Indian Style 101 Courtesy of Ayesha Patel

Priya in Heels is laced with a few dozen Indian terms, and there’s a handy glossary at the end of the book for all of those italicized words. A few of those terms are in reference to clothing styles. Like every country, India has it’s own distinct attire. There’s cultural fusion, modern takes, and personal flares added to centuries-old style. Below are the main types of clothing Priya wore when she attended cultural events. And since I imagine the fabulous Indian Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone as Priya’s onscreen counterpart, here are a few pictures of her rocking these outfits.

SariFirst, we have the sari (saree or shari). It’s the most iconic of Indian style and has been around for centuries. It’s a layered outfit. First is a loose, flowing, plain skirt called a chaniya or petticoat. Go-to colors are white or red because this skirt gets fully covered. The blouse, or choli, can be plain or embroidered. It can be sleeveless, one-sleeved, short-sleeved, quarter-sleeved, or long-sleeved, but it always displays the mid-drift. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be thin or in shape to rock the sari. Most grandma’s wear them, so you’re lovely in any body-shape. The actual sari is a long piece of cloth that wraps around and tucks into the skirt, and is thrown over one shoulder. Laxmi style has the trail down the back, while Gujarati style has a shorter tail down the front of the chest. Here, we have Deepika in a gorgeous, sheer white sari. Although the Indian culture in general is a little more modest, the sari, when worn just right, is about the most elegant and sexiest garment in the east. Priya looks stunning in a sari in several scenes, including one that gets Tyler going…if ya know what I mean.

Next, we have Deepika in a yellow salwaar kameez, which is essentially a long tunic over leggings with a matching dupatta (shawl). The tunic can be as short as waist-length or as long as ankle-length. It can have every sort of sleeve style, snug or loose just like the leggings. It is, to me, the most comfortable of Indian clothes. Honestly, I feel like I’m wearing scrubs, but much prettier. Priya prefers them over anything else.


In this picture, we have a stylish lengha, which is a formal dress. It’s usually heavy with embroidery and used for special occasions, like weddings. Most brides wear lengha’s with the traditional colors of red and gold that Deepika is wearing. It consists of a beautiful long skirt and matching bodice and shawl. While the skirt is always long, the choli can show the mid-section, the sleeves can be short or sleeve-less. Priya wears a lengha for her engagement ceremony.


Finally, we have an Indian male modeling a white kurta pajama. Priya’s intended wears this a few times. As you can see, it’s a long-sleeved tunic over leggings, that can be either fitted or loose, and they come with a shawl as well.


Thank you to Ayesha Patel for this introduction to the gorgeous Indian fashions!

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Priya in Heels by Ayesha Patel

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