Layered Ensembles – Trending


August was the month of fashion weeks in India! We got to see a whole lot of bridal and pret designs. One style that really stood out was ‘layering‘. Layering is described as a way of dressing using multiple garments worn on top of each other, either to provide warmth or to create a fashionable ensemble.The concept of layering is not new to Indian fashion but never have we seen such variety in styling and it’s presence in over 25 designer collections in the same season. Even though layering could be as simple as throwing on a shrug over a kurta, to add an oomph to the outfit play with lengths and textures. Keep it classy.

indian layering wedding

Let’s start with a look at layering with lehengas. The concept of a basic lehenga skirt and blouse has anyways been redundant for the past two seasons and this year we also saw top-layers replacing the dupattas. You could pick anything from short heavily embroidered jackets like Sabyasachi’s, a lapel blazer in soft fabric like Rahul Mishra’s or a slit cape like Neeta Lulla’s to wear over a blouse. It has been noticed that most designers kept the layering pieces either in the lehenga’s colour family or in the neutral colour family.

layering lehenga indian

Layering does not always mean mean full-cover. Falguni & Shane’s transparent short kurta paired with a lehenga is a great way to show off your flat abs while being in-trend. Varun Bahl’s three piece belted ensemble is another interesting mix of a western blazer with the Indian lehenga. You could also go for a peplum top, lehenga skirt and sleeveless long jacket like Sabyasachi’s ensmeble above. The most common option for layering is a long jacket– you could read an entire post on long jacket trends here.

saree style layering

The saree can also be layered interestingly. While Gaurav Gupta’s layering was a simple embroidered waistcoat  over a saree gown, Sabyasachi’s collection had a few more jacket options. Either use a long tulle jacket with heavily embroidered bottom area or go in for a full embroidery textured short jacket. You could pair sleeveless jackets with full sleeves under layers or vice-versa.

layering dhoti pant

Layering with trousers is comparatively easier, be it dhoti pants or palazzo style trousers. Taking inspiration from the above designs you could go for either jacket lengths and colour contrast options. I would suggest full length jackets for petite girls, as shorter length jackets will further divide the visual body length. For women with heavier chest pick a front open jacket in a darker colour reaching your natural waist, the darker colour makes the upper body appear slimmer while accentuating the natural curve of the waist. As for women with broader waistlines – you could pick an a-line cape style reaching till the lower waist or a just-above-the-knee length jacket.

layering long kurta

You could create a new look for existing anarkalis by using layers like capes, blazers, jackets, additional kurta layers or a mix of more than one layer. The options are endless, mix-match and try a few styles till you are happy with the look. If the anarkali is heavily embroidered pick a single colour textured shorter jacket like in Rohit Bal’s ensemble. This helps highlight the anarkali embroidery while adding an on-trend element. A cape on the other hand while adding layers also helps play with proportions of the outfit, different cape cuts will create different looks.

layering casual kurta

You could play up a basic anarkali or a regular kurta with anything from full embroidered jackets to light weight printed jackets. Another option is layering two kurtas of contrasting colours over each other, I would tread with care while trying this look. The two important factors to keep in mind are- the fabrics should be thin or they might add visual weight and second there should be enough difference in lengths to give the layered look.

My personal favorite is the ensemble by Ashdeen, also perfect for the chilled winter weddings. Ashdeen has played with lengths, textures and colours in their ensemble. One could easily break down individual layers to create a few more looks. I will be soon doing a post on achieving this season’s trend for less. If you want advice on any existing piece from your wardrobe, drop me an email at

Have fun styling ! 😉


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