No matter how much we enjoy wearing and flaunting western wear, ethnic Indian clothes hold a special place in our hearts. The vibrant colours, intricate embroideries and rich fabrics win over everything else. These stunning creations make an indispensable part of our festival clothing and culture and they are so dear to us that we don’t mind saving them for generations. Infact, we like to keep adding to our collections for generations to come.

Krishnamani Ballal

Designer Krishnamani Ballal
lists down 10 must-have ethnic wear for women this festive season.
Before beginning with the latest trends in ethnic fashion wear that you should have in your collection, you must understand what comprises ethnic Indian wear. Going by the definition, ethnic clothing refers to the tops, bottoms, skirts and other clothing items originating in India and popularly worn in the country. While this style of clothing has stood the tests of time, it underwent some modifications to remain palatable for modern Indian women.

If you love to wear ethnic but find yourself in a whirlpool of thoughts as to what will suit you, we’ll advice you to have some staples in your wardrobe that will cater to all your occasion specific needs. These are some thoughtfully chosen pieces that will take you to work, to parties, festive occasions and even to your friend’s wedding. All you have to do is mix and match these fashionable essentials carefully to come up with a look that is exclusively yours. Take a look at the list below to pick and choose pieces that will complete your ethnic wardrobe or even a bridal trousseau. The following list is in compliance with 2021 clothing trends, so you can sit back and relax once you have these pieces in your wardrobe.

1. Stylish Foil Print Kurta
Light, trendy and timeless, foil print kurtas have been a favourite of people who avoid gaudy designs. A stylish kurta in foil print can be worn to a number of occasions, be it a homely festive celebration or a friend’s wedding ceremony. All you have to do is style these trendy kurtas with matching bottoms and dupattas to look fashionable.

2. Contemporary Jacket
If you like your ethnics with a twist or you love Indo-Western fashion trends, then have a simple contemporary jacket in your wardrobe. You can always opt for a drape yoke, a cowl hemline or even experiment with different colours and prints to look fabulous.

3. Ethnic Crop Top
Often designed in rich fabrics like silks, brocades and velvets, ethnic crop tops are so versatile that you can use them with a number of bottoms. These can be paired even with a saree to create a look that cannot go unnoticed. Crop tops when paired with ethnic maxi skirts or trousers look super haute.

4. Maxi Skirt
Maxi skirts have been a part of Indian clothing for centuries. When styled properly, these skirts can impart femininity to your appearance. The best part about these skirts is that they provide you endless scope of styling. You can wear these with kurtis, cotton tops or even slogan tees and you are sure to look amazing every time.

5. Printed Kurti
Next in the line is a printed kurti, a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe. This one piece of garment is so versatile that you can wear it to work, small celebrations or even to festive occasions. Simply, team your kurti with matching bottoms and accessorize accordingly to look fabulous.

6. Soft and Colourful Dupatta
Stock some beautiful, colourful, printed or solid dupattas in your ethnic wear wardrobe that are perfect to be teamed with kurtis, tunics, crop tops and maxi skirts. A right kind of dupatta has the potential to transform a dull, boring outfit into a completely new, trendy ensemble. You just have to find the right colour or print that goes well with your costume.

7. Silk/Brocade Cigarette Pants
One of the hottest trending products in women’s wear, silk cigarette pants are a must-have for everyone. You can team these with tunics, kurtas crop tops etc as they look equally stylish with everything.

8. Palazzo Pants
If you want to nail women’s fashion trends, palazzo pants are a must-have in your wardrobe. Perfect to be worn with both Ethnic and Western wear palazzos are fashionable and comfortable too. Style these with trendy tunics, kurta or tops to complete your casual look.

9. Contemporary Dhoti Pants
One of the latest fashion trends online, dhoti pants have secretly made their way to the wardrobes of all the fashionistas. Featuring a practical and visually appealing design, dhoti pants can be worn with a number of tops and kurtis. You can experiment with various styles of top wear that gel well with your dhoti pants and join the trend setters’ fashion parade.

10. Accessories to Match with all the Clothes
When it comes to accessories, you must always have some pieces of oxidized jewellery that can be worn as staples with your ethnic wear. You also stock some earrings, cuffs, mangtika and neckpieces in gold, silver and pearl for your party wears.

Shloka Sudhakar

Designer Shloka Sudhakar
who has always been at the forefront of design shares her views.

Sarees are something that has always been a classic and will always remain evergreen. But what’s more exciting is how we as designers, come up with various ideas to tweak the saree look and incorporate them in many other styles. Various saree styles like the layered ready-to-wear sarees, fun printed sarees and even corset sarees are something that is a must try this festive season.

With festive celebrations around the corner, it’s all about gatherings, cocktail nights and dances. It’s best to pick fabric that are light weight and easy to be in for longer hours. “Comfort”, should be considered and given utmost importance! Colours this season are all about fun, shades of blues, yellows, turquoise and deep tones too are in this festive season. Pastels are no more just for summer and are going to be a hot pick this season as well.

Something I came up with in my latest collection are “Corset” sarees, which are inspired by the Regency era. The saree looks more like a one-piece dress. The idea was to give the saree a twist and make it stay intact while worn and give it a touch of sophistication.

For Diwali nights and get togethers, comfort or flared pants, bell bottom pants teamed with crop tops and capes are going to be something fun for the events around the festivals. High waist-flared skirts and crop tops and capes or even skirts worn with shirts are a few outfits that can be tried along with other styles like dhoti pants and crop tops! With the weather being pleasant in these months of October and November, full length capes are going to win over! Flowy fabric like crepe, satin, georgette, chiffon or even net and organza fabric are the fabrics to go for this season. Velvet may take a backseat!

Reshma Kunhi

Designer Reshma Kunhi
shares her tips to stay stylish this festive season.

With the start of the festive season and all festivals lined up one after the other, everyone is in a festive mood and people will really like to get decked up and celebrate this festive season in their finest best. Due to some signs of Covid still looming around, people prefer to celebrate this festive season with close friends and family. They will like to look their best in elegant, graceful and detailed clothing be it traditional outfits or Indo western styles, avoiding very ornate heavy outfits.

Outfits like crop top and light weight skirts will be a major hit this season, sarees will always be in trend be it sequin saree, silk, chiffons or georgette sarees, shararas, lehengas and cholis, draped styles, embellished kurtis, anarkalis, floor length gowns, ready to wear sari skirts, layered kurtis, draped gowns, sculpted skirts are styles to look forward for your festive wardrobe. Colours like aqua, reds, pinks, beige, peach, yellow, corals, maroon, wine, green and gold are trending. Hand work detailing, floral prints, sequins work, foil prints, ethnic prints continue to be in fashion this season.


Ravina Belani



Ravina Belani
states, “The clothes being made for this festive season are bright colours with mirror work and gota which are very ethnic and look stunning. Also, pastel shades of tie and dye with thread and pearl embroidery are in vogue this season. I’m also seeing a lot of velvet with antique work for the months of October to December, when you can carry slightly bolder and richer looks and look irresistible.”




Namrata G

According to designer
Namrata G, “This season is one of innovation and difference. The normal design and styles are a way of the past. What’s important is that the new way of mixing and creating has set in. The saree is no more worn the normal way. Women want to experiment and wear the drape in the most unusual forms. Sarees are now being draped in ways that the entire piece makes a style statement. Sarees are being worn over denims, jeggings, bell bottoms, shararas and teamed with the shirt top, or jacket or a long over coat. Women are wearing head gears which look classy and yet become the differentiating factor. Real jewels, traditional bindis and nose rings are back and are matched with the neo fashion trend. The new season is all about confidence. Lehengas, shararas and cropped pants with sherwani jackets work well. Accessories such as feathers, large beads and stones are being used in embroidery. Shades of yellow, ranging from ochre to mustard and mango yellow and also orange and tangerine are in trend. Green has many hues from olive to leaf to bottle and pistachio that’s also trending. Royal blue and Prussian blue along with baby blue are trending in the blue family. Ash grey looks dynamic with silver.”

She adds, “There is a sense of responsibility setting in and a lot of my fashion followers and bringing in their precious sarees and I’m refurbishing them into stylish and trendy festive wear. Banarasis, jamdanis, bandhinis and patolas are being worn. The care for the weaver is being seen as fashionistas and designers are resorting to new weaves using trendy colour stories. So, to really shine out in the crowd one has to be innovative and experimental. Wear your image and style with confidence.”

Laxmi Krishna



Designer Laxmi Krishna throws light on the festive trends.
The majestic feel of exquisitely embellished sarees, ghaghras always add a festive feeling, even without accessories. This festivity after the pandemic phase, people are choosing to wear something unique. Predraped dhoti sarees or pant/skirt sarees are very in this season as they look chic and are also very comfortable to wear all day long. Plain cotton sarees with contrast or ikkat or floral blouses can give authentic ethnic look a fun breezy desi vibe. Jewellery plays a very important role with Indian wear. Try pairing some exclusive designer jewellery that suits your personality and you’re good to go.





Sakhi Rajendran




Sakhi Rajendran,
Designer and partner at Sakshi Fashions adds, “The onset of the festive season brings with it a promise for a better tomorrow. The festive edit entails especially handwoven concept Kanjeevarams embellished with specialty cutwork, hand embroidery, kalamkari and so many more crafts. The ready saree is a rage this season. Just wrap it around and be ready in 30 seconds. The popular Crossover sarees at Saree pre-stitched sarees are a perfect balance of trendy and classic. Custom made blouse, ready petticoat and fun accessories can complete your look.”




Vinay Chatlani

Commenting on the festive collection, Vinay Chatlani, CEO Soch states, “We have incorporated the most flattering silhouettes, with a wide array of colours along with stylish prints. Apparels are breathable and comfortable, made out of rich fabrics and handcrafted embellishments. The fluidity of the silhouettes makes them comfortable and easy to wear with beautiful fabrics and delicate work.” Soch has come out with an all-new scintillating festive collection to make this season glamorous as ever. Soch’s new collection is a fine blend of modern and classic fashion ethos. The collection houses ensembles in beautiful and rich fabrics like silk, silk blend, muslins, chanderi and georgette which is perfect for this season. The new collection includes salwar suits, dress gowns, kurti suits, layered kurtas, sarees, heavy dupattas, and more. Diverse and versatile, the collection has a wide range of colours from lighter shades to darker hues, such as beautiful pinks, refreshing yellows, deep wines, blues, graceful mustards, ever elegant blacks with the addition of neons. It is enriched with intricate hand and machine embroideries, handcrafted crystal, and beadwork to uplift your look this festive season.



Sidhant Keshwani


Sidhant Keshwani,
Managing Director, Libas says, “This festive season will continue the trend of comfort wear however a lot of modern cuts will gain prominence. We have to remember that there is a need for fresher trends as people have been wearing casual clothes throughout the pandemic. This would also be the first time in one and a half year where people are looking to get back to the festive mood and venturing out, so they would look at newer silhouettes. The pandemic has put casual Indian wear back in the game thanks to the comfort and styles it offers. What we also have to remember is that Indian wear has become more need based now, especially in the festive collection. Casual wear has taken over from the festive collection because there were no events and people were mostly working from home in the past one and a half year.”