Traditional Indian Clothing
Traditional Indian clothing - description of sari, ghagra-choli, salwar-kameez, dupatta, pyjama and kurta.
Indian clothing is known for its colorfulness and grace. Outfits for women such as the ‘sari’ bring out the essence of feminism. Men’s clothes are suitable for the warm climate and comfort.
Although there is no strict uniformity in dress, certain trends in clothing prevails throughout the country.
The ‘sari’ is the most common outfit for women. This is a rectangular piece of cloth five to six yards in length. The material can be cotton, silk or synthetic. Silk ‘saris’ are embroidered at the borders, sometimes with real gold thread. Synthetic ‘saris’ are printed in various designs such as floral, multi-color shaded or animal prints. The sari can fit any size and if worn properly can accentuate the woman’s curves. There are various methods of wearing the ‘sari’. However, the most common method is wrapping the cloth around the waist, making pleats in the front and draping the final length around the shoulder. The ‘sari’ reveals the woman’s midriff and belly button and is worn with a ‘choli’. A ‘choli’ is a tightly fitted, short blouse. It has sleeves either up to the elbows or up to the middle of the upper arm. It accentuates the woman’s breasts. It has buttons either in the front or the back. The material used is cotton, silk or synthetic. In some parts of the country, women wear a ‘ghagra’ with the choli instead of the ‘sari’. The ‘ghagra’ resembles a skirt with sewn-in pleats secured at the waist with the length up to the ankles. This is again made of cotton, silk or synthetic.
Another common outfit worn by women is the ‘salwar-kameez’. A ‘salwar’ resembles a pyjama drawn tightly in at the waist with a string and is tailored in such a way that it tapers at the ankles. The ‘kameez’ is worn over the ‘salwar’. This is a long shapely outfit, which resembles a long shirt. The most common pattern has sleeves up to the wrists, slits on the sides, a mandarin collar with buttons in front. Instead of a ‘salwar’, women also wear a ‘churidar’. This is a tighter version of the ‘salwar’ accentuating the knees and ankles.
The ‘salwar-kameez’ and the ‘ghagra-choli’ are usually worn with the ‘dupatta’. This is a rectangle cloth made of very thin cotton or synthetic material used to cover the head and the chest.
Indian men normally dress more for comfort than style. Most common clothing for men is the ‘pyjama’ and ‘kurta’. In the villages, instead of ‘pyjamas’, men wear ‘lungis’. The ‘lungi’ is a rectangle cloth, usually made of cotton’, draped around the waist and pleated in the front at the groin.
Indian clothing, especially women’s outfits, are considered beautiful because of their colorfulness and uniqueness.