After waiting all year long, Diwali is finally here! Diwali is the perfect time to come together and celebrate the festival of lights with friends and family. Along with the parties, ceremonies, and gifts, Diwali dress is also a key element to making the festive season feel just right.

Traditional attire

You may find yourself asking, “Do I know what to wear to a Diwali party?” To honor the celebration of a rich Indian culture, it is highly recommended to embrace the holiday and dress traditionally from head-to-toe with a few accent pieces.

For women:

For men:

Color can vary greatly from outfit-to-outfit. If you are someone who appreciates the structure of the item you’re wearing, neutral tones of gold, white, silver, and brown might work for you. If you are particularly into celebrating the cheerful air of the festival, bright colors may be your best bet. Some of the most popular colors that made an appearance during the 2017 year of Diwali included sunny yellow, bright green, red, cobalt blue, and fuchsia. Remember, loud colors are encouraged, so feel free to include them where you can.

Whether you select silk or cotton, extravagant embellishments can make a big impact as well. Think of choosing ensembles detailed with beading, embossed patterns, and special silk threading. Even the smallest of details can set the tone of your entire look. Although these types of additions can be extra, they are well worth the effect.

Modern Diwali

There are several ways to still keep with standard Diwali traditional dress and make them modern.

  1. Turn your lehenga into a skirt and top combo any way you like. Pair traditional prints with a plain fabric or mix patterns to create something with flair.
  2. Enjoy the look of a detailed gown. Accessorize with your choice of jewelry to make it your own. Gorgeously draped gowns can often resemble a saree.
  3. Nothing says modern like a crop top and Dhoti pant set. Combine a patterned crop top with solid hued pants or vice versa.

Metal accents

Diwali outfits often include gold or silver pieces of jewelry. Some of the most coveted items during Diwali include necklaces, chokers, nose rings, rings, wide and thin bangles, and earrings. Popular jeweled looks often come complete with matte, satin, or polished finishes. Jeweled accessories often contain a number of precious gems like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls, or other similar stones.

Before you begin accessorizing, take into account the type of gathering you will be attending. If your finest choker seems like it may be too much to wear to your event, opt for a delicate necklace and matching bracelet set. For a fancier event, think of mixing in a few ornate pieces such as chandelier earrings, a diamond nose ring, and jeweled bracelets.

For men, a beautiful bracelet or ring can create a well thought out look for any event. Try adding a watch of some sort to spruce up your look and take it to the next level in a matter of minutes. You can experiment with different styles of watches to find the one that suits you and your outfit the best. For example, save your more expensive options for galas or larger Diwali parties, and instead choose a simple gold or silver watch to go with your more toned down looks.


Choose your footwear according to where your personal Diwali celebrations take place. Attending an intimate gathering at someone’s home? You may want to shy away from wearing your 6 inch stilettos. For both men and women, a good way to pick out shoes is by thinking about the overall look of your clothing. For outfits that have neutral tones, consider wearing a comfortable pair of embroidered flat shoes. This will bring something special to your outfit without it being too over-the-top.

For women attending an elaborate Diwali party, you can certainly pair your Diwali outfit with a pair of strappy heels or coordinating pumps. Heels and pumps work especially great for cropped pant looks. For men, leather or embroidered loafers offer both function and fashion.

What is Diwali?

For those who are unfamiliar with Diwali, it is India’s most important holiday of the year that is celebrated nationally. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that are lit outside the home to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. Aside from participants finding what to wear to a Diwali party, the festival itself holds a special meaning for each of the 5 days it encompasses.

The first day of Diwali is also known as Dhanteras or “The Festival of Lights”. The start of Diwali begins with Dhanteras where people buy gifts of gold, silver, automobiles, utensils, property, and other precious items that would be cherished by the receiving person. The second day of Diwali involves decorations with clay lamps and colored sand designs on the floor known as rangoli. On the third day, the main celebration kicks off with activities, food, and prayer. The fourth day places an emphasis on visiting friends and family and exchanging gifts. On the final day of Diwali, the festival closes with brothers visiting their married sisters and exchanging well wishes over a home cooked meal.