Sharara vs. Gharara: Understanding the Differences
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Sharara vs. Gharara: Understanding the Differences

In the world of traditional Indian and Pakistani fashion, Shararas and Ghararas are two iconic styles that often get confused due to their similar appearance. However, there are distinct differences between the two that make each style unique. 

Although the sharara came to India from Lebanon, its roots can be found in the Hamedan tribe of Yemen. With the rise of the Mughal aristocracy in the 16th century, it reached the Indian subcontinent and never left. 

On the other hand, the Nawabs of Awadh introduced and wore the Gharara, a traditional Lucknowi dress. Early in the 19th century, the shararas and ghararas became equally popular and became a staple of Muslim women's daily wear in the Indian subcontinent. Since, they have peaked in and out of the Indian fashion world, mainly due to the Bollywood films, however, they have made a huge comeback in the last five years. With the release of the series Heeramandi on Netflix, the demand for shararas and ghararas have seen a significant uptick.  


A Sharara is a traditional outfit characterized by its flared pants that are fitted at the waist and flare out dramatically towards the bottom. These pants typically feature intricate embroidery, embellishments, or prints, making them a popular choice for festive occasions such as weddings and festivals. Shararas are often paired with a short or mid-length kurti and a dupatta, creating an elegant and regal look. The silhouette of Shararas is known for its flowy and graceful appearance, offering comfort and style in equal measure.


On the other hand, Ghararas are another traditional outfit that features heavily flared pants. However, unlike Shararas, the flare in Gharara pants starts  at the knee level, which gives them a distinctive look. These pleats create a unique silhouette with a lot of volume and movement, making Ghararas a popular choice for special occasions such as weddings and traditional celebrations. Traditionally, the area where the pleats start is covered in embellishment to hide the joint. Just a fun fact, a traditional Gharara takes 6-12 meters of fabric. Ghararas are often paired with a short or long kurti and a dupatta, adding to their royal and elegant appeal.

Choosing the right style for your body type:

While both are flattering, each style has its advantages for different body shapes. Sharara is a better choice for women with a pear-shaped body, as the flare helps to draw attention away from the larger lower half. It is also a good choice for inverted triangle or apple shaped body types, as it adds visual mass to the lower half of the body. For rectangular and hour-glass body types, gharara is preferable as it enhances the hips, creating the illusion of a defined waist and curves.

Prints and fabric selection are crucial considerations. Plus size women would benefit from monochromatic top and bottom ensembles, smaller prints, vertical stripes, and darker colors, while choosing flowy fabrics like georgette, chiffon, and lighter silks. Conversely, smaller women can embrace bigger prints and opt for stiffer or bulkier fabrics such as organza, silk, and velvet for a flattering look.

In summary, while both Shararas and Ghararas feature flared pants, the key difference lies in the construction of the pants. Shararas have flared pants that are fitted at the waist and flare out uniformly, whereas Ghararas have heavily flared pants with pleats at the knee level, creating a voluminous and dramatic silhouette. Understanding these differences will help you choose the perfect outfit for your next special occasion. Still not sure? We at marigold can assist you in finding the perfect outfit for any event. With our top-notch concierge service, we'll support you every step of the way as you navigate selecting the perfect outfit for your next occasion.