Bollywood Fashion Over The Years


Bollywood and Fashion have been entwined together ever since Hindi Cinema became a huge influence in India way back in the 1930s. Bollywood movies influence our own wardrobes to a huge extent. How many times have we heard a bride-to-be exclaim, “I want a lehenga like Kareena’s in that movie!”. There is something magical about the silver screen and its influence is seen everywhere!

We decided to take a trip down memory lane and trace the fashion of yester-years’ Bollywood Cinema. Here’s what we found!

The 1940s

The ladies of Hindi Cinema were usually clad in puff sleeves blouse and saris in the 40s. The female population followed icons like Meenakumari, Nargis, Suraiya and Begum Para for style inspiration. Women in Bollywood were also seen wearing pants for the first time, while Begum Para’s cropped top and skirt were way ahead of time.


The 1950s

 The 50s brought with them style icons like Madhubala, Sadhana and Sharmila Tagore. Madhubala looked effortlessly chic in loose, straight falling pants while Sadhana favoured tight, body-hugging churidaars. Her movie, the classic “Waqt” remains till date one of the most stylish movies of all times.


The 1960s

The bikini and minis had arrived. Sharmila Tagore was one of the first heroines of Bollywood to embrace the swimsuit. Between all the ruffles, scarves and big hair, stars like Saira Banu, Zeenat Aman and Mumtaz managed to look unbelievably chic. The Mumtaz-style Sari became a rage and is still one of the most iconic Bollywood looks.


The 1970s

This decade saw Parveen Babi run on the beach in a tiny bikini, Zeenat Aman embrace her bohemian side and Helen rock the Cabaret in feathers and diamonds. Fresh-faced Dimple Kapadia sported polka dots with a cute mini skirt for the cult romance “Bobby”. The 70s saw glamour like none other and are still called the most fashionable years of Bollywood.


The 1980s

The 80s (the later 80s, to be exact) were, in many people’s opinion, the worst years of Bollywood, fashion-wise. Padded shoulders, metallic everything (from details to makeup, literally everything was metallic) and bling-y, chunky accessories were just a few of the fashion trends of the decade.


The 1990s

The 90s were all big puffy skirts, big puffy sleeves and big puffy hair in the earlier years. During the later half of the decade, however, things toned down and crop tops, midi skirts and denim overalls became raging trends. With cult movies like “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” and “Dil Toh Pagal Hai” sportswear became acceptable as casual daytime clothing.


The 2000s

The 2000s saw hemlines rising up again and Bollywood fashion once again cheered the micro-mini and crop tops. Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta were given style icon status.


The 2010s

It’s been just four years into the current decade and fashion in Bollywood has already matured into the chicest it’s ever been. Stars like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt have been filed in the “Celeb Styles To Follow” folder.