5 Ideas To Ditch The Dupatta


The dupatta has been a part of Indian attire since ancient times. A symbol of modesty, this versatile piece is a luxury item, a wedding gift, a cover for the cold weather and an accessory for women all throughout India. Filmmakers have romanticized it, designers and celebrities have fashioned it, and more recently, bloggers have brought on a new trend to completely part away with it. Wearing or ditching the dupatta is obviously a personal choice, and here are few examples for you if you prefer the latter.

Capes are the new Drapes

After designer Anamika Khanna popularized capes over sarees and lehengas, almost everyone is incorporating capes for Indian clothes. One can go for a full length, flowing cape or a small capelet with a fringe that gently wisps over your elbows and shoulders. The trick to nailing this detail lies in the choice of fabric which has to be sheer. Delicate embroidery sprawling across the edges or all over the cape makes it dressier and apt for cocktail events. Trims like beaded fringes or tassels in satin thread work can also be added.

Red Printed Lehenga Cape Set - Anju Agarwal, Scarlet Red Gilded Cape Lehenga - Anushree Agarwal, Wine Cape Dress - Anushree Agarwal

Red Printed Lehenga Cape Set - Anju Agarwal, Scarlet Red Gilded Cape Lehenga - Anushree Agarwal, Wine Cape Dress - Anushree Agarwal

Maximize Sleeves

Blogger Masoom Minawala of Stylefiesta sported a lehenga-choli set with elongated sleeves for her Sangeet. The long sleeves made up for the missing dupatta in her ensemble. Many designers have turned their attention to sleeves, experimenting with various silhouettes and giving it more volume or length.

Choose a style that flatters your body type. For instance, if you want to go for a Pakistani suit, go for flared sleeves as the volume can be balanced with a flared sharara. If coverage is your concern whilst wearing a lehenga, go for options such as cowls, layered frills or ruffles. For petite frames, exaggerated sleeves look great in a choli/ crop-top.

Coral Peach Lehenga Set - Anushree Agarwal, Green and Ivory Cape Lehenga - The House of Gyans, Green Chanderi Skirt Kurta Set - TrueBrowns

Coral Peach Lehenga Set - Anushree Agarwal, Green and Ivory Cape Lehenga - The House of Gyans, Green Chanderi Skirt Kurta Set - TrueBrowns

Knock-out Blouse

When you let go of the dupatta, the attention to your blouse is inevitable. Make use of this opportunity to replace the choli with unlikely options such as a shirt. The fabric of the shirt is of utmost importance, as wrong ones can end up looking corporate. Offset a crisp shirt with a chunky necklace, harmonizing the entire look.

Another great piece to pair with your traditional lehenga is a mirror-work jacket bringing a kitschy vibe to the entire look. Jackets worn over ethnic wear look absolutely regal. Blouses with bow detail at the back or an asymmetrical front and back hems are other details you can experiment with.

Turquoise Chanderi Sharara Set - The House of Gyans, Blue Embroidered Jacket Suit - Anju Agarwal, Green Beige Brocade Silk Lehenga Choli - Nazakat Weaves

Turquoise Chanderi Sharara Set - The House of Gyans, Blue Embroidered Jacket Suit - Anju Agarwal, Green Beige Brocade Silk Lehenga Choli - Nazakat Weaves

Wear it as Shrug

Telugu actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu wore her lovely Anamika Khanna dupatta as a shrug for her reception and it certainly paved the way to make dupattas more wearable. Another reason why this style is gaining popularity is the way it delicately falls over your shoulders and arms, adding an elegant touch to the whole outfit. This style speaks to all those want a hassle-free outfit without compromising on the trend quotient.

Mint green and Mustard Yellow Kaftan - Anju Agarwal; Red and Beige Patiala Top Set - Malvika and Shikha; Hand Embroidered Wine Lehenga - Anushree Agarwal

Mint green and Mustard Yellow Kaftan - Anju Agarwal; Red and Beige Patiala Top Set - Malvika and Shikha; Hand Embroidered Wine Lehenga - Anushree Agarwal

Unexpected Details and Silhouettes

Subtracting dupatta from your look makes way for out-of-box details such as embellished hems, beautiful prints or solids that stand out for their sheer simplicity. Stick to a monochrome theme and add details in contrasting color to make a statement. Uncomplicated outfits also gives you the opportunity to wear funky jewellery and accessories.

Banarasi Lehenga - Swaroop; Maroon Cold Shoulder Top - Malvika and Shikha; Embroidered Crop Top and Skirt - Rhyba

Banarasi Lehenga - Swaroop; Maroon Cold Shoulder Top - Malvika and Shikha; Embroidered Crop Top and Skirt - Rhyba

Indian wear has undergone a huge transformation, with a departure from heavy embellishments and traditional silhouettes. As versatile as it may be, giving up the dupatta is one of the easiest ways to embrace this modernization. It makes room for even more experiments, be it with the blouse you choose or the jewellery you can now show-off on your bare neckline. The possibilities are endless once you give the dupatta a much-needed farewell.


Atika Khan

Fashion Writer

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