The fashion that evolved in the 1970s still set a benchmark in the 2020 fashion industry. Madhuri Dixit, Helen, Zeenat Amaan, Dimple Kapadia, Mumtaz Madhvani, Asha Parekh, Madhubala were few of the leading ladies that immensely defined the wardrobe of Indian cinema, that spread throughout India. They brought the trend of playing with polka dots, floral prints, plaids, gararas, sleek Chiffon saris, and spunky ruffle, elevates Bell bottom, Anarkali, Sharara and flared trousers. These retro-style trends have never been outdated; have remained in the fashion industry for ages. In the fashion industry, everything goes retro except the prices (Criss Jami). The vintage style dresses reflected custom, culture, and traditions that were immensely followed by a woman of that time. This started long back in time when Begum Akhtar or the Malika-e-Ghazal in 1942 Wore an elegant brooch on her beautifully draped sari, that set a trend in the 30s and 40s. Not only the dresses, but retro hairstyles have also marked a trend in Indian society. From Alia Bhatt to Sonam Kapoor, all the B town actresses are donning the Bollywood retro style dresses of the 70s and 80s with glamour and confidence. Here are some of the lovely retro look dresses for you to rock the retro theme party.
To be irreplaceable one must always be different – Coco Chanel
Let’s have a look at Bollywood retro look dresses for the lovely divas out there.
Table of Contents
- 1. Full-length Anarkali
- 2. Flared pants
- 3. Polka dots
- 4. High neck blouse
- 5. Palazzo style jumpsuits
- 6. Lehenga with Choli
- 7. Pop look
- 8. Tomboy look
- 9. Chiffon sari
- 10. Chandani look (white)
- 11. Punjabi Patiala suit with collared Kurta
- 12. Om Shanti Om look
- 13. Tight-fitting churidars
- 14. The Naagin look
- 15. Phiran
- 16. Japanese Kimono
- 17. The Kangana look
- 18. Chic floral print gown
- 19 Sharara and Gararas
- 20. Straight slit cut suits
- 21. Dhoti saris
- 22. Asymmetrical frills saris
- 23. Shimmering gowns
- 24. Denim
1. Full-length Anarkali
This strikes us back, in the year 1960 during the times of the release of Mughal-e-Azam where Madhubala was seen wearing a full-length Anarkali. She had set the fashion industry on fire, with her admirable look. The idea of wearing a full-length Anarkali is one of the best retro look dresses one can adore on a Bollywood retro night. Probably, this outfit suits all body types and makes you look gorgeous and stunning. Anarkalis are available in various materials including cotton, satin, net, silk, chiffon, etc. They are embedded with pearls, beads, studs to make the dress look glamorous, but if you even prefer a simple Anarkali it would look adorable. Why stop here? You can comply with this look with a simple Kavali cap and a Sleeveless jacket just like how Rekha wore it in Umraojaan.
2. Flared pants
This look was inspired by the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Flare pants were quite popular in the 1970s and became a major staple of the youngsters now and then. The trend went on for decades and people preferred wearing flared jeans as a style statement. Recently, we saw Deepika Padukone flaunting an adorable flared pant for the movie Cocktail. This trend was introduced by Neetu Singh as a classical pair in the retro station. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was also seen carrying this trend forward in today’s time. It is one of the amazing Bollywood retro style dresses that you can adore at a retro theme party.
3. Polka dots
The trend was initiated by Dimple Kapadia who is popularly known as the Polka dot girl of the Indian fashion industry. She bought this trend in the 1970s, and the trend continues in the 2020s. The dress was seen in the movie Bobby where she wore a polka dot blouse and a mini skirt. This gives us a retro vibe and a glamorous look. You can comply with this look with a ribbon to tie your hair, again a classical trend. Polka dot scarves, T-shirts, and frocks also made an ongoing trend amongst the women out there. Hence, this is a perfect idea for your retro look dress that you are going to carry or a perfect Bollywood retro night.
4. High neck blouse
Almost every actress in the 1970s has flaunted this look, a very common and generous trend of wearing a high neck blouse with an adorable sari. The trend came back to fashion when Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, and Sonam Kapoor were seen wearing the same high necked blouse saris recently. This is a timeless retro look dress, which can make you look elegant and classic. All you can do is wear a shimmering black high neck blouse, with a plain glamorous Sari as Deepika Padukone wore. You don’t need to top this look with anything, it’s fabulous! So now you can consider this as a retro theme party dress that will make you look flawless.
5. Palazzo style jumpsuits
Well, this is a perfect Bollywood retro style dress. Zeenat Aman in the song Chura Liya Hai Tumne was seen wearing a Palazzo jumpsuit. She wore a plain white Palazzo style jumpsuit, which looked adorable and gorgeous on her. This trend was seen again when Malaika Arora wore the same concept. Not only in India, but this look has also immensely influenced Hollywood where Anna Passey, Chandler Kinney Was seen wearing palazzo style jumpsuits. Apart from this, you can style yourself with a small clutch and high heels keeping your hair look simple and sober.
6. Lehenga with Choli
The Lehenga with long Choli look was influenced by Leena Chandravarkar in the song Jaane Kyun Log Mohabbat. Apart from this, a simple Lehenga Choli looks that is seen in the movie Sholay, worn by Basanti aka Hema Malini. Chal dhanno…aaj Teri Basanti ki izzat ka sawal hai, remembered something? Lehenga and Choli can be worn in different colors if you prefer you can drape a dupatta. At times the Lehenga is heavy keeping the Choli very simple. All you can do is prefer a retro style bun, with very simple and elegant earrings. You can wear matching bangles and put a traditional Bindi. A nose ring would also complement this pair. So here another retro theme party dress.
7. Pop look
This is again one of the most amazing and shimmering retro theme party dress. The popular was brought in by Helen, a golden outfit that was worn by her as a cabaret dancer in the song Piya Tu Ab to Aaja from the amazing movie Caravan. You can steal her look for the retro theme party. Make sure that you comply with the look with glamorous eye makeup and perfect pair of earrings.
8. Tomboy look
Kajol killed everyone with her tomboy look, which made her one of the favorite actresses of Bollywood after being Anjali of Kucch Kucch Hota hai. This is one of the most amazing and comfortable retro looks, just with a pair of jeans and a zip T-shirt/sweatshirt. Obviously, how can we forget the short hair and goggles she wore, but you can avoid them.
9. Chiffon sari
If you’re on a retro-style party and you have not worn a chiffon Sridevi style sari, then you are missing out on something in your life. The chiffon sari worn by Sridevi in Mr. India became the heartthrob of the Indian fashion industry. Chiffon saris brought a trend then and now. We have seen Anushka Sharma wearing a chiffon sari in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The trend started a long back in the year 1981 when Rekha wore a chiffon sari in the movie Silsila. Later on, Dimple Kapadia also was seen wearing a chiffon sari in the movie Sagar. Kajol in Kucch Kucch Hota Hai also set a trend of wearing a chiffon sari with a lacy blouse. So now, this is a prominent idea for a Bollywood retro style dress. Try this retro theme dress idea India, the next time you have a theme party.
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10. Chandani look (white)
When it comes to retro, how can we forget the Chandni look? We still remember watching Sridevi wearing a chiffon sari in the movie Chandani. It’s not about the sari, it’s about the white look she wore. So next time when you’re planning to go for a retro-style party make sure that you are dressed solely in white. You can prefer wearing a simple white Anarkali or a regular suit.
11. Punjabi Patiala suit with collared Kurta
This dress is inspired by the look of Rani Mukherjee in the movie Bunty and Babli. She was seen wearing colorful Patiala salwar with a yellow short Kurta, color style along with a Jhola. This is a very colorful and vibrant dress that you can wear at any party especially if it’s a retro-style one. You can prefer keeping your hair open just like how Rani Mukerji kept in Bunty and Babli. This is one of the most vibrant retro style dresses.
12. Om Shanti Om look
Do you remember Deepika Padukone in the movie Om Shanti Om, when she wore a pink iconic dress? The look first can be made more adorable with a backless top, complied by heavy jewelry and a bun. So now if you’re trying to bring down this look in your life, make sure that you look perfect in this retro-style dress.
13. Tight-fitting churidars
This look was inspired by Leena Chandravarkar from her very famous song Dhal Gaya din Ho Gayi Sham. She wore a skintight churidar with a sidecut Kurta. This look was again seen by Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om. You can complete this look with a satin ribbon, high heels, and beehive hairstyle, and round earrings. If you want you can prefer wearing leggings instead of a cotton churidar. This is one of the most amazing Bollywood retro theme party dress.
14. The Naagin look
or maybe this!
Sridevi from the movie Naagin stole this look and it became a trend around the world. This can be an amazing retro style dress for you, for your retro style party. The dress can be worn with heavy work spaghetti or a cropped blouse, with a Dhoti pant. This look is appreciated for its uniqueness and makes you look stunning and gorgeous. This retro theme dress ideas India is still loved by all the ladies.
You might be thinking what a phiran is? Don’t worry, do you remember the look of Sharmila Tagore in the movie Kashmir Ki Kali where she wore a mesmerizing dress? That is a Phiran. It is a long Kashmiri Kaftan along with a salwar. It is very loose sometimes, making it look adorable. This dress is also known as Taranga, in various parts of India. You can comply with it a very simple look including earrings. Don’t overload this look with lots of jewelry and makeup. This can be one of the best and perfect Bollywood retro look dress.
16. Japanese Kimono
Asha Parekh in Love in Tokyo, Helen in Howrah Bride Martin set another trend by wearing a floral kimono. Kimono are Japanese dresses, made out of solid colors. These are mostly styled with Japanese fun and flowers on the hairs. Deepika Padukone was seen wearing a Japanese kimono in the movie Chandani Chowk to China. She looked immensely gorgeous and stole all the beauty she could. DP looked like Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu girl. So now when you’re thinking of style for a Bollywood retro party, make sure that this is the dress you adore for your party. It is an amazing Bollywood retro style dress.
17. The Kangana look
Kangana Ranaut in the movie Once Upon a Time in Mumbai brought in some amazing 70s dresses including saris and evening gowns. She once again touched up the retro trends with her headbands, buns, winged eyes, and amazing costumes. You can get inspired by her look and wear something exotic. The peach sari that she wore in the movie is an amazing retro look dress. She has definitely given us all an amazing retro theme dress idea India.
18. Chic floral print gown
The floral print gowns were worn by vintage actresses, In the 70s movies. It is a perfect dress for a retro-style party, wedding reception, or a cocktail. Summers are approaching; having a nice and exotic dress would make it easy to survive. You will glow like a princess in these floral dresses. One of the most vibrant and famous floral dress looks is a pink and light blue floral design that makes you look gorgeous. All you can do is wear a beautiful tiara and comply with bracelets. Don’t forget to keep your hair open. This is a perfect retro look dress you can wear any time anywhere.
19 Sharara and Gararas
This is again one of the most amazing natural style dresses that you can wear for a retro-style party. Sharara we were seen in movies in and around the 70s and 80s. Shamita Shetty wore Sharara in the song Sharara, which gain popularity. Apart from this Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor Khan were seen wearing a Sharara on many occasions. A major difference between a Sharara and a garara is the use of fabric, gararas are wider and uses more fabric. Most of the time, Sharara and gararas symbolize the Mughal Era, where Muslim women made this a part of their awesome wardrobe. Recently Sara Ali Khan was also seen wearing a vibrant green color Sharara with amazing green bangles. She looked adorable. In this retro theme dress ideas India, you will look gorgeous too!
20. Straight slit cut suits
When stars like Rekha, Neetu Singh wore the straight slit cut suits in their movies, this became a general trend in the 1970s and 80s. The suits came into a trend when the A-line suits got ditched, people started referring straight slit cut suits rather than A-line suits. Diya Mirza brought the trend of the suits again with Rehana Hai Tere Dil Mein. The slit cut suits are momentous and unique. They look simple and trendy, you can comply with a simple clutch and very little jewelry, braided hair, and makeup. It is a perfect retro look dress for your retro look party.
21. Dhoti saris
Amazing and most common Indian attire, worn by the women in the Indian fashion industry is the Dhoti saris. This is mostly a 9-yard garment that can be worn amazingly. You can also call it as a Maharashtrian draping style sari. The saris were prominently worn by various actresses in Vintage Bollywood movies. Shilpa Shetty and Sonam Kapoor again brought this look back into the Indian Fashion industry.
Indian sari is a garment that is popular across the globe for its gracefulness! When a woman adorns herself with a six-yard seamless cloth, it lends her a timeless elegance. There are numerous styles of draping this staple apparel. Among different types of saris available in India, the most enchanting of them all is the traditional Banarasi sari. Popular for its intricately woven motifs, Banarasi sari are crafted using gold or silver zari and silk threads. Artisans take months to weave an alluring piece, blending each thread into the rich Indian heritage.
Banarasi saris are crafted in Varanasi, also known as Banaras and hence the name. An Indian bride’s trousseau is never complete without this captivating ensemble. Intricate intertwining floral motifs that adorn the Indian Saris especially the beautiful pallu, add to the grace of a new bride.
If you want to up your sari game, a Banarasi sari is a must have in your wardrobe. You can steal the show at any special occasion and turn heads. A Banarasi sari adds elegance and charm to your look. Be it a wedding function or a festive occasion, you can drape it and effortlessly make a style statement.Vibrant hues add to the appeal of Banarasi saris. Awe-inspiring color palette embracing golden hue is what makes this ensemble unique. These saris are very much in trend and can help you rock traditional , retro or modern look like a pro.
22. Asymmetrical frills saris
The saris got famous by the look of Mumtaz and Saira Banu when they flaunted their asymmetrical frill saris, which attracted the attention of many girls of that generation. Mostly all the heroines of that time wore this type of sari at least once. The thrill sari set a fire in the Indian fashion industry. This look was resuscitated by Deepika Padukone and Om Shanti Om and by Priyanka Chopra in Teri Meri Kahaani. Apart from this Shilpa Shetty, Sushmita Sen, Sonam Kapoor, and Kriti Sanon also wore these dresses on public appearances. So now when you are thinking about a retro-style look, wear this awesome retro style dress. Don’t think and just try this amazing retro theme dress ideas India.
23. Shimmering gowns
Do you remember the song Pyaar Karne wale from the movie Shaan? If yes then remember Parveen Babi wearing a shimmering sequined gown that again hit the Indian industry deeply. This was a deep neck, long flowing gown that can be worn in parties. Hence, this is again a prettiest retro style dress you can wear in a retro-style party.
Urmila from the movie Rangila brought the 90s college look when most of the young generation started wearing denim shirts along with color pants, denim, and skirts. These shirts are still in trend and give sporty vibes. Now if you do not prefer to wear an Indian traditional or modern look, you can wear a denim shirt as a retro-style dress. It is more comfortable and cozy. Not only denim shirts but denim shorts were also popular back then too. It is a popular retro theme dress idea India.
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So, here for 25 amazing and mind-blowing Bollywood retro style dresses for your retro style party. Starting from Hema Malini of Sholay to dimple Kapadia of Bobby always made up a trend in the Indian Fashion industry. All that goes comes back. All the trends that were famous in the 80s and 90s are coming back slowly and steadily. India and actresses are wearing these retro-style dresses, making them look gorgeous and stunning. So now when you’re planning to go for a retro-style party make sure that you choose a proper costume/dress from the list above.
What do you wear to a retro theme?
Generally, older generation dress is worn on a retro theme. A look/outfit that would match the 1960s-1980s would make it look like a retro dress. It should match up to the trends that were followed at that time. It can be your dress, hairstyle, jewelry, bags, or even footwear.
What is a retro theme?
Retro style is a style that imitates or deliberately derives from historical past habits, patterns, or art forms including in music, types, fashions, or attitudes. It may also be called “inspired vintage” The “nostalgia period” is usually in mainstream culture for the two decades 20–30 years before the present one.
What is retro attire?
Retro attire means, vintage clothing and nostalgic look that takes you back into the 90s. The look is inspired by the tradition and culture and trend followed then.
How do I get ready in a retro style?
There are various ideas of getting ready in a Retro style, if you want you can just drape a chiffon sari to make it give you a retro look, you can use floral prints or polka dots along with scarves to go for a retro party.
What is retro clothing?
Retro clothing is the trend that was followed decades ago, either set up by a celebrity. Just like how Dimple Kapadia set a trend of wearing polka dots.
How can I look retro Bollywood?
Well, it’s not difficult, all you need to do is get inspired by some of the actresses of those times and adopt a look that suits you the most. If you are a Western woman, you can prefer wearing the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai look. But if you’re comfortable wearing a frock then having a glamorous polka dot or floral print frock would suit you the most.
We know now you are ready to rock these retro theme dress ideas India! So, thank us later.
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