31 Pretty Anarkhali Styles for Bridal Inspiration

2015 Jun 14 - by Shriya
When it's wedding time, you've got a tough decision to make: do you go with the ever-flattering saree, a fun lehenga, or a flirty anarkhali?

Since South Asian weddings consist of multiple events, chances are you can wear all three at some point or another. Now that we've expressed our love for saree blouses and lehenga styles, it's time to admire the twirly, princess effect of the wonderful anarkhali.

The dress emphasizes the waist with a cinch, while various designs and sleeve lengths can customize the anarkhali to your own preference. It's basically as close to a formal ballgown as you can get in terms of South Asian attire - only with more sparkle and brighter color choices.

Here are 31 of our favorite, pretty anarkhali styles for your inspiration:

1. White Lace Dream from Tarun Tahiliani's Summer Resort Collection 2014

For a truly traditional bridal glow, a white lacy anarkhali with floral designs and a standout border is the way to go. It's dreamy, beautiful, and elegantly understated.

2. Two-Tone Anarkhali from Retail Jeweller India 2014

A bright skirt pairs well with a dark, decorated top for a brilliant two-tone dress. It's perfect for day or night wear, since it's classy but also simple.

3. Floaty Dream from Tarun Tahiliani's Summer Resort Collection 2014

Regardless of the color, a floaty material like georgette makes for a beautiful, flowy dress that'll stand out for any occasion. It's lightweight and magical - suitable for your dream princess wedding.

4. Embroidered Navy from Purvi Doshi's 2014 Resort Collection

South Asian clothes don't always have to be bright and bold - sometimes, an understated navy is just as beautiful. This piece includes an embroidered floral blouse with a flowing navy skirt and red accents. It's neutral, but eye-catching for its uniqueness amongst the reds and golds.

5. Mint Green Dreams from Anushree Reddy's 2014 Resort Collection

Short sleeved and flirty, this light colored dress is cute without being over the top. The shiny fabric suits the pink and mint colors well, and the gold accents make it even more majestic.

6. Intricate Black and Gold from Ritu Kumar's 2012 Spring Collection

The stripes on this dress make it flattering for all body types, and the gold beading makes it extravagant for any fancy wedding affair. Black and gold are, after all, a timeless classic combination that'll add an instant glam factor to just about anyone.

7. Cutout Back from Tarun Tahiliani's 2014 Bridal Collection

Beautiful periwinkle color aside, this dreamy anarkhali is unique with its cutout back. It keeps the focus of the floaty dress on all sides, not just the usual front.

8. Modern Twirl from JJ Valaya's 2012 Collection

I love this look for its modern button-up blouse and also its sheer midriff. It's conservative but daring at the same time, and the white and black color scheme is classic and non-distracting from its unique features.

9. Sheer Florals from Varun Bahl's 2014 India Couture Week Collection

The yellow on blue combination is gorgeous and back-to-basics, but the sheer blouse porton really steals the show. The velvety vines and bright pink flowers cover up just what's needed while adding a mysterious, sultry effect to the look.

10. Berries in Gold from Ashima Leena's 2012 Aamby Valley Runway

This anarkhali is traditionally gorgeous but conceptually stunning with its colorful stripes in berry tones such as strawberry red and reddish purple. The gold border and accents keep the look together, while the unique layering and bedazzled neckline keep things interesting.

11. Layered Monochrome from Ashima Leena's 2012 Aamby Valley Runway

Gold and white are classic and timeless, producing a simple, but elegant look together. I like the golden layer peeking out of this anarkhali and the matching embroidery that makes it sparkle.

12. Black Poof from Meera & Muzaffar Ali-Kothwara's 2012 Aamby Valley Runway

Black is a very bold choice for a bride, but if she loves the color, why hide it? This elegant, draping gown featured poofy sleeves, which add more volume to the sophisticated look.

13. Technicolor Cape from Manish Arora's 2013 Delhi Couture Week Runway

Not only is this dress super bright and fun with lots of motifs and patterns, it's also got a cape. From the ombre effec to the unique skirt and collar, this anarkhali is bound to be the center of attention.

14. Gold Geometry from Rohit Bal's Garden of Flowers Collection

The lack of Indian motifs and designs doesn't impair the grace and beauty of this outfit. In fact, the geometric criss cross pattern adds its own elegant touch to the crisp gown. I love the high collar too - it suits a modern design like this.

15. Purple & Yellow from Dia Mirza's Bollywood Wedding

Dia Mirza wore this majestic gown to her mehndi and it called for oohs and aahs around the world. The colors complement each other so well, and the various designs of the outfit - from the circles on the border to the beading on the skirt - really highlight how extravagant it is.

16. Veiled Red photo by Irfan Ahson Photography

I'm impressed by the stunningly intricated details on this anarkhali, but the red layer underneath really caught my eye. It's so understated, yet elegant and formal. It goes well with gold accents and makes for a truly royal bridal outfit.

17. The Baby Doll from Suneet Varma's 2013 Aamby Valley Bridal Week Show

Who says lingerie has to stay in the bedroom? For the daring bride, this dress brings the sexiness and playfulness of the baby doll dress to bridal couture. Black floaty fabric is accented by gold and silver beading on the pants for a truly alluring effect.

18. Pink Princess from Suneet Varma's Kamasutra Collection

If you're a bride who believes everything is prettier in pink, then this dress is perfect for you. Layers of pink color create a magical ombre effect, which is topped off by gold details. It's flowy, fabulous, and fit for a princess.

19. White Waterfall from Sania Mirza for Shantanu & Nikhil's 2013 Aamby Valley Bridal Week Collection

White is a traditional choice for a Western bride, but this dress is far from ordinary. The everlasting drape of the skirt starts at the waist but accentuates the whole body. It's a sleek design that'll flatter almost anyone.

20. The Sequined Soiree from Suneet Varma's 2015 Lakme Fashion Week Runway

If you want to go a step beyond the sparkly embroidery and beading of usual South Asian attire, sequins are your best bet. The dark, shiny look draws attention to the unique neckline, while also paying tribute to the gorgeous floral design.

21. The Layered Skirt from Amazon India Fashion Week 2015

Sometimes, simple works best. This draping red skirt is gorgeous in its asymmetric design and color blocking. I imagine it'd be perfect for a mehndi or sangeet night.

22. The Sleeveless Beauty from Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor's 2011 Aamby Valley Bridal Week Collection

Show off your arms in this sleeveless number, complete with girly pink designs and a happy multi-color border. It's slimming and fun - perfect for warm weather occassions.

23. Purple Power from Naureen & Ghazaly's Wedding

Purple is majestic, bold, and fabulous. This anarkhali shows off the various shades and depths of the color, accented with gold beading and designs. It's a standout outfit that will catch everyone's eye.

24. Sparkly Sorbet from Ahana Deol & Vaibhav Vora's Wedding

This celebrity endorsement of colorful anarkhali styles is great inspiration. The colors are bright, happy, and fun - especially with the sparkly sleeves and silky fabric. It's definitely an outfit worth remembering.

25. Ombre Skirt from Shraddha & Will's Wedding

The ombre effect is stylish and stunning - without being too over the top. I love how this dress keeps it simple by focusing on the gorgeous blues and greens of the skirt.

26. Heavy Florals from Suneet Varma's 2015 Lakme Fashion Week Collection

When in doubt, go big with the flowers. This anarkhali has stunning sequin work going for it, but the heavy emphasis on the skirt's details are pretty amazing too.

27. Polka Dots from Ashima Leena's 2012 Aamby Valley Bridal Week Show

Polka dots should be incorporated more into wedding attire - they're bold and fun. The bright reds and oranges really bring out their effect, creating a majestic ensemble.

28. Pink Peacock from Kerry & Jason's Wedding

With hearts and dots and gold, this is a dreamy pink design. I love the peacock motifs and the beautiful pastel color - perfect for summery, outdoor weddings.

29. Salmon Crush from Vikram Phadnis's 2012 Aamby Valley Bridal Week Collection

An understated color, salmon can be accented by gold beading. The sheer sleves add more elegance to the look. This is one color you should consider for unique and modern wedding attire.

30. Velvet Dream from JJ Valaya's 2012 Aamby Valley Bridal Week Finale

For winter weddings, velvet is your best bet for looking fabulous while keeping warm. This deep purple color is royally beautiful - especially with the intricate gold patterns on it. I love the structured look and its unique grace.

31. The Cut Away from Aamby Valley Fashion Week 2013

If you're into Western styles, look no further than this very modern take on the anarkhali - basically a flowing gown cut away to reveal a sleek trouser. It's fitting and fresh, and could look even better paired with a patterned dupatta or statement necklace.

For more bridal outfit inspirations, check out 51 Lehenga Styles and 31 Sari Blouse Styles to Fall in Love With.

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