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Pakistani Anarkali Dresses: Brief History & Style Guide

November 20, 2021

Pakistani Anarkali Dresses: Brief History & Style Guide

Anarkali suits have always been a prominent part of Pakistani’s colorful and vibrant women’s fashion scene. These dresses have a long history that dates back to the legendary Mughal Empire era when it was believed they were first worn.

Pakistani Anarkali Suit in Red

Stunning Pakistani Anarkali Suit for Women

The Anarkali dress is a variation of the Shalwar Kameez, Pakistan’s most prominent national dress. It’s comprised of a long frock-style top that is cinched just below the chest region to create a flowing bottom part that easily creates a flowing silhouette. This dress is completed by a bottom (churidar) and a scarf (dupatta).

Anarkali History/Mughal Empire Era Connections

The Anarkali has taken the women’s fashion scene by storm since it was first worn by courtesans of the Mughal Empire era.

These courtesans are usually invited to the palace to entertain kings and royals in the palace. One of the most prominent courtesans of that era was the charming and delectable Lady Anarkali who was believed to have charmed most men who came across her, including Prince Saleem.  The dress was named after Anarkali after her death.

Lady Anarkali’s body rests today at the Tomb of Anarkali on the grounds of Lahore's Punjab Civil Secretariat Complex. The tomb of this beautiful woman is one of Pakistan’s most iconic national monuments.

Pakistani Anarkali Suit in White

Beautiful Pakistani Anarkali Suit in Pure White

Anarkali Dress Styles/Design Guide

Anarkali suits come in varying lengths and styles.

The Anarkali dress itself is usually embroidered which could be simple to heavy embroidery and embellishments. Anarkali dresses are usually well-fitted at the bodice and usually come designed with several panels after the bodice. The placket is either usually high buttoned or buttoned down to the chest level.

Along with the Anarkali dress, you’ll need the Churidar.

The Churidar is the bottom pant you’ll need with the long frock Anarkali dress. These churidars are usually lengthy to the knee, usually designed to form bangle-like folds that hang just around the ankle.

Buying Anarkali Dresses Online

Anarkali suits have become a popular choice for women in Pakistan because of their effortless beauty and elegance. These dresses are worn at weddings, Nikah, graduations, and a host of other special events. If you’re planning to get yourself one or more Anarkali suits, they can be easily bought online these days and delivered to your doorstep.

Pakistani Anarkali Suit with Embroidery Work

Pakistani Anarkali Suit with Embroidery Work

Before you buy your Anarkali suits online, however, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen the right style for your body type and style needs. The good thing is that Anarkali dresses will look great on most women regardless of their body type.

  • When it comes to neck-cuts, V-neck Anarkalis are great for women with medium height since they can make their necks appear much longer. Round-neck Anarkali suits, however, are great for taller women.
  • While silk, brocade, jacquard, and similar fabrics look very fine on slim women, women with curvy bodies would be best served by Anarkali suits made from net, crepe, chiffon, georgette, and other similar light fabric.

Along with ensuring you’re choosing the right size, you’ll also want to pair your Anarkali with the right accessories.

A Pakistani Anarkali Suit

Women in a Pakistani Anarkali Suit

Whether it’s a Bridal Anarkali or something casual, your choice of accessories will range from necklaces to bracelets, chokers, and more, depending on the dress and the occasion. When you get these basics right, you’ll turn out as glamorous and ravishing as possible in your beautiful designer Anarkali dress.



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