Nighties as an Ethnic Wear – Indian Women’s Favourite Loungewear


Nighties are a blend of western and eastern fashion. These pretty dresses have undergone tremendous fashion evolution. The maxi dresses made of plain satin or cotton fabrics added with some embroidery or laces, are now available in fabrics and designs that are more suitable to the local ethnicity.

While the maxi dress style of a nighty is coming from the western influence, it has adapted well to suit the Indian fashion of using batik prints, kalamkari, block prints, dabu prints, Demon Slayer Figurine.

Indian Ethnic Fabric Printing Techniques

Batik is a type of printing on the fabric where wax is used to mask some areas of the fabric from colouring, and this process helps create beautiful prints in different colours. It is a traditional way of colouring or printing designs on dresses.

Kalamkari is another way of creating art prints or figurines on fabric with the help of the kalamkari pen, which is made of tamarind stick. Natural dyes are used to paint on the fabric, and the result is the beautiful kalamkari printed fabric.

Block printing is a modern and traditional printing technique where a wooden block is carved in the desired shape, and this is dipped into the colour and printed on a fabric manually. The result is ethereal, and these types of fabrics are gaining more popularity all across the globe these days.

Dabu printing is also a laborious printing style where block printing is used with the mud resisting method. The process is repeated several times to get a more intricate and complex design, a remarkable piece of art.

Another such fusion is the style of fabrics with chikankari work on them. These are quite fashionable and popular because of the widespread popularity of the beautiful chikankari embroidery work done in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.   

Lehenga choli in pink or shades of whites is used to make dresses with this ethnic embroidery work.

The maxi dresses or the nightdresses that came from the west adapted to the Indian style utilizing the various ethnically printed fabrics. The style adaptation made these dresses famous and helped the maxi dress gel so well with the Indian fashion sensibilities.  

The arrival of Nighties to Kerala

Nighties are worn by women in Kerala, more than in any other state. Nighty has become the nightwear and the loungewear, and you can even spot women wearing nighty on the streets in Kerala.  

If you go back to 50 years, in Kerala, women used to wear ‘mundu’ and ‘neriathu’ even at home, and when later the fashion of wearing blouses came in, they teamed the mundu and neriathu with a blouse to cover the shoulders.  

Traditionally, men and women in Kerala wore light-coloured dresses, mainly white or off-white. Traditional dresses of Kerala includes sarees and neriathu.

With the arrival of nighty in the 80s, women discovered the freedom it offered in terms of the easy manageability of this dress.  

Less number of garments are used instead of earlier three-piece dresses that were not very easy to wear or remove compared to today’s night dresses.

In Kerala, even today, light coloured saris are preferred by ladies, especially the elderly ones.  

When it comes to nighties too, light coloured ones are in high demand as a nightwear and bright coloured, or dark coloured ones during the daytime, as a housecoat.

The housecoats allow them to do their household chores freely without worrying about the dress being stained or soiled.

The Nighty Convenience

The Indian version of nightdresses is a kind of new-generation gowns to suit the Indian women’s lifestyle.  

Wearing a sari or other traditional dresses at home is a botheration now to today’s women who find nighties far easy to manage. 

Different local ethnic fabrics and prints are used like tie and dye or ikkat, or chikankari embroidery work.  

Mirror work is another style of embellishment that is historically from the Northern parts of India.

Ethnic Nighties Online

A few years ago, buying nighties online was difficult as there were a very few online stores that sold them. In the past few years sites like offers you the best, well-chosen nightdresses that are value for your money as well as fashionable and comfortable.

Whether it is a maternity nighty, zippered ones or plain extra-large ones, there is everything that you are looking for.  

Cotton, synthetic, or blended varieties, everything is available for your convenience. All you have to do is, choose the one you like and own it.  

Bottom Line

A dress is chosen for many reasons, and comfort is one of the main criteria. Nighties are synonyms of comfort.  

When these dresses are added with some pretty frills, embroidery, or prints, they become the most sought after garment to wear.

The nighty dress has adapted well to suit the Indian styles and ethnicity by transforming into an Indo-western fusion outfit by using Indian fabrics and prints and at the same time keeping its western, maxi dress influence intact.

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