“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things”
Women aspire to create a classy, sassy, stylish and elegant silhouette, be it any attire she sports, from LBDs to sarees! Most often, women prefer to wear something comfortable and stylish and kurtas are the perfect outfit that blends them both. The ingenious conception of kurtas that has carved a separate niche in our closets. When you put on a gorgeous kurta that complements your figure and style, you would exude radiance, confidence and an aura of high airs.
Now more than ever, women are also concerned about their body stature, how they would appear in a particular outfit and how it will resonate in their style sense. They are very conscious when selecting an outfit, the design and its cut, length etc. So this is a basic and comprehensive womens kurti guide which will teach you the different styles of Kurtas, and how to choose one that would suit your body type the best, to cast a flattering silhouette.
What are the different Kurti styles and how to choose one for your body type?
Kurtas are a favorite because you can dress up or dress down with them. It is both an ethnic and stylish outfit, that you can wear to any occasion and are so easy to wear and pair. And depending on the occasion, you can pair them up with jeans, leggings, patialas, palazzos, cigarette pants, salwar.
Today more then ever, knowing the different styles of Kurtas and which one suits your body shape are key, especially when shopping online.
Here is a detailed description of each kurti type along with additional three styles.
A favorite trend, this design is quite the most popular and common among women.
How to Identify: True to its name, this style resembles the letter ‘A’, narrow at the top and wider as it comes down towards the knee.
Body Type: Ideal for women who have a heavier or wider upper body, like Apple shaped. Since they are wider at the bottom, it helps take the attention away from the upper part of the body and creates the illusion of a balanced shape.
Occasion: Formal, semi-formal and casual.
A line is more of a base design for most kurtas, and so many different styles have been built on them.
A popular design among women, this style embodies elegance, grace and royalty.
How to Identify: Slimmer or narrower at the upper part, with wide flowy flares towards the bottom. These flares may appear from chest downwards or from slightly above the waist, and mostly extends below the knee, up till the calf or ankle.
Body Type: Women with pear shaped body as well as those with a rectangular stature (proportionate upper and lower body- shoulder, waist and hips are the same size). Its best if square shaped women (broad shoulders) avoid them.
Occasion: Celebrations, special occasions, Weddings, Parties; the ultimate elegant ethnic wear for women.
In fact, you can dress up or dress down with an Anarkali kurta. For daily wear, you could opt for cotton ones in subtle or solid shades or small embroideries and for special occasions, you can choose elaborate ones with in contrast colors or embellishments and big embroideries.
Tip: Anarkali kurtas in nude shades with bright embroidered patterns on the yoke are hugely popular.
Inspired from traditional Rajasthani and Gujarati ethic wear, they are today a style highly experimented by top designers.
How to Identify: Has a slightly asymmetric neckline, with one flap overlaying the other, secured by strings or loops. These overlaying flaps may vary in size (small to very pronounced flaps).
Body Type: Suits almost all body types.
Occasion to Wear: Depending on the fabric and boldness of the design, it can be worn as a formal, ethnic or casual wear.
Layered kurtas are very much a trend today. They add an interesting twist to the regular kurtas.
How to Identify: They are very much the same, long/short, straight kurtas but with an additional layer at the hemline. In some cases, this additional layer goes an extra mile with an inner longer layer and short outer layer. Most often, these layers are in contrasting colors.
Body Type: The layers at the hemline tends to create a bulkier appearance. Hence it is most ideal for apple shaped and inverted triangle shaped (wider upper body and narrow lower body) women. It is also a great choice for those with a rectangle or hourglass shaped body. Pear shaped women should preferably avoid this style.
Occasion to Wear: Casual and ethnic. Mostly for occasions and celebrations, this is a great option.
Tip: Choose contrasting colors for the layers (like bottle green and gold), with embellishments to create a statement look.
Narrow flares or wide flares, they are such a chic and feminine style of kurta.
How to Identify: These are almost like anarkalis except that they are much more wider/narrower. They may or may not appear with slits and can vary in length, starting right from above the knees to up till the calf.
Body Type: They are best suited for apple shaped and inverted triangle shaped women. Flares look best on tall women, hence those with a small or petite stature should preferably avoid them, so should pear shaped women.
Occasion to Wear: These are much more of as casual style than Anarkali kurtas, hence they can be worn as a daily wear or as part of your ethnic outfit.
Slit Style (Front/Side)
If you are up for a bold look, then slit style kurtas are the one for you! They can be front slits or side slits or even appear with multiple slits. This design combines the ethnic feel of a kurta with a stylish Western touch with the high slit.
How to Identify: They are regular kurtas (can be A-line, straight or flared) with a very pronounced and high slit, in the front or side of the kurta. These slits may be appear right from the waist or below, and defines the whole look of the outfit.
Body Type: Ideal for tall or petite women (creates an illusion of longer legs for short women). Not a great choice for women with a rounded body.
Occasion to Wear: Not suitable as a formal wear, especially if it is a very high slit. Small slits are alright. These are great options for parties, celebrations and as casual wear.
Tip: Pair them with neutral shades of cigarette pants to keep the attention on the kurta.
A level above the Anarkalis, these are ethnic equivalent of gowns and are a perfect ensemble to create an elegant silhouette.
How to Identify: Quite similar to Anarkali kurtas, these extend below the ankles to create a floor length gown appearance.
Body type: Apple/Inverted triangle body shaped women, rectangle shaped women, can opt for this design. Short and petite women should ideally stay away from this one.
Occasion to Wear: Celebrations, parties, ethnic events. If you choose them in light cotton fabric, they can be worn casually during summer/autumn.
High low style of kurtas have been around for a while and they are here to stay. Designers keep experimenting with them every season to bring around a new feel and style sense.
How to Identify: These are asymmetric kurtas, with the front and back hemlines being of different lengths. Typically, a high low kurta has a shorter hem at the front and a longer one in the back, and more often the hemlines are straight.
Body Type: Suits almost all body types. Petite women should ideally avoid these.
Occasion to Wear: As a casual/smart casual outfit.
Another very trendy and contemporary design that is popular among women, this style of kurta have been inspired from Kaftans. Moreover, these are one of the best outfits to choose if you feeling slightly out of shape and wants to hide those love handles!
How to Identify: A loose fitting and airy design, with long wide drop sleeves and has a straight cut.
Body Type: Almost all body types. But women with a wider upper body should choose the cut of the kurta well to create the illusion of a proportionate body.
Occasion to Wear: Casual
Kurti with Jacket
It is another layered style of kurta that seems to be very much in trend now. A jacketed kurti adds an interesting definition to your outfit and pumps up your style instantly. It can actually pass off as a dress as well.
How to Identify: Has an extra layer, usually a long sleeveless inner and a full or 3/4th sleeved outer layer. These layers are often in contrasting shades, with the outer layer being a sheer type or printed. These jackets may come attached to the kurta or as separate piece.
Body Type: Suits most body types. Its a great option for women with a rectangle shaped body. Women with a larger upper body should opt for kurtas with a narrow and waist fitted design with full/wide flares and those with pear shaped bodies should opt for less flared ones. Preferably those with a rounded body shape should avoid this.
Occasion to Wear: Casual/Smart Casual wear. Avoid these for very formal occasions.
Tip: Kurtas with statement jackets are quite a trend. You can choose the kind of prints or fabrics that you like to create these jackets. In fact you can get a printed/brocaded one to go with your plain solid colored kurtas.
A very universal style, women love these! Long, straight cut kurtis suit any occasion and personality, and they also make you look stylish instantly. Also, it gives a very impressive professional look.
How to Identify: Just like the name, these kurtas are long, extending well blow the knee, almost up till the calf, and has a straight hemline.
Body Type: Suits all body type. Short women should not ideally choose very long kurtas.
Occasion to Wear: Formal, casual, ethnic
Another asymmetrical design, you can create an elegant and funky look with trail cut kurtas.
How to Identify: It has a C-cut on both sides, creating asymmetric hemlines.
Body Shape: Avoid if you have a rounded body. Otherwise, suits most body types.
Occasion to Wear: Great for parties and celebrations. Avoid for any formal occasions.
Tip: The fabric of the kurta can transform the whole look of kurta so choose fabrics like georgette, chiffon, silk, crepe with border embroidery to enhance the look of designer cuts.
They look great when paired with leggings or slim fit jeans.
Imagine a Xmas tree when you think of this design! These can even be worn as dresses.
How to Identify: Without slits, they have tiers or layers, at the bottom part, appearing from chest or waist below onward.
Body Type: Women with a rounded shape should ideally avoid them. Also, pear shaped women should choose them carefully. Suits most other body types.
Occasion to Wear: Casual/Smart Casual
Now that you are familiar with the different styles that will suit you best and how you can pair them up, choosing one for any occasion, will be a cake walk.
Which is your favorite style? Do you think your body type wasn’t included? Or do you have more styles in mind? Then do let us know in a comment.
Check out some of the top styles of Kurtas & Kurtis for women.