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Diwali 2023: The Best Minimalist and Maximalist Outfits for the Festival of Lights

Photo: Anita Dongre

Once again, the festival of lights is upon us. No matter where you are in the world, it’s likely that if you celebrate Diwali, you’re going to be spending the day, which falls on November 12, with loved ones, lots of light, and hopefully some of your favorite Indian dishes.

Be it big or small, every Diwali celebration deserves a special outfit — for many, new clothes are part of the annual occasion — but if you’re yet to decide on a look, Vogue Arabia has you covered. Below, we take you through some of the best Diwali outfits and accessories, from minimal staples that will come in handy for future events, to heavier ensembles that promise to make a statement.

The best simple Diwali outfits

Ivory embroidered satin kaftan, Frontier Raas. AED 741

This year, many communities are forgoing lavish festivities for simpler, more mindful celebrations that focus on quality time with loved ones. For intimate Diwali get-togethers, one needn’t go too heavy with embellishment. Instead, light-as-air fabrics can be amped up with playful prints and colors. To nail the less-is-more look, opt for a kaftan. We love Frontier Raas’s ivory kaftan set, which comes beautifully embroidered in sunset hues, and Saaksha & Kinni’s asymmetric version featuring bandhani blooms. For a slightly more international look, check out Taller Marmo’s Palm Springs brocade creation. But if you’re feeling traditional, stick with age-old silhouettes. Pankaj & Nidhi’s lightweight ruffled sari is a breeze for long nights, while Shanti Banaras’s kurta set paints an elegant picture without weighing you down.

Marigold bandhani print asymmetric kaftan with side slit, Saaksha & Kinni. AED 1,100

Palm Springs duchesse satin-trimmed brocade kaftan, Taller Marmo. AED 9,581

Coralie sari set, Pankaj & Nidhi. AED 3,435

Striped kora cotton suit, Shanti Banaras. AED 1,391

The best statement Diwali outfits

Handwoven silk engineered brocade lehenga, Payal Khandwala. AED 4,160

For those who love to go that extra step, this Diwali brings more than a few tempting sartorial options. Arpita Mehta’s ruffled sari in bold yellow makes a great pick (don’t miss the designer’s signature mirrorwork blouse!), as does Archana Jaju’s shimmering sharara set in the same sunshine shade. For the traditionalist, Anavila’s metallic green and silver sari makes a timeless investment piece, while Payal Khandwala’s zesty green lehenga serves as a celebration of handwoven brocade work. As for the Diwali guest who prefers modest fashion, Anita Dongre’s Avizeh kurta set is just the ticket. Featuring a flared cut, full sleeves and intricate sequin work, this midnight blue number promises to earn its wearer quite the compliments.

Clover metallic sari, Anavila. AED 1,884

Mirror embroidered sharara set, Archana Jaju. Price on request

Avizeh kurta set, Anita Dongre. AED 2,199

3-tier ruffle sari in a canary yellow with traditional hand embroidered yoke style blouse, Arpita Mehta. AED 2,821

The best jewelry and accessories for Diwali 2023

Chaandbali earrings in 22k gold with kundan and blue enamel, Mahesh Notandass. Price on request

The right jewelry can do wonders for any festive outfit, and for Diwali, nothing works as well as statement baubles. For a touch of that old-world charm, invest in chaandbali earrings from Mahesh Notandass, or, if you prefer contemporary pieces, get ready to fall in love with the all-eyes-on-me emerald and diamond neckpiece from Vandals.

Evangelie in chain bag, Marina Raphael. AED 3,722

As for bags, celebrity favorite Marina Raphael’s sparkling creations promise to amp up just about anything in your closet, from Diwali all the way to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Our pick: the Evangelie, a tiny firecracker that comes with chunky gold hardware. Another winning choice from the end-of-year stash: Fizzy Goblet’s multicolor beaded number, ideal for anyone who loves boho elements.

Oro block heels, Aprajita Toor. AED 290

The final touch, of course, is shoes. If comfort is your top priority, nothing will complete your Diwali outfit like a pair of Kohlapuri wedges from Aprajita Toor, or Needledust’s sequin-doused flat juttis. In the mood for heels? Why not play with pop hues? Look to Amina Muaddi’s Begum heels in marigold orange, or dip your feet in “rani pink” with Aquazzura’s crystal embellished sandals.

Emerald and lab grown diamonds set in 14k gold necklace, Vandals. Price on request

Illuminare juttis, Needledust. AED 220

Begum glass crystal-embellished PVC slingback pumps, Amina Muaddi. AED 4,290

NEO shoulder bag in leather, Fizzy Goblet. AED 527

Crystal-embellished suede sandals, Aquazzura. AED 5,030

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