What is the Difference Between Lehenga & Saree

Lehenga & Saree

Lehenga and saree are beautiful Indian apparels liked by women of all ages worldwide. Here is the difference between a lehenga and a saree.


Lehengas and sarees are popular Indian ethnic outfits liked by women from different parts of the world. These two Indian outfits have a special charm making women look youthful and more attractive. However, these two terms are used interchangeably, and one may get confused to know which one is saree or lehenga. And that is why we have researched and compiled a detailed article explaining the differences between these two Indian apparels. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a Lehenga Choli?

Lehenga Choli

A lehenga is an Indian ethnic skirt that can be pleated and have embellishments. The skirt runs from the waist to the ankles but can be shorter depending on one’s preference. Most stylish lehenga choli designs are flared at the bottom. The attire comes in different fabrics such as georgette, chiffon, raw silk, cotton, velvet, brocade, crepe, and more.

It is worth mentioning that a lehenga is not a complete outfit. A complete set is known as lehenga choli, which includes the lehenga (skirt), choli (blouse), and dupatta (scarf or shawl). Note that the outfit is stitched and can come in different designs and cuts. You can wear a lehenga choli where the skirt matches the choli, but choose a contrasting dupatta for a complete, unique look.

What is a Saree?

In simple words, a saree is a long piece of unstitched fabric that is draped around one’s body in layers. The unstitched garment can have print patterns and embroidery work. You just need to learn how to drape it around your body to suit any occasion or event. The apparel is accompanied by a blouse/top and a petticoat. However, some women choose to wear a dupatta over the saree for a stylish, youthful look.

Just like lehengas, sarees come in different styles and designs, with unique prints, embroidery, and dyes. So you should choose a saree depending on the occasion you are attending. Additionally, you have to consider your body shape and personality to ensure you choose the right saree that enhances your beauty. Sarees are also available in different materials like raw silk, georgette, silk, net, chiffon, cotton, and linen, just to name a few.

Differences Between Lehenga and Saree

Lehenga choli and saree have some things in common, like being attractive and having an ethnic touch. They are also popular worldwide. However, they have a few differences:

Physical Difference

A lehenga is a stitched Indian skirt that covers from the waist downwards up to the ankles or just above the ankles. The attire is worn with a choli which covers the chest area, leaving the midriff section uncovered. You complete the outfit with a matching or contrasting dupatta, which is draped around the shoulders or on one shoulder.

On the other hand, a saree is an unstitched garment that is long and wide. The attire is draped around the waist in layers, covering the bottom, and the remaining fabric is draped around the chest area. Learning how to drape a saree is advisable to get a perfect look. The outfit leaves a more uncovered midriff section. You can wear a petticoat and a blouse for a more decent look.

Length/Size and Shape

Typically, the length and size of a lehenga depend on the wearer’s preference and size. But it is a skirt that covers from the waist downwards. In most cases, a lehenga has a mermaid or flared shape. On the other hand, sarees are larger and can be fixed in size. Most sarees are 5.5 meters and larger. Typically, sarees do not have a shape but settle on the wearer’s curves. When you drape it around your body, it will take the shape of your body’s feminine curves.

Ease of Wearing Lehenga and Saree

Wearing a lehenga is pretty simple – wearing a normal skirt. The attire will remain in position for as long as you want. On the other hand, wearing a saree is not that easy. You may need to learn how to drape it around your body. Remember, the attire is unstitched and is one big fabric. So you will need pins to keep in position. You may need to readjust it if some pins come off.

What to Wear with lehenga and Saree

A lehenga is worn with a choli top and a dupatta. This lehenga choli outfit is popular for weddings and other special occasions. The attires can match, but having a contrasting dupatta is recommended by top designers and stylists. When it comes to a saree, it is worn over a petticoat and a blouse. But you can complete the look with a colorful dupatta.

Prominence and Popularity

Lehengas are preferred for special occasions like weddings and festivals. Most brides prefer bridal lehenga choli on the wedding day. Sarees are preferred for everyday use but are also popular for weddings and parties. Both traditional attires are popular in India and across the world.


Sarees can be traced back to 2800-1800BC in the northern western part of South Asia. On the other hand, lehengas originated in India during the 10th century. So we can say the sarees are older or more historical than lehengas.


These two outfits differ in price depending on the fabrics and design used. Some fabrics are more expensive than others. So you should expect a saree and a lehenga choli made of the same fabric to be offered at almost the same price tag. But it depends on the brand and where you purchase the attires.

Final Words

Sarees and lehenga cholis are popular Indian ethnic outfits with a rich history. Although the attires have an ethnic touch, they have some differences. These differences include the physical appearance and how to wear them. You need to note that you can wear these attires to different occasions, from weddings and festivals to special occasions. The attires are comfortable and available in various fabrics such as georgette, chiffon, cotton, line, net, and more. The good thing is that lehenga choli and sarees are readily available at pocket-friendly prices.