As the lehenga’s current reincarnations assume a younger sensibility, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that they are now best left to the millennials. But the age box you check on forms puts no restrictions on giving this time-honoured Indian wear staple a go for festive occasions.
From wedding to festive parties, the lehenga still continues to be a winning choice even as you step into the fourth decade of your life. But how does one balance its modern avatar without entering into teenybopper territory? Vogue is here to guide you.
Need a little help to get by? Borrow from the stars who wear it best. Karisma Kapoor prefers to wear the lehenga with her signature dose of elegance—restrained colours, heavy embroidery and minimalistic make-up always seem to do the trick for her. Malaika Arora oscillates between siren and sophisticate—she wears barely-there blouses and kurta and lehenga sets with equal flair. Take a leaf from her book and let your mood dictate your choice. Shilpa Shetty Kundra, on the other hand, could give every 20-something a run for their money with her crop top and lehenga sets. Why add a dupatta when you can flaunt the results of your Pilates class instead?
How to ace the look
You can add the lehenga’s contemporary variations to your wardrobe just as easily as the traditional ones. As long as you wear it with confidence and carefree abandon, you’ll always make a memorable impact. But take the occasion into account too. A floor-length jacket and lehenga set might be more appropriate than a cold shoulder cropped blouse for your niece’s pheras. A cape or fringed blouse with a voluminous silk skirt, on the other hand, will be a charming choice for a friend’s reception party.
Your choice of accessories will also go a long way in giving modern lehenga sets the dignity you value in your repertoire. For instance, wear a shirt and printed skirt set with solitaires gifted by your doting husband instead of pairing it with costume jewellery.
Kurta and lehenga sets work owing to their restrain, with their versatility serving as an added bonus. You can easily team the same kurta with palazzos and churidaars when you need to wear it more casually. Needless to say, traditional lehenga sets in heritage weaves are a timeless pick. So dig into your own trousseau and pull out that Benarasi set you wore for your roka—it will serve you well even today.