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A classic elbow-length blouse and a dupatta thrown around the shoulders is the quintessential bridal look. But if you are looking to add a pinch of drama, there are easy layering cues that can give your bridal look a stronger character. Chuck traditional cholis and layer a floor-length jacket over your lehenga, or pair a cape with your ensemble. There are also double-duty dupattas with a veil that are making a smooth transition from runways into bridalscape.

Here is an easy lehenga layering guide to get you started.

Double-duty dupattas
Tarun Tahiliani. Images:Courtesy Instagram
Tarun Tahiliani

Veer away from the singular practice of draping it over the head and wear an exquisite dupatta around your shoulders as well. We suggest keeping the dupattafloor length and experimenting with an array of textures. If you find the idea of double-duty dupattas intimidating, the old school velvet dupatta works, with a see-through net veil. To complete the look opt for an elbow-length blouse.

A poncho cape 
Anushree Reddy. Image: Courtesy Instagram
Anushree Reddy

If you are a summer bride, a beautiful, short poncho cape can do no harm. From intricately embroidered ones to printed versions, there are a number of options available. Takes cues from Anushree Reddy, where it is all about colour coordination – beige and its different tones come together to create a perfect summer bridal look. 

Floor-length jacket and a dupatta 
Anju Modi. Image: Courtesy Instagram
Anju Modi

Floor-length jackets are making a comeback, so instead of a regular blouse, pick a jacket and team it with a lehenga. Takes cues from Anju Modi. You can even opt for a heavily embroidered jacket with a minimal lehenga, paired with a quirky, statement dupatta to get the look. Opt for contrasting hues. 

Jacket over the shoulders

Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. Image: Courtesy Instagram

Street style meets bridal is the look for the coming bridal season. Approved by the likes of Garance Dore, Chiara Ferragni, and Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, this look has a jacket casually thrown over the shoulders. Take cues from Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. Pick up an exquisitely embroidered floor-length jacket (even a sherwani might work) and throw it over your shoulders. The idea is not to look overtly dressy. Opt for a sexy bra-top and a flared lehenga in lighter summer-appropriate fabrics, and let the jacket do the talking. 

Lehenga with a kurta
Anita Dongre. Image: Courtesy Instagram
Anita Dongre

This is for those who want to a relaxed look and believe in effortlessness. Instead of picking up a heavily embroidered blouse or a choli, opt for a straight-cut kurta. There is no one better than Anita Dongre to turn to for this. Pair a beautifully embroidered kurta with a minimal lehenga skirt, and be as dramatic as you want with the dupatta drape. 

The poncho cape
Rohit Bal. Image: Courtesy Instagram
Rohit Bal

This one is for tall brides. Opt for a heavy jacket over a lehenga and top your look with a dramatic poncho cape. Rohit Bal is the ultimate couturier to look to when it comes to this. The interplay of black and gold with infusions of fiery reds is a winning look. 

Classic capes are here to stay 
Payal Khandwala. Image: Courtesy Instagram
Payal Khandwala

From Sonam Kapoor to Sarah Jessica Parker, capes have been a favourite trend of stars on the red carpet. Translating the same for a summer bride is Payal Khandwala. Pick a monotone cape, maybe with a crinkled texture, and layer it over a traditional Benarasi lehenga skirt. With summers, the protocol for colours completely changes; pick capes in striking oranges paired with yellow lehenga skirts; deep green capes with blues; and reds with yellows. 

Anupam Dabral
Sr. Associate Editor
It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.