What is an Indo-western dress

Posted by Sandhya Shah on


So what do you exactly mean by an Indo-western dress? Well, Call it Indo-western or fusion wear, the name itself speaks that it is a blend of Indian and Western fashion. You can easily find various appealing styles, designs, detailing, and features in these dresses. If you want to stick to traditional roots but also reflect a contemporary style, an Indo-Western outfit is the perfect choice.

Indian fashion has always gained attraction from various Western designers in terms of sophistication and colour choice. This eventually resulted in a variety of dresses that had Indian and Western influences. Let's dig a little deeper into the characteristics, different styles, and fabrics of Indian-western dress.

Characteristics of Indian-western dress

Charactertistics of Indo-Western dress

The characteristics of Indian-western dress include many aspects like silhouettes, cuts, embroidery, and tailoring. You will see there is a blend of traditional and Western elements that contribute towards a fusional design. Moreover, their versatile nature makes the Indian-western dresses a perfect fit for various occasions right from casual to formal wear. Here are some of the elements of Indo-Western dress:

Style, cut, and silhouettes

You will often find a combination of traditional dresses with Western silhouettes. Dresses like Anarkali, lehenga, kurtis, and sarees have cuts and silhouettes like the A-line dresses, pencil skirts, and structured tops. These new styles are mostly preferred by many women which indicates their craze in fashion trends.

Embroidery, embellishments and tailoring

Traditional embroidery techniques like zari, zardozi, chikankari, mirror work, and gota patti are often used in Indo-western dresses. Additionally, they are combined with Western embellishments like beads, sequins, appliqués, and pearls for an effective look. This combination adds glamour, sophistication, and elegance to your dress. As for the tailoring, western techniques like pleats, darting, and seam construction add a contemporary look to your dress.

Adaptability for different Occasions 

Right from casual outings to formal events, you can effortlessly carry the look of an Indo-western dress while maintaining your comfort. 

  • Wear them as your casual outfit for work and social events while maintaining your comfort and style.
  • Indo-western dresses are a great choice for festivities like Diwali, Navratri, Eid, and more.
  • Rock your Night events and parties look with eye-catching and trendy Indo-western styles.
  • Go with Indo-western sarees, anarkalis with Western cuts, and fusional gowns for formal events. 

What Comes Under Indo-Western Dress

You will find a lot of glamorous and trendy options for Indo-western dresses such as:

Kurtis paired with jeans and Palazzo pants

Kurtis paired with jeans and Palazzo pants

Pair a beautiful kurti with traditional work, prints, and embroidery with Western jeans or palazzo pants. This look is best suitable for casual outings and social meetings.

Saree with modern draping styles

Saree with modern draping styles

Saree which is a traditional attire can get a contemporary look with modern draping styles. Modern drapes can add asymmetrical pleats creating a unique silhouette for your saree.

Gowns and dresses

Gowns and dresses

They are a great choice for formal occasions. Gowns and dresses with traditional embroidery and Western cuts are a great combination. Additional elements like a flared skirt, off-the-shoulder neckline along with a fitted bodice will enhance the overall look.

Lehenga with structured top or shirts

Lehenga with structured top or shirts

A beautiful lehenga skirt that has traditional embroidery and embellishments will add an Indian touch. Similarly, pairing it with a structured top, silk or satin shirt or a blazer will provide a modern look. This makes it a great Indo-Western outfit.

Fabrics Used for Indo-Western Dress

Which fabric is used for Indo-Western dress can never be a confusing question as there are many options. Selecting the fabric plays an essential part in providing a variety of textures and finishing while opting for an Indo-Western outfit. Every different choice of fabric will add a unique aesthetic to your dress.


Silk is a fabric that has a smooth texture and provides a rich sheen to the outfit. Furthermore, it will drape gracefully around your body making it a great option for indo-western sarees and gowns.


If you want a comfortable fabric for warm weather, opt for cotton as it is breathable and keeps you cool. Additionally, it is easy to maintain and works great for Indo-Western kurtis, tops, and tunics.


Georgette is a perfect fabric for sarees and gowns due to its fluidity, soft drape, and sheerness. Traditional and contemporary embroidery and embellishments when added to the fabric will radiate an ethereal look.


Velvet is a luxurious fabric radiating warmth and sophistication that works great for indo-western gowns, jackets, and lehengas. Your velvet outfit can have traditional embroidery to create an excellent fusion of cultures.


Brocade is a woven fabric with intricate patterns that can be made of silk, cotton, linen, rayon, and other synthetic fabrics. It adds texture and regal elegance to your outfit.


Chiffon works great for indo-western sarees, skirts, and layered dresses as the fabric is delicate and lightweight. Any outfit for evening wear or formal occasions will radiate a graceful look with chiffon.

Final thoughts

So what is an Indo-Western dress? The perfect explanation is a combination of Indian and Western elements and styles. Right from cuts, silhouettes, embroidery, and tailoring to a variety of fabrics and styles both Indian and Western influence counts. Additionally, they can be a perfect pick for both casual and formal events if you want to look traditional yet radiate modernity.


What occasions are suitable for wearing Indo-Western dresses?

You can wear an Indo-Western dress for casual outings, social events, parties, festivities, and formal occasions.

How can I style Indo-Western attire for a traditional Indian event?

You can wear a saree and drape it with a modern style to create a unique silhouette. Furthermore, pair a traditional lehenga with a structured top, satin shirt, or a blazer for a traditional event.

Are Indo-Western dresses suitable for everyday wear?

Yes, Indo-Western dresses are suitable for everyday wear. You can pair a kurti with jeans or a top or tunic with a Palazzo pant for everyday wear.

What are some popular accessories to pair with Indo-Western outfits?

Oxidized silver jewelry, chunky bracelets, clutch, or potli with Indian embroidery along with scarves and stoles are great accessories for indo-western outfits.

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