Introduction to Indian Maxi Dress

sari indian maxi dress
Women in India wear traditional dresses that vary depending on their region, culture, and climate. Here is an introduction to the Indian maxi dress.

Indians are among the few people who have preserved their dressing culture for the longest time. Even with modernization, they still wear their traditional clothes daily, and not only at events celebrating their culture.

Women have numerous styles of dressing up and different maxi dresses such as Mekhela Sador, sari, and Anarkali suit. They are accessorized with a dupatta and jewelry for a complete look. 

Traditional Indian Maxi Dress

There are different types of maxi dresses that Indian women wear. Here are some of the maxi dresses:

1. Sari 

Sari is the most common Indian maxi dress and one of the best-known maxi dress types in the world. The dress is made from a drape 4 to 8 meters in length and 1 meter wide. The traditional way of wearing it is by wrapping it around your waist, with another end covering your shoulder and baring the midriff.

The Origin of The Sari

Sari origins can be dated back to 2000 bc during the Indus Valley Civilization.  The term “saree” evolved from “sattika,” the oldest Buddhist text that denoted women’s clothing.

Originally it was poshak, a three-piece outfit with a bottom garment, a veil, and a chest band. These three components eventually came together to create the single-garment sari.

Ancient Indians believed that the midriff ought not to be revealed. The belief holds that the Supreme Being’s navel is where life and creativity originate, which is why the midsection is covered by the other end of the garment. 

Red is the most popular hue for bridal saris and can be styled in numerous ways. You can find saris from fabrics such as silk, cotton, ikkat, block-printed, and tie-dyed can be used to make a sari.  

How to Style a Sari

There are more than 80 distinct ways to wear a sari. The most typical technique involves wrapping the sari around the waist and revealing the belly, while wearing the loose end over the shoulder. Some styles are more specific in length or shape.

Here are 7 ways to style a sari

  • Manipuri: The style is from the northeast of India. It is made from a three-piece outfit called an innaphi veil that resembles the mekhela chador.
  • Maharashtrian: The sari is wrapped around the legs, with the center of the fabric put at the back’s center. The ends are then pulled forward and fastened. Brahmin women dress in this manner.
  • Bengali: There are no pleats in Bengali fashion. The sari is wrapped twice around the waist, once counterclockwise and once clockwise. The loose end is longer in Bengali style than the conventional sari and can be used to cover the head. 
  • Gujarati: The loose end is grabbed from the rear and draped across the right shoulder in a manner akin to the nivi style.
  • Kodagu style: Only the women of Karnataka’s Kodagu district wear the Kodagu style. Instead of the front, they pleat the back. The loose end is slung over the right shoulder from back to front.
  • Nivi: The pleats are tucked into the waist just at the rear after threading through the legs. It is the original fashion trend from Andhra Pradesh.
  • Nauvari:  This sari is wrapped by holding the fabric lengthwise and placing it in the middle of the back. The two ends are then coiled around the legs and knotted in front. Women frequently need nine yards of fabric when wearing the nauvari style to cover their shoulders and upper body.

Accessories on a Sari

The most basic saris have stripes woven into the fabric, while the most affordable ones include block printing. 

Those with floral embellishments or brocades are woven into the fabric are more expensive.  After weaving, the saris are decorated with colored silk thread, gold and silver threads, or valuable stones.

Nowadays, most saris are made on mechanical looms with synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, or rayon. The handwoven ones are mostly worn during weddings, and they cost a lot more than those made by machines.

2. Salwar Kameez And Churidar

The Salwar Kameez and Churidar combo was first worn by Indian ladies in Kashmir and Punjab as a modest and comfortable outfit. Today, it is among the traditional Indian gowns worn by women most frequently.

The clothing comprises of salwar, which resembles pajamas and is fitted at the ankles and waist. Over the salwar, you wear a kameez, a long and loose-fitting dress. 

A churidar, is more fitting on the waist and hips, and you can wear it instead of a salwar. Their enticing patterns, embroidery, and textures have made them popular attire in India.  

3. Panche Or Lungi

One of the most well-known Indian traditional garments is the panche or Lungi, a long fabric worn around the waist. 

The Lungi is typically made of cotton, yet on rare occasions, it could be stitched to resemble a tube shape. The colorful, floral outfit is worn by both men and women, usually on casual occasions.

 4. Anarkali 

Anarkali is long and voluminous. The A-line cut begins well above the hips.  You can find Anarkali in several fabrics, such as cotton, tulle, lace, or zari.

5.  Kurta

For contemporary Indian ladies, kurtas are their go-to formal attire. Even if you’re not in the mood to get dressed up for a meeting, you can quickly achieve a beautiful boho style by wearing a block-printed kurta with jhumkas and shoes.

The dress is versatile as it can be worn to various events and with women of all ages, from young to older women. 

 6. The Floor-length Dresses

The floor-length dress is a mashup of the Anarkali and a long one-piece suit. Whether you dress it up or down, adding a heavy or light woven dupatta will make you stand out. 

To create a better-looking silhouette, pair it with some classy stilettos.

How to Style an Indian Maxi Dress

There are various ways you can style Indian maxi dresses. They include;

1. Add a Scarf or Dupattas

Most Indian dresses come with an extra fabric suitable for a scarf if you are not wearing a sari. Other dresses can be paired with scarves of different colors for a mix match style.  

 2. Pair with High Heels

 Indian maxi dresses will be great with high heels for an illusion of additional height. You can pair your high heels with the Indian maxi dress when going to events such as weddings.

3.  Accessorize with Jewelry

You can never have enough glitter when wearing an Indian maxi dress. Try adorning the maxi dress with silver earrings, bangles, and a unique necklace for weddings or other traditional parties. 

The first thing you should consider when selecting jewelry for your Indian maxi dress is color. You want to make sure that the jewelry you choose complements the color of your dress, without being too matchy-matchy. So you might want to opt for a statement piece in a complementary shade, like gold or silver for example.

Another factor to consider when choosing jewelry for your Indian maxi dress is texture. You’ll want to make sure that your accessories are not only in line with your dress, but that they also have a distinct texture. This can be done by choosing pieces like hammered silver bracelets or layers of turquoise and lapis lazuli necklaces to add some visual interest to your look.

Finally, you may want to consider the details of your jewelry when pairing it with your Indian maxi dress. For example, if you’re wearing a dress with intricate embroidery or embellishments, then you might want to choose simple jewelry that doesn’t compete with the details of your look. On the other hand, if you’re wearing a plain maxi dress, then you can opt for bolder and more statement-making jewelry to really make your look pop.

How can I look attractive in an Indian maxi dress?

When wearing an Indian maxi dress, choose one that fits your figure. You can also adorn your look with jewelry for extra elegance.

What is the most beautiful maxi dress in India?

Salwaar kameez and Lehenga choli are the most beautiful Indian maxi dresses. The dress is loved by women of all ages, from young to old. 

Lior Shapiro

I love clothes with pockets and dresses, and I think any woman can pull off a good maxi dress.
I believe women's clothes with pockets make the world a better place.