made of sequins, beads and stones.
On the more exotic side, there are ornate embellishments like Kundan, Booti and Zardosi. Indian motifs are widely used along with these embellishments to create eye-catching patterns all over the ghagra.
Trends & Styles
The Ghagra Choli has recently emerged as an ethnic favorite, both in India and in international circles. The dramatic design of a tight fitting choli and the long flaring skirt has a certain sensual beauty which is nevertheless elegant and modest, thus making it the perfect choice for modern Indian women. Some of the latest ghagra cholis seen on runways and red carpets incorporate bold cuts that deviate from the traditional lengths and necklines.
For instance, the backless choli is seen in many Bollywood movies and consequently has become a hot fashion trend. Cholis with deep necks and short length, when combined with a ghagra that begins below the navel brings in a contemporary, sexy vibe to a traditional outfit.
On the other hand, the classic varieties, albeit with contemporary twists, are also in style. For instance, brocade has always been a wedding fabric but now the trend is to wear rich brocade ghagras in mute shades like beige, off-white or pastel pink.
Another great wedding wear choice is a feminine and regal layered net ghagra choli. The latest ghagra choli designs are often less ornate than traditionally expected, to bring in a more subtle, chic vibe to the outfit. To compensate, dramatic cuts and luxurious fabrics are used.
Ghagra cholis should be paired up with appropriate jewelry according to the occasion. For weddings, gold plated necklaces, Kundan sets and Thewa jewelry pieces are the best bet. For festivals, oxidized jewelry is often worn with colorful ghagras.
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