How to style a mangalsutra

In this post, experts share their mangalsutra style tips so you can experience your mangalsutra with joy and pride (even on western outfits).

A mangalsutra is a beautiful piece of Indian jewelry with cultural and emotional significance. Many women of Indian origin get a mangalsutra during their marriage ceremony. 

But I’ve found that several women find it difficult to experience their mangalsutra fully. Part of the problem is that the traditional wedding mangalsutra designs don’t go well with their modern wardrobe. 

The other problem is that women store their mangalsutra in the bank safe because of its lack of versatility. Once it’s in the bank safe, “it’s out of sight, out of mind”

To encourage more women to wear their mangalsutras (including myself), I decided to reach out to style experts and ask them, “What is your #1 tip on how to style a mangalsutra?”

9 experts shared their mangalsutra style tips and their responses were nothing short of amazing. 

Some experts encouraged thinking of a mangalsutra as a statement piece with an adjustable chain length that can be layered with other jewelry pieces while others suggested having more than one mangalsutra for traditional and western outfits. 

The overall theme was to wear your mangalsutra with joy and let your creative juices take control. 

Now let me share with you each of the individual style expert tips.

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1. Solitaire mangalsutra is the way to go!

Manita Rawat –  @chicroom_bym

Mangalsutra, the sacred thread symbolizes the union of two people. A very important ornament for married Indian women. But, times have changed, and so has the design of the mangalsutras. I personally prefer not to wear a traditional and chunky mangalsutra rather a chic and modern design – A solitaire Mangalsutra which can be paired with Indian and Western attire effortlessly. 

solitarie mangalsutra style photo

2. Place the mangalsutra chain underneath any other necklace

Kanak Jha – @aalmari

My #1 tip for styling my mangalsutra is to place the chain underneath any other necklace I’m wearing and to adjust the length accordingly. I love wearing my mangalsutra daily and keeping it on with additional jewelry for special occasions. I usually wear it at a 16in length but when I have a blouse that might cover it up and I want it front and center, it’s easy to adjust the chain so that it always shows. I make sure my diamond is clean and sparkly before any big events and that overall, the mangalsutra is well placed on my blouse or in relation to other jewelry. 

mangalsutra style image with traditional Indian jewelry

3. Mix-match long chain mangalsutra design with non-Indian jewelry

Aku –  @alittleindia 

Sikh Punjabi brides aren’t traditionally given a mangalsutra, but since my husband is Gujarati, I was lucky enough to get to design mine for my wedding. Although it’s known to be a more traditional piece of jewelry, I knew I wanted mine to have a modern touch to it. I chose to have it on a long chain with a sleek design, so it can be versatile no matter what I’m wearing. My #1 styling tip is to mix and match it with non-Indian jewelry. By doing so, it really stands out from my accessories and gets the moment it deserves. I love that I can also mix and match it with more traditional Indian accessories, like layering it with big chokers when I want to make more of a statement. It’s a simple, but beautiful accessory that always makes me feel like I came straight out of a Bollywood movie! 

Mangalsutra style image for gujarati bride

4. Wear your mangalsutra with joy

Aasheeka – @Aasheekaa

The modern rendition of a mangalsutra by Sampat J is such a classic, that the best way to style it is to wear it with joy! The piece is not limited by its cultural nuance, but rather is a sentimental piece that can be worn regularly. It can effortlessly be paired with a white tee and jeans, or a dress to elevate any look. I wear my mangalsutra as it’s dainty enough for daily wear but also unique to make a statement and of course, holds sentimental appeal to me.

modern mangalsutra style photos

5. Creatively layer modern mangalsutra with other necklaces 

Sumona Seth – @sumonaseth_

In my opinion, a Mangalsutra can be a versatile accessory that can be used to get fancy or keep casual. I own two mangalsutras, which allows me more versatility when I’m styling my looks. I’ve also paired my modern-chic piece with other necklaces to create a layered look. Something that I’ve done often is keeping my wardrobe simple for when I want my mangalsutra to shine bright and be the statement focus. A fashion/style quote that stayed with me: “Fashion is like eating, you shouldn’t stick to the same menu.” Hence, I’m always looking for different ways to style myself and my mangalsutras. In the end, accessories are the cherry on top when it comes to styling so I want to inspire you to get creative and express yourself through fashion! 

Mangalsutra Style guide

6. Use your traditional long mangalsutra as statement jewelry

Tina B.  – @iamladytin

Mangalsutra, a piece of timeless jewelry signifying the holy bond in Indian marriages, has evolved with the evolving fashion over the years. 

From time to time we have seen not only Indian but also international designers reinventing this necklace to fit the fashion trends. Traditional or trendy, if you own this piece of jewelry, it’s time for you to flaunt this cultural heritage!

For the more traditional long mangalsutra, make sure to use it as statement jewelry!

Keep the rest of the palette neutral with whites and gold to let the neckpiece stand out. Add a pop of color with your shoes or even a lip color to complete this look. You can use this styling concept for Indian or contemporary wear and be ready to turn heads. 

For the more contemporary shorter mangalsutra, add it as a dainty piece of jewelry that enhances your outfit. Choose an outfit with a broader neckline or a nice deep V-neck. Styling this on a single tone of outfit would add further character to your subtle jewelry.

Keep the accessories neutral for this look and you have yourself a classic style!

traditional mangalsutra style photos with western wear

7. Consider diamond pendant mangalsutra, mangalsutra ring or mangalsutra bracelet

Prernaa Makhariaa  – @prernaa.makhariaa

India’s first jewellery influencer and personal jewellery shopper.

Mangalsutras, a sacred thread with black beads, is the pride of a married woman and is worn with a lot of love. Over the years, Mangalsutras have evolved in a way that it can be worn in multiple ways and appeals to Gen Z. 

It’s no longer about a traditional pendant with black beads, there are now options available in a diamond pendant which makes it more wearable to work and for everyday wear. 

Youngsters also like wearing it around their wrist like a bracelet or as rings. They make a jewellery and style statement. In my opinion it can be styled perfectly with both Indian and western wear. It can be worn to work and for special occasions holding the same amount of auspiciousness. 

woman wearing diamond mangalsutra pendant

8. Pay attention to preferences of the person who will wear the mangalsutra

Preeta Agarwal –  @Preeta_agarwal

Mangalsutra is one of the most sacred pieces of jewellery that comes with a lot of emotional value. But, recently it has become free from all a lot of traditional bindings. Especially for the modern women who at one point would only wear the neck mangalsutra once a year, they are now enjoying mangalsutra bracelets and rings more often. I think the best way to style your mangasutra depends on the wearer. The length, the design, the product category, the amount of black beads, all should be thought of by the wearer and then she should buy her mangalsutra accordingly. I myself have recently got my necklace mangalsutra transformed into a bracelet and the diamond part is now a necklace. Now I wear the bracelet more often.

mangalsutra design is personal

9. Wear long traditional mangalsutra with sarees and diamond mangalsutra with jeans, tees, and dresses

Nisha Vedi Pawar @lovelaughmirch

I style my mangalsutra according to what I’m wearing. I have two mangalsutras: a traditional long gold one and a smaller one with a diamond piece which I wear daily. I reserve the longer one for when I wear sarees, or heavier traditional fabrics such as silks and brocades; I love the traditional touch it adds. My daily one is something I pair with anything from jeans and a tee to maxi dresses.

When shopping for a mangalsutra I’d say look at your current jewelry to see what kind of pieces you reach for the most, are they long or small and dainty? Choose a style that reflects what you wear most often so avoid getting something that will just sit in your jewelry drawer and collect dust. Luckily there is so much variety of customization when it comes to jewelry that you can easily find a piece that can be worn daily.

mangalsutra styling with saree and dress

Wow! What a great collection of useful mangalsutra styling tips. 

Now I want to turn it over to you:

What is your #1 mangalsutra styling tip? 

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Ps: Get the ultimate mangalsutra buying checklist below to help you get the mangalsutra that you will actually wear and not store it in the bank safe. 

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