Salwar Suits

How To Dress up for a Retro Bollywood Theme Party

Ooh la la! Here comes a party call and the time to chill out and have fun. Whether it’s a weekend, birthday, anniversary celebration or just a party-for-no-reason day, being smartly decked up is definitely a protocol for taking amazing pictures and well, flaunting it on social media! From casual chic to formal or bling, the dress code for parties can vary according to the venue or a pre-decided theme.

If you’re planning to throw a grand get-together at a swanky place or even a small house party, then fixing up a theme is always a good idea. It not just makes the party more interesting and dramatic; a dress code also brings down the confusion level of your invitees by narrowing down their wardrobe choices. As a host, you can either choose a colour theme or a dramatic one like Bohemian, Bollywood, kid’s theme, circus, or if the party is around a festival, you can choose a theme related to that as well. Out of all the themes, Bollywood is one of the most commonly opted one. Being no less than a religion in India, the craze of Bollywood has spread all around the globe and now even a lot of foreigners host parties with themes revolving around Indian cinema.

The theme of Bollywood can be further narrowed down to a particular movie or a more generalized one like Bollywood retro. Here the retro period refers to the fashion trends of 1960s and 1970s. These were the decades where movies had typical silhouettes, flaunted by the trend-setting glam goddesses of the silver screen. These were the iconic trends that women of that era followed staunchly. Mumtaz, Zeenat Aman, Sadhna, Asha Parekh and Madhubala were some of the leading ladies that defined wardrobe trends for Indian women in those days and are still worshipped as divas by present day Indian women who take cues from these fashionistas.

Let us see in detail as to what kinds of looks you can sport at a Bollywood retro theme party these days:

  1. Play it up with Polka, Plaids and Flora:

Dotted dresses are one of the commonly worn attires for a retro party. Dimple Kapadia’s wooed the audience with dotted silhouettes in the blockbuster movie Bobby – and so did many other screen divas. This cute style is easy to a cop and is one of the most sought after. Time and again this style pops ups as the latest trend, thus making it easier to locate apt outfits for your special party.

Play around with monochromes and large sized polka dots for an edgy look! Checks and flower prints were also commonly worn during the 60s and 70s. Go for a checkered saree or a printed lehenga choli with bold floral prints for a classy vintage look that will surely turn heads at your next Bollywood theme party. In fact, if you are the one throwing this party, you can keep this as the general theme for everyone to follow!

Accessory Tip – Don’t forget dangler earrings or the big rounds called baalis – a staple accessory of the time – that will give that soft, adolescent appeal to your face.

  1. The Edgy Drape:

If you’re not one who prefers to buy a new outfit for every party, then you can grace a theme party by restyling a garment already present in your closet. Pick an old saree from your wardrobe or from your mother’s closet and drape it tightly. Follow Mumtaz’s classic orange saree drape to show off your svelte figure, or take a cue from Sharmila Tagore’s sensuous knotted back blouses. Many retro draping styles are characterized by spiraling turns and a short pallu – like Vyajantimala. Choose a fluid saree that has a shimmery border to add a little dazzle to your ensemble.

Accessory Tip – Tie up your locks in a bun; add a generous dose of flowers or a sparkly hair accessory. And well, do not forget to add a generous dose of winged eyeliner!

  1. Spunky Ruffle and Bell Drama:

Retro is all about self-confidence, boldness and dramatic silhouettes. Taking cues from the graceful looks of Neetu Singh aka Kapoor or the spunky style of Zeenat Aman, pick a flared sleeved dress or top for your happening retro themed party. If you are wearing a saree, you can pair it with a bell sleeved or bat-sleeved crop top. If the theme borders towards western, keep the whole look casual with a bold printed bell-sleeved tunic, paired with a matching scarf. Or, slay it at a formal B-Town theme party in a high-necked, ruffled saree blouse, teamed with a contrasting chiffon drape. With a captivating wardrobe and creative accessorizing, you’ll surely end up increasing your fan following.

Accessory Tip – Wear long neck chains and scarves. You can add colourful ribbon accessories or headbands to your hair. Don a pair of round-rimmed or cat-eyed sunglasses for an extra edge!

  1. The Trousers Flare:


If you’re inclined towards comfortable fashion, flared bottoms – the 70’s style bell bottoms – are absolutely your thing. Choose a flared palazzo or trousers suit with bold geometrical or floral prints. Fold and tie your dupatta over your head to bring in the retro feel. Add white pearl accessories and wear red lipstick to keep your look classic. Stripes, funky colour combinations and chunky heels will help you accentuate the vintage look. For a rocking Reto-theme party look, back-comb your hair and puff it up, following into the footsteps of classy Hema Malini or sensuous Helen.

Accessory Tip – Colorful beads and chunky platform sandals are a great way to add some more retro flavour to your bell-bottoms and palazzo sets. 

  1. Go Bold with Body-hugging Silhouettes:

It’s time to show off those curves! Take inspiration from our black and white and Eastman color eras’ B-town beauties, who flaunted body hugging churidar suits with inspiring elan. Our retro divas managed to changes the face of the Indian fashion industry with their impeccable style that glamourized ethnic wear. Though loose kurtas are popular now, you too can glam up your look with these body-hugging silhouettes.

Accessory Tip – For your Bollywood-theme party, style your fitted churidar suit with round hoop danglers, kitten heels and a simple tote bag.

  1. Layers and Frills:


Reflecting the western touch on Indian silhouettes, which marked the modernization of ethnic wear in the 1970s, pick a layered indo-western lehenga suit or a frilly evening gown for your grand retro themed Bollywood bash. Style your outfit upwards with floral hair accessories and vintage jewellery to add a touch of regalia to your east-meets-west look. Alternatively, you can try a dolled-up look with curly hair and lace gloves!

Accessory Tip – Flowers in the hair is the classic look for a retro theme – think Deepika Padukone as the inimitable Shantipriya in Om Shanti Om! Or take cues from Anushka Sharma’s bold Italian flowers in the bun look for her Tuscan wedding.

Attending a retro Bollywood theme party sounds a lot of fun and these pretty wardrobe options would definitely make it more interesting! Do take along a pair of over-sized black sunglasses if your get-together is scheduled during the day and get into your party mood to make amazing memories!

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