Got invited for a Bollywood themed party and wondering what to wear? From retro desi to modern glam, here are 21 ideas for Bollywood theme party dress for women.
In these Covid times, what better way to get-together with your dear ones via online platform!?! Why not spur up some drama and fun by organizing such a party for your girlfriends through virtual world! Here I have some famous on-screen avatars of actresses and Bollywood theme party dress tips to help you get into that filmy groove.
Popular Looks of Bollywood Actresses For Inspiration
Bollywood actresses of yesteryear have been style icons no doubt. There are so many iconic onscreen looks that have inspired women of all ages and eras. I mean, look at Madhubala, Zeenat Aman, Mumtaz, Saira Banu, Sridevi… Their beauty and charisma were a class apart. They are looked up to not only for their acting prowess but also for the way they carried their style and characters with élan.
As they say old is gold, these legendary heroines still manage to win people’s hearts with their film avatars. Taking a few pages from their cinematic journey, I have compiled some of the popular looks to help you to recreate them for your Bollywood theme party dress. Well, I have included contemporary beauties and their famous outfits on the list too!
Bollywood Theme Party Dress Ideas to Try Out!
1. Madhubala – Anarkali (Mughal-E-Azam)
Of course, I would like to start off with the ‘epitome of romance’ figure. Even today, Madhubala’s enigmatic beauty enthralls ladies to pick this particular avatar of hers over others. Time and again, the character ‘Anarkali’ is an inspired idea to recreate. Why, the character has a whole dress named after it, ‘Anarkali’. In fact, the popular outfit could be found in every girl’s closet or ‘must-have’ list these days.
For this look, wear a white (or light green) Anarkali dress. If the dress has no jacket, you could add it separately. Next, you will need a ‘qawwali’ cap and a turban brooch. Doll up with stone/pearl jewelry including necklace, earrings, ‘haath phool’, waist belt, and armlet. Curl up your flicks on the temples, or use kajal pencil to draw the curls on sides of the forehead. With all these put together, I am sure you will look like a dream!
2. Mumtaz – Roopa (Brahmachari)
Think Mumtaz and you are sure to visualize her in her iconic saree. In ‘Aajkal tere mere pyar’ song, the charming beauty is a delightful treat to the eyes. This one is a perfect example of Bollywood retro theme party dress, I say! Well, it is a great outfit if you want to show-off your (well-toned) mid riff in an elegant manner.
For this look, create a layered effect by firmly draping a plain orange (with yellow/gold bordered) saree. Enhance the look with a gold choker, layered earrings, bangles armlet and a watch. Style up a bouffant hairdo (using hair clips/buns), leaving few locks dangling behind. Complete the retro look with winged eyeliner and peach lipstick.
3. Saira Banu – Bindu (Padosan)
Another yesteryear beauty who comes to my mind is Saira Banu, a perfect picture of elegance and charm. She has carried the saree looks with such grace and poise! Get a turquoise/ocean blue colored satin saree that has a zari border. (Alternatively, if you don’t find one, you could attach a silver border on a plain saree).
Fix on wig or hair-buns to achieve a bouffant hairstyle with few curled locks on forehead. Top it up with pink rose clips. For makeup, go for a winged eyeliner look, powder-up the face with matte foundation and peach lipstick.
4. Zeenat Aman – Janice (Hare Rama Hare Krishna)
The song ‘Dum maaro dum’ has been a cult number in seventies and so was Zeenat Aman’s look. Jasbir aka Janice avatar for years has been a go-to look when it comes to creating any Bollywood theme party outfit.
Throw in together – a floral printed (probably yellow-orange colored) top and complement it with bell-bottoms. Team it with large round earrings, broad bangles, oversized pink/orange shades, long Rudraksh necklace, garland and “Kumkum Teeka”. Carry a red flower to complete this hippie look.
5. Dimple Kapadia – Bobby
It is one of the most popular Bollywood outfits which has been recreated by different actresses. For example, Prachi Desai in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai. And so, I would like to include this demure look from the superhit teen love saga of seventies. Dimple Kapadia as Bobby had set the screens of fire with her classy and hot, yet innocent avatar in this film.
For this look, you would need a polka dotted top with a front knot, black or dark blue mini skirt and platform sandals. Tie up your hair and add in a white ribbon to it. Finish the look with minimal makeup and nude or light pink lipstick.
6. Zeenat Aman – Sunita (Yaadon Ki Baarat)
One of the most stylish actresses in golden era, Zeenat Aman is truly a fashion icon. No matter what kind of character look she played, she carried it with grace and confidence. I just love this simple yet stunning bright avatar from the melodious song ‘Chura liya hai’ and so it goes into my list of Bollywood theme party dress ideas.
It is a hassle-free look – long sleeved white jumpsuit with flared bottoms; accompanied by a choker, long circular earrings and a diamond ring. Let your hair down and wear light make-up with a matte base. Oh yes, add in a guitar as well!
7. Hema Malini – Basanti (Sholay)
I can’t miss out on the most iconic character of Indian cinema – Basanti!! To achieve this bubbly character look, you need to have orange ghagra-choli and a yellow dupatta. Don’t worry if you are not able to find one. You can shorten a cotton skirt by tucking in the bottom portion a little and team it with a simple embroidered saree blouse. You will require minimal accessories for this – couple of silver chains, bangles, nose ring and a black bindi. Tie up your hair in a high ponytail, replete with minor hair accessories and leave few tresses on the sides.
8. Zeenat Aman – Roopa (Satyam Shivam Sundaram)
I don’t seem to get over with her. And why not? She has donned so many popular onscreen looks. Take this bold avatar for instance. It absolutely grabbed eyeballs in that conservative era. Yet, it is looked up to as one of the iconic characters. However, for your theme party, you can tone down the hot quotient if you want. Wear a plain white saree over tube top, drape it till your knee and, that’s it! Very less make-up too. Oh, just carry a pot as well.
9. Zeenat Aman – Sheela (Qurbani)
Well, another Zeenat Aman look! This one is a sizzler, I say! A typical Bollywood theme party dress! The cult disco number of the eighties, ‘Laila o laila’ had this stylish diva grooving in a bright white gown with a long slit.
Half your look will be complete if you get the right type of dress, with a slit. To enhance the gown, attach a silver lace along the neckline. Match it up with a feather boa (alternatively you can use a net stole). For accessories, you will need a diamond bracelet, long earrings, forehead band and heels. Go for minimal makeup, add a dash of glossy lipstick and kohl eyes to liven up your face.
10. Sridevi – Rajni (Nagina)
Moving forward with the color white, I have chosen this ‘snake’ avatar of Sridevi. While this character had a mysterious aura in the film, one can add in some spooky flavor to the theme party by donning the look. A white lehnga-choli-dupatta and silver jewelry will do the work. Additionally, you’ll need some light-grey lenses to complete the Nagina look. Yeah, you can occasionally scare a person or two by widening your eyes for the ‘hiss’ effect.
11. Sridevi – Hawa Hawaii (Mr. India)
This actress really knew how to set the benchmark… While she swayed her way into success as Nagina, she won brownies for her amusingly stunning outfit as Miss Hawa Hawaii in Mr. India. No doubt this particular costume is quite famous, and its replica lives on at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
Thus, this Bollywood party dress will be an absolutely stunning choice! A completely gold look, it can be acquired with a long shimmering slit dress, accompanied by gold accessories, belt, and shoes. For the headgear, you can create it with cardboard and gold craft paper. Add sparkle to your eyes with gold eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and a glossy red lipstick.
12. Sridevi – Seema (Mr. India)
How can any Bollywood costume ideas list ever be complete without a chiffon saree look? If you want to recreate an elegant look of Sridevi’s, pick this iconic, blue saree avatar, again from Mr. India. You can easily recreate this look by donning a plain blue saree, oxidized jewelry, blue bindi, white heel sandals and kohl eyes with glossy lipstick. Add curls to your hair and let it down to complete the look.
13. Sridevi – Chandni
Another famous saree look of Sridevi! This look is in fact, a recreation in itself. It was Rekha who actually wore this look in Silsila. The chiffon saree was then carried forward by Sridevi and her likes in the eighties and nineties.
To recreate the Chandni look, pick a plain or lightly printed yellow saree. Accessorize it with a pearl necklace, bracelet and white sandals. Don’t forget to put on a yellow bindi. You will surely look like a sunshine in yellow at the party!
14. Madhuri Dixit – Mohini (Tezaab)
Not a saree person? Why not try this colorful outfit? Go ‘Ek do teen’ by letting your creative juices flow and create a DIY dress for this look. You will need a one-strapped pink top.
For the skirt, stitch together half a dozen dupattas of multiple colors. You can wear a pair of short leggings beneath the skirt. Furthermore, wear a yellow sequined scarf on your head, silver jootis or flats, accessories including a rhinestone necklace, earrings, bracelet and a waist chain. Tie your hair into a high ponytail and if possible, wear a front fringe.
15. Madhuri Dixit – Nisha (Hum Aapke Hain Koun)
Ooohoo Oohoo! Accept it that we all have drooled over Madhuri Dixit’s iconic look in HAHK! Her purple saree was a huge rage in nineties. However today, it would be difficult to get it. But, with help of DIY techniques one can recreate this famous drape from ‘Didi tera dewar’ song.
You could sew sequined appliques onto the “pallu” of a purple saree and blouse. Make a chignon and wear some fancy gold jewelry. Finish off the look with a purple bindi, light eye makeup and glossy lipstick. You will be ready to smile and shine!
Also check out: Best and Worst 90s Bollywood Fashion
16. Kajol – Simran (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge)
After Nisha, Simran took away men’s breaths with her coy, beautiful looks. Followed by HAHK, this Kajol-SRK film definitely etched a huge mark on Indian cinema. It also created some trendsetting onscreen styles through inspired clothing choices. These are among a few of the reasons why this look as entered our list of Bollywood theme party dress ideas.
It’s an easy yet grand avatar. Get a green satin lungi-skirt and kurta, dupatta, a traditional gold jewelry set and wear nude makeup… and you will be transformed into this lovely “dulhaniya”. Oh, and don’t forget to wear that shy smile!
17. Kajol – Anjali (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
If you are a Kajol fan, here is yet another popular outfit of hers! Searching for a less feminine look? Then you can go for this ‘Anjali’ avatar from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Throw in a pair of maroon dungarees, white t-shirt, white sneakers, a navy-blue cap and tuck in & pin your hair in an “inside-ponytail” to create a bob-cut…. And voila! You are ready to go ‘Koi mil gaya…’!
You can also go for a wig to get that cropped hair look. While this look needs minimal make-up, it will require high energy to carry Kajol’s character (wink).
18. Kareena Kapoor – Geet (Jab We Met)
Moving on to another ‘girl-next-door’ look, I can think of this pretty ‘Geet’ outfit from the popular Imtiaz Ali’s movie. Although it is not a typical Bollywood theme party dress, it will surely make you stand out from the rest. That’s because Kareena’s look has been very popular and highly recognizable.
You will need a white top, black waistcoat and red skirt. The outfit could be matched with minimal accessories including earrings, ring and flats. Simple makeup and a half-up hairdo, and you are good to go with this bubbly look.
19. Deepika Padukone – Shantipriya (Om Shanti Om)
Want to go retro and yet stay contemporary? This Shantipriya look is one of the prettiest Bollywood theme party dress ideas. Deepika’s outfit from her debut film made a huge style statement. Pink sharara, floral rhinestone jewelry, winged eye makeup, pink lipstick… Create a bouffant hairstyle with a few center-parted flicks in the front. Or hair-buns and wigs will help you to take care of the mane issues. Try to put together this avatar and you will surely wave your way into everyone’s hearts at the party.
20. Priyanka Chopra – Neha (Dostana)
Looking ways to set the dance floor on fire? Then this hot beauty look can come to your rescue! While people would hardly remember that Priyanka was called Neha in the film, she became more popular as ‘Desi Girl’ instead. She set the oomph factor up with this song and gave away some style notes for fashionistas.
To get this look, drape around a shimmering gold saree, teaming it up with a halter-neck sleeveless blouse. Straighten your hair and go for a few brown highlights. Wear black smokey eye makeup with brown matte lipstick. Ta-da! You are all set to raise the temperature!
21. Aishwarya Rai/Madhuri Dixit – Paro/Chandramukhi (Devdas)
Is your sis or girlfriend giving you a company? If you are looking for a Bollywood theme dress couple idea, then go for this Chandramukhi and Paro jodi look! You can really have fun together while dressing up as this popular dancing, female couple.
Grand Bengali sarees, heavy jewelry sets, hair made up into a neat bun, hands, and feet decorated with “alta”, big red bindis… (and some ‘Dola re’ moves). I am sure you and your partner would be the center of attention!
Yeh Dil Maange More?
While our list of Bollywood theme party dress ideas for females is already huge, I have compiled a few more here:
1. Leena Chandavarkar – Pink churidar-kameez in ‘Dhal gaya din’ song (Humjoli)
2. Sadhana – White saree (Arzoo)
3. Meena Kumar – Green anarkali in ‘Thade rahiyo’ song (Pakeezah)
4. Rekha – Printed saree with double-braids (Khoobsurat)
5. Sridevi – Pink chaniya-choli in ‘Mere haathon mein’ song (Chandni)
6. Rekha – White Anarkali dress in ‘Dil cheez kya’ song (Umrao Jaan)
7. Madhuri Dixit – Orange saree in ‘Dhak dhak’ song (Beta)
8. Madhuri Dixit – White lehenga-green choli in ‘Joote do paise lo’ song (Hum Aapke Hain Koun)
9. Preity Zinta – Kashmiri look in ‘Bhumbro’ song (Mission Kashmir)
10. For girlfriend/sister jodis: Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra as Mastani and Kashibai in ‘Pinga’ song (Bajirao Mastani)
You can also find a few more looks here: Most Iconic Bollywood Costumes & Indian Actress Looks Ever – Top 15
Picture Abhi Baaki Hai Mere Dost!
Hope you like our female Bollywood theme party dress ideas. Definitely, you would churn up some great excitement and fun by recreating iconic film characters of actresses. If you have any other suggestion for Bollywood theme party dress, do share your thoughts. We would love to read your comments. And if you try any of these Bollywood dress up ideas, then do take a pic, post it on Instagram and tag @shilpaahujadotcom!
On another note, also check out our other article Bollywood Theme Party Outfit Ideas for Men to get male costume ideas.
Sucharitha is a Fashion Journalist Intern at ShilpaAhuja.com. She did her B.A. in English Literature from Anna Adarsh College, Chennai, followed by post graduate diploma in Visual Communications from Loyola College.
An artist by heart, she started her career journey as an art teacher. She later moved on to don varied roles in multiple fields. With over a decade of professional experience, her career graph includes working as proofreader at BPO, copywriter in advertising agency, content editor at IndiaGlitz and Raaga.com and freelancer for jewelry magazine Floroscent, among the few. A multitasker, in between, she has worked part-time as a playschool teacher. She had also held weekend art classes under the name Art Buddies along with her bestie for children between ages 5-15.
A believer of making best out of waste, her hobbies include reading books, painting, sketching, making DIY arts/crafts, embroidery, or anything that involves using creativity. A huge film buff, she is good at peppering her conversations with cinema dialogues while chatting with her close ones. Naturally she is fond of movies, digital series and dancing. She is an outdoor person. Her love for traveling stems from living in multiple cities including Mumbai, Chennai and Kerala. When not working she prefers the beach, long drives or tourist spots over malls.