Diwali outfit preparations can be chaotic, and let’s face it, none of us wants to recycle last year’s Diwali ensembles. This festive occasion offers a unique opportunity to rejuvenate our ethnic wardrobe with timeless, easy-to-wear traditional garments that don’t necessarily involve lehengas. While lehengas have their charm, they can be uncomfortable, challenging to store, and not ideal for frequent use (aside from weddings). So, here I am, sharing my unconventional ethnic wear wishlist for those going through a wardrobe upgrade phase, seeking light, youthful, and minimalist outfit ideas for Diwali that can also be worn on various occasions throughout the year without ending up neglected in the closet. Read on!
For those who think ethnic attire is dull, wait until you see this Abhishti red dress. This dress boasts a crisp collar and contrasting piping, adding an extra flair to the plain red fabric. The Benarasi-bordered cape complements the side slit in the dress, adding a touch of handloom to this contemporary outfit, making it perfect for a non-traditional Diwali outing.
Paulmi and Harsh are renowned for their vibrant prints and elegant drapery. With celebrities like Alia Bhatt flaunting their stunning outfits, this fashion label is worth the investment. Here, we have their draped skirt and one-shoulder top set in their nature-inspired naksha print, featuring a square sequinned belt to accentuate the waist. This is an excellent choice for fashion enthusiasts looking for a breezy outfit for the numerous Diwali dinner parties.
If you dislike heavy, ornate ethnic garments that feel uncomfortable (and sometimes itchy) when worn, but still desire a traditional look, anarkalis are the perfect solution. They are airy, and comfortable, and exude an ethereal charm when styled correctly. This printed red Anarkali from Basanti Kapde aur Koffee (bonus points for the cute name) is reminiscent of something Sonam Kapoor would wear. I can’t help but daydream about an imaginary Diwali event to showcase this stunning outfit!
Traditional-looking bottoms that are both fashionable and incredibly comfortable? Count me in! The moment I laid eyes on this palazzo set, I knew it had to find a place in my shopping cart. This crepe co-ord, adorned with printed motifs in shaded hues, adds character to the otherwise somber blue tone. The attention to detail, from the coined border on the wrap top to the tasseled ties, is impeccable, and the craftsmanship speaks for itself, as does the price.
Nothing can quite match the elegance of a saree, but if you don’t have the time or expertise for seven yards of draping, a pre-draped saree is the way to go! Not only does it save time, but it’s also convenient to carry and perfect for dancing the night away at Diwali parties. I have my eye on this floral rouge reddish-pink and beige saree with a sultry bralette blouse. The pearl detailing on the blouse and the pallu add a playful touch to the saree. While the price is a bit high, I recommend keeping an eye out for sales.
Ghararas make a fantastic addition to your Diwali wardrobe, as they are not only easy to pull off but also exude style. I discovered this beautiful gharara set in the Hidden Gems section of the Nykaa Fashion website, a great place to start your search for show-stopping outfits like this one from Baise Gaba. I particularly adore the pleated top with the tie-up neck, which gives the outfit a youthful and contemporary edge compared to traditional ghararas. Baise Gaba is known for their luxurious clothing, and it comes at a slightly higher price point, so consider this option if you appreciate investing in unique prints.
Nothing beats the comfort and style of a well-fitted kurta paired with trousers. This one from trueBrowns offers a touch of luxury with its opulent blue color and sleek V-neck. The puff sleeves and gathers at the neck provide minimalist details that don’t overshadow the simplicity of the look. Accessorize with a pair of chandbalis or jhumkas for your Dhanteras puja.
Every detail of this saree exudes the drama of a Bollywood movie star. Black, especially when sheer, never goes out of style, adding sophistication to any look. This is for those who want to go all out for their Diwali celebrations and fully embrace the role. I recommend going for an old-world charm in your styling, with an updo and minimal accessories.
While I may not be a fan of pairing a plain shirt with embroidered trousers or skirts, I know that many people appreciate the blend of contemporary and traditional aesthetics. Here’s my take on that. These Abhishti separates include a wrap shirt and zari-embroidered trousers. Plus, it’s black, which is always a safe bet.
I’ve saved the best for last. For those who, like me, prefer free-flowing silhouettes that are comfortable and stylish, a kaftan is your best companion. This one from Gulabo, Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla’s prêt label has been on my wishlist for a while and now seems like the perfect time to invest in this statement piece. This eclectic print kaftan is the ideal choice for Diwali parties around town when you want to make an impression while staying comfortable.