How Bollywood Inspires the Trendy and Stylish Indian Dresses

ethnic wear

People get easily inspired by the celebrities they see on television, the fashion icons, and try to imitate the way they dress and style. The history of fashion in India is closely related to Indian dresses as worn in Bollywood movies, and the trends that follow.

Indian ethnic wear has evolved. What started with dhoti, pyjamas, Indian sarees and other regional outfits, have become trendy, experimental, fashionable, and bold to be loved and enjoyed by people across the world.

Bollywood films, as mentioned earlier have a great impact on both the fashion and street styles. A little blend of western vibes into the ethnic dresses mean so much harm. Fashion is always evolving. Even if a long-lost, vintage style is again introduced in the fashion, it usually comes with a twist.

Indian dresses

Bollywood Dresses That Made Way to The Common Man’s Wardrobe

Bollywood dresses include colours, styles, cuts and designs that are inspired from the Ethnic and Western fashion. There was a time when the dresses worn in films were loud and “extra”. The goal was to have the maximum effect. Vibrant funky colours, jewelleries, embellishments, designer clothes, and so on was very common as Bollywood outfits. But things have changed. Outfits nowadays are more like the reality, what a modern man or woman would have worn.

If you attend an Indian wedding, you will find most of the ladies dressed up in the finest of their garments, designed after Bollywood divas. They may have the similar combination, cuts or styles as so and so actor had worn in so and so film. For example, I believe everyone remembers the blue and black saree that Naina (Deepika Padukone) had worn at Aditi’s (Kalki Koechlin) in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. It became so popular that almost on every occasion a woman was seen donning the saree and styling it in a similar manner.

The fashion industry harbours on this trend by launching movie-inspired clothes and jewelleries. The actors are also roped in to endorse the fashion products attracting the consumers.

One of the earliest movie influences on the Anarkali Suit, worn by Madhubala in Mughal-E-Azam, which is still preferred by many. Decades have passed but this outfit is still winning hearts.

The outfits of Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and much later the outfits of Rani Mukerji in Bunty Aur Babli were fashion rage for a long time.


Bollywood divas glammed up the screens in bell bottoms, polka dotted tops, jumpsuits, oversized sunglasses and maxi dresses. The makeup consisted of dramatic cat eyes, pink cheeks, arched eyebrows and glossy lipsticks.


The next decade was all about pop colours. Sridevi and Rekha won hearts in plain chiffon sarees, fitted salwar kameez, and donned bright red lipstick with almost every outfit. Big hair with long, wavy locks, like that of Dimple Kapadia were popular.


The iconic era. The era of Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota hai, the purple blue saree of Madhuri Dixit, the bright green outfit of Kajol in DDLJ, and the dungarees of Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Bollywood saw actresses wearing fitted black short skirts, long boots and open hair.


The new millennium saw fashion statements on and off screen changing rapidly. We started seeing classic designer pieces. Bling and embellishments were brought on the big screen. The net lehengas of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or the opulent lehengas of Devdas or Jodhaa Akbar. Priety Zinta’s cute outfits and Rani Mukerji’s smokey eyes and brown short hair, ruled the fashion industry.

The Later Years

Bollywood started introducing outfits that the common men could relate to and wear. The onscreen styles started blending well in the daily lives of the modern Indian Women. Be it the tee-patiala combo of Jab We Met, the long skirts and tops of 2 States, or the Kurti, Palazzo, stole and bindi combination of Piku, women started identifying themselves with the realistic characters being portrayed. As they related, they took up the dressing styles too. The makeup too toned down to thick eyebrows, kohl lined eyes, a dash of highlighter and some nude lipstick.

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