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Lehengas are a must-have in your ethnic wear collection and you simply cannot leave out the various contemporary styles and designs. One such bold and shape-defining style are mermaid lehengas – an innovative designer silhouette inspired by Western gowns. Also known as the fishtail or jalpari lehenga, the skirts of these lehengas are fitted at the waist and taper anywhere between the knee and ankle. This adds shape to the silhouette while still lending the elegance and grace of traditional lehengas.

While the mermaid lehengas highlight curves and best suit the hourglass or pear body types, you can make it work for different body types as well with strategic dupatta draping and blouse designs that provide coverage. Keep reading this article will help you style the figure-hugging mermaid lehengas for different occasions.

Styling Tips:

1. Style Rooted In Culture:

Combine the Western silhouette of mermaid lehengas with traditional style kundan or meenakari jewellery sets. Opt for a classic boat neck blouse with full sleeves and over-the-shoulder dupatta draping. This will create a traditional look with nods to the contemporary style for weddings and festive occasions.

2. Add A Bold Touch:

Go for the thin pallu drape or no-dupatta look with bold blouse designs such as inverted hemlines and shoulder straps for a stylish lehenga outfit. Opt for rhinestone jewellery and statement necklaces and bracelets for an elevated and modern look for the next cocktail party.

3. Ditch The Dupatta:

You can opt for short jackets or full length shrugs instead of the dupatta for a fusion outfit with the same flowing feel and coverage of the dupatta. This will also allow you to add a layer for colder months while achieving a cohesive look for bridal showers.

4. Indo-Western Fusion:

For casual dress code events, consider changing up the look of your mermaid lehenga skirt with a satin button-up shirt or strappy crop top for a fun and bold look. You can also opt for a peasant blouse for an elegant fusion outfit. If you lean more toward the traditional end, go for a blouse with floor-length cape sleeves, which eliminates the need for a dupatta with the same feel.

5. Dramatic Veil:

Many Indian brides are opting for dramatic western-style long veils as seen during actor Parineeti Chopra’s wedding in 2023. The bottom design of the mermaid lehenga can be easily transformed to create a voluminous trail or you can wear a floor-length veil over the head for an ethereal and graceful look. Not the bride? While it is not recommended to wear bridal veils, you can opt for a floor-length shrug for a subtle way to achieve this look.

6. Shift Focus With Colours:

To exaggerate the mermaid silhouette, opt for a contrast-coloured skirt to let it pull focus and stand out. If you wish to create a monochrome effect, wear a lighter-coloured blouse and dupatta with a skirt in the darker shade. If you’ve worn a lehenga skirt too many times, mix and match by pairing it with a vibrant multi-colour dupatta or blouse.

7. Ruffles:

You cannot go wrong with ruffles this year as it has been spotted on several celebs such as Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt. Whether you’re adding it for volume around the shoulders, on either side with sleeves, or carrying a ruffled dupatta, the fun and whimsical touch of ruffles is unmatched.

8. Saree-style dupatta drape:

Switch up the look of your mermaid lehenga by draping the dupatta to create the illusion of a saree. You will simply have to tuck the dupatta on the right side of the waist, wrap it around the waist, and drape it over the opposite shoulder. You can choose to show off the blouse and pleat the pallu or use a statement dupatta and let it fall from the shoulder.

9. Take The Minimalism Route:

For intimate ceremonies and gatherings with loved ones, let your natural beauty take centre stage and opt for a minimal look with dainty jewellery, and half-up half-down hairstyle. The sleek and classic look is sure to turn heads with its polished appeal.

10. Gown-Like Silhouette:

Seamlessly transform your mermaid’s best lehenga for a modest gown-like silhouette with a long choli-style blouse. You can also achieve this by wearing a corset-style blouse. Pair this with a slick back hairdo to evoke the 80s-inspired old Hollywood glamour.


The mermaid or fishtail best lehengas are the perfect way to get an hourglass silhouette. The fitted lehengas add a contemporary look with nods to traditional Indian styles for a classy and sophisticated outfit. You can choose from a plethora of beaded embroidery and abstract printed mermaid-style lehengas for different occasions. Mermaid lehengas are easy to dress up or down for different occasions with variations in dupatta draping styles, blouse designs, colour palettes, and jewellery.


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