15 Hugely Popular and Unforgettable Costumes Of Bollywood Heroines

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Films have influenced fashion trends in a big way since the 1930s, Bollywood’s Golden Era. And we love it, isn’t it? Is it only the storyline or dance that interest movie watchers? Well, for fashion lovers and followers, it is also the costumes worn by the leading ladies to the vamps. Get yourself piping-hot coffee as I take you through memorable Bollywood fashion.

Madhubala in Mughal-E-Azam

Director K. Asif’s epic film Mughal-E-Azam was a visual feast. Watching Anarkali (enacted by Madhubala) dressed in resplendent costumes notably addressed as the “Anarkali” style was the ‘it’ thing. They became a trendsetter in Bollywood fashion trends. They are a serious fashion goal for modern-day period films, don’t you think?   

Helen in Teesri Manzil

Helen was the supreme show-girl of Hindi films in the 1970s era. Her superb dancing skills and her Spanish flamenco frock in the song O Haseena Zulfonwali depicted Bollywood fashion trends from a new perspective – modern and sophisticated.

Sadhana in Waqt

She played the ghost in the all-time classic ‘Waqt’ made by the late Yash Chopra. But her tight fitting churidar kurtas and fringe haircut were a fashion rage that fondly reminds us even today as ‘Sadhana-cut’. It sets the bar of what to expect from a Yashraj heroine. Bollywood Outfits, I tell you!

Zeenat Aman in Hare Ram Hare Krishna

Fabulously hippie Zeenat was in her on-screen avatar. She played the flower child in the cult-of-a-movie by Dev Anand titled ‘Hare Ram Hare Krishna’. Her dresses were way too early for that time. Perhaps, it was the need of the script. So, what were Zeenat’s Bollywood Outfits in this movie? Everything the present-day divas love to wear – floral prints, bell sleeves, bell bottoms, oversized glasses, rudraksha beads. Our Lady Zee carried all these so well. Perhaps the only other film star who could have done justice to the role and the casual-and-indifferent clothing is Parveen Babi. What say?

Dimple Kapadia in Bobby

This film celebrated adolescence and teenage love. Its leading lady Dimple Kapadia in her sweet sixteen did full justice to the role. Her hot black mini, knotted polka-dotted shirt, and carefree sensuality showed the shift in Bollywood fashion trends.

Rekha in Umrao Jaan

Rekha’s role as a courtesan in Muzzafar Ali-directed film ‘Umrao Jaan’ is unforgettable, as you recall her ‘adas’ and her Jadau and Polki jewelry, and pearl-hued brocades.

Meena Kumari in Pakeezah

Meena Kumari is one more actress who deserves a mention for the dress and jewelry she wore as a courtesan in Kamal Amrohi’s film Pakeezah. 

Sridevi in Mr. India

A plain chiffon blue sari captured the heart of many cinema lovers. One can never forget the late Sridevi’s charisma in this sari song. The traditional sari looked steamy hot and wooed the fashion lovers.

Madhuri Dixit Nene in Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

Madhuri is the epitome of dance–whether it is Ek do teen, Choli ke peeche kya hai, Humko aaj kal hai or many more. But it is Madhuri’s Didi tera devar purple embellished outfit in Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, which is the Bollywood saris of all times. The super gorgeous purple satin sari with crystal work and backless blouse made it a huge hit in wedding circles.

Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (KKHH) was a breakthrough in Bollywood fashion as it brought into focus several international clothing brands to the cinema. Couturier Manish Malhotra deserves a special mention for designing Kajol’s outfits – plain chiffon sarees, lace blouses, pastels, and bright chiffons. 

Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela

Rangeela film brought Urmila’s fashion transformation, too. Manish Malhotra’s costume canvas was chic and contemporary–short and frilly dresses, Amrapali-inspired bustiers, and tiny flowing skirts that gave Urmila a sexy baby doll image. 

Karisma Kapoor in Dil Toh Pagal Hai

Karisma’s luxe outfits in the film Dil Toh Pagal Hai (DTPH) introduced athleisure. Her lycra leggings, hot shorts, sports bras, tank tops, and boots redefined fitness wear in Bollywood fashion.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

This hugely successful Bhansali film immortalized Aishwarya’s gorgeous looks in mirror work cholis, Bandhani saris, and ghagras designed by renowned costume designer Neeta Lulla.

Rani Mukherji in Bunty Aur Babli

Rani Mukherji looked peppy and outgoing in collared kurtas, Patiala pajamas, and matching dupattas, not to miss her silver jewelry and a jhola bag in the film Bunty Aur Babli. Her costumes were a huge hit for their similarity to the shalwar-kameez.

Deepika Padukone in Cocktail

Full marks to Bollywood fashion stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania for styling Deepika Padukone in the Bollywood film Cocktail. Padukone’s short skirts, skimpy tops, messy hair, and blingy dresses looked naughty and glam. The film also brought Aztec prints to clothes and accessories.

Which of the Bollywood fashion trends do you admire the most? Write your comments. Thanks!


Deepika Dewan

I am an experienced professional in content writing. Start my day with feeding pets. Write on subjects close to my heart. Wish to explore destinations, cuisines, and new opportunities. Life is unexpected, so keep praying and thanking.

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