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Traditional Dresses of India that will always remain Timeless

In a country with over a billion people, one would think it would be hard to identify the top 10 traditional dresses of India.  The saree, salwar and lehenga has and continues to capture the hearts of Indian women.  Even though there are 28 states and within the states a melting pot of cultures sprinkled with western influences, when it comes to weddings, occasions and celebrating patriotism, most women think saree, salwar or lehenga. Though these three outfits have made the traditional dresses of India list, each state boasts its own style, design and material. 

Most of the traditional dresses of India are made with a variety of silks; mulberry, vanya, eri, tussar, muga and ahimsa.  Pure silk is expensive but still is the most sought after material due to its light, smooth and strong texture and natural sheen.  Here are the special offerings from different states.

Traditional Dresses of India that Women Love

Most women in India, at some point in their lives, have draped a saree or donned a lehenga or salwar suit. If you want to expand your ethnic collection here are top 10 traditional dresses of India for you to consider.

Uttar Pradesh

The Banarasi saree is one of the most popular sarees known for its rich brocade work and its extravagant designs. If not the bridal saree, this saree is the traditional dress of India in Hindi belt and will definitely be part of the bridal trousseau.

The Banarasi lehenga skirt is also a dress women love to wear due to the graceful flares, pleated look and Banarasi brocade fabric. 

 Rajasthan and Gujarat

The Bandhani saree hails from Rajasthan and Gujarat and is known for its special tie and dye technique and beautiful dotted prints. This vibrant and fun saree is available in a number of materials; cotton-silk blends, chiffon, georgettes and crepes.  

The women in Rajasthan are also partial to lehengas which are also known as ghagra cholis. Most cholis are heavily embellished with mirror work, adding to its beauty.

Punjab and Haryana

The Punjabi suit is another traditional outfit that has become popular over the years. One will see women in fitting knee length kurtas, pleated salwar pants and dupattas. Contrasting colours are often worn and add to the beauty of this outfit.  The patiala suit from Punjab is similar to the Punjabi suit and also worn by most women.


The durable, shimmering, yellow-golden tinted glossy muga saree is from Assam and though popular all over India and the world, muga silk is available only in Assam. 

West Bengal

A tant saree is a light, transparent, and crisp saree that showcases intricate design and craftsmanship that comes straight from West Bengal. Also popular in this state are the Korial and Garad sarees and Baluchari sarees. The kurta is just as popular and often worn with a stole or dupatta filled with motifs and colours. 


Maharashtrian women love their sarees, which is called the nine-yard saree; the lugade and worn in a very different way. When it comes to weddings, women opt for the Paithani saree, designer salwars or lehengas.

Traditional Dresses of India that South Indian Women Wear

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram or Kanjeevaram saree is known for its rich and glossy texture and boasts the uniqueness of South Indian ethnicity. The motifs add to the beauty of the saree. This saree is worn by most brides on their special day or on other special occasions. 


The Pochampally Saree is known for its ikat designs; tie and dye weave is one of Telangana’s special sarees.  While the married women love their sarees, unmarried ones opt for salwars and churidar kurtas and prefer these types of traditional dresses in India.


Kerala’s famous Kasavu sarees are off-white and sport a golden brocade at the borders and the pallu.  This saree is worn as a wedding saree as well as for festivals.


Mysore silk sarees are an offering from Karnataka and known for its soft silk, buttis, motifs, and its signature broad and narrow stripes on the pallu. Many a bride or to-be-bride has worn this rich and glorious saree for her wedding and included a few in her trousseau.  Many prefer the salwar when it comes to traditional dresses of India. One popular design is the sharara suit and is worn by women in Bangalore and Mysore 

Traditional Dresses of India have gone Global

With India participating more in global events; sports, movies, music, awareness events, fashion shows; fashion designers have got to showcase their special spin on traditional dresses of India. The saree, salwar and lehengas with its long heritage, exciting present and promising future, will always be an important part of the Indian woman’s wardrobe. 

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FAQs on Traditional Dresses of India

What is the main traditional dress of India?

Though there are several ethnic styles and designs to choose from, the saree is unofficially known as the traditional dress of India. Most states have their own saree design and style and are created from a specific material.

What are the traditional dresses of Indian states?

Each state has a number of traditional dresses. The Benaras saree from Uttar Pradesh, Kanchipuram or Kanjeevaram saree from Tamil Nadu, the Bandhani saree from Rajasthan and Gujarat, the tant saree from West Bengal, the Pochampally Saree from Telangana’s and muga saree from Assam are few traditional dresses that overtime have become synonymous with the state.  Two of Punjab’s traditional dresses are the patiala and Punjabi salwar suit.

Which Indian traditional dress is best?

Each Indian woman has her own preference. If we look at fashion surveys and trends, the saree is the most popular Indian traditional dress. Available in a variety of budget friendly options; chiffon, georgette, cotton, and expensive materials; pure silk and raw silk,  makes the saree an easy option for women from all backgrounds. The prints, colors, textures and the graceful way it wraps itself around a woman’s body makes the saree one of the most beautiful ethnic garments in India.

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