Indian clothes are fast gaining prominence in the global market. In India, almost every state has its own distinctive style and ways of dressing, and one can see that ethnic wear really rules the Indian style of dressing.
Women in India still follow the traditional styles of Indian clothing, although now one can see a western influence in it as well. Indian clothes, though traditional and ethnic in their appeal, have a large market due to the versatility they offer. They can be structured to look really modern and even ethnic, at the same time.
Every community in India has something new to offer as far as the designs are concerned. Colors are used in abundance, and this is visible in the colorful costumes of the women in Gujrat and Rajasthan as well.
From being rich and elaborate to being glamorous and sensual, Indian clothes have a lot more to offer than you could ever imagine. Take a peek into some of the basics of Indian clothing and why these are a rage even today.
Types of Indian Clothes
Indian women and the sari have always been a longstanding affair.
This garment can be patterned, plain, having detailed embroidery to almost sheer in its material. This long strip of cloth has varying length of four to nine meters. One end of the sari is draped around the waist and the other is arranged over the shoulder.
There are different ways of draping it as well, which would depend upon the state or creativity of the person. The tops or the blouse is generally worn with short sleeves but due to the Indo-western influence, many designs that incorporate halters and backless designs, are quite popular as well.
Indian clothes also incorporate the Salwar Kameez, which is very popular amongst women for the comfort and the versatility it offers.
The Salwar Kameez is a flowing dress and always has the three elements- the salwar, kurta, and dupatta.
Today we can see variations in the fit, lengths of the kurtas, patterns, and silhouettes as well. The Indo-western styles have an interesting mix with loads of detailed work as well. Bandhani, beaded sequins, block prints, chikankari, etc., are some of the most favorites. It's also called a Punjabi suit because of its popularity in Punjab.
The kameez is a tunic worn over the salwar that is baggy with folds or fitting as well. Chiffons, denim, silk, cotton, georgette, etc., are some of the fabrics that can be used for Salwar Kameez. Halter designs and designer backs have also been infused with the traditional structure of the Salwar Kameez.
The Ghaghra choli consists- a long flowing skirt (Ghaghra), a fitting top (choli), and a dupatta.
Shararas are mostly fitted till the knee area and flare towards the bottom half. When worn for weddings, these Shararas are heavily embroidered or embellished with various design elements. The dupatta has always been worn to cover the head but today there are various ways used to drape it, apart from the traditional ways.
Bright and loud colors, such as red, pink, and even gold are very much in demand when it comes to bridal wear. The Lehenga or Ghaghra Choli also varies in its looks as per the areas or regions in India. These can be shimmering to heavily embellished garments and look grand when teamed with gold accessories and Kundan jewelry that completes the look.
Because of the grandeur of such Indian clothing, these are mostly popular for weddings and other formal and typically Indian functions.
The traditional clothing for men has always been the dhoti kurta.
Even this ethnic attire has been a part of the Indo-western culture and has seen many modifications till date. Worn on an everyday basis in ancient India, it was therefore considered as a part of casual wear for men. Today, it is a part of formal wear as well; due to the abundance of designer wear clothing in the market.
The dhoti is a rectangular piece of cloth that is worn around the waist and legs. There are various styles of wearing the dhoti as well; this largely depends upon every state in India. Generally, it is folded around the waist and the top ends are tied in the front, and the left and the right ends are tucked in the back.
The dhoti is worn with a kurta, which is a long fitting garment on the lines of a shirt. The Dhoti Kurta is also worn with a dupatta for formal occasions. In South India, men sometimes fold the dhoti in half and tuck it into the waist so that it only reaches the knees, as it gets too cumbersome to manage.
The Sherwani is another such popular garment amongst Indian clothes.
This resembles a coat and is also worn only during weddings and festive occasions. The Sherwani is worn by men although it is very heavily embroidered at times. This coat often fits the body snugly and is generally worn with a loose pant, churidar, or even a dhoti.
The origins of Sherwani at times it attributed to Central Asia. Donning one is considered to be a mark of royalty and a symbol of status since the ancient days.
As compared to all the mentioned outfits, Indian clothing also includes the lungi which is perhaps the most simplest and easy-to-wear attire! This garment is worn around the waist and flows down to the ankles.
Worn by men especially in South India, the lungi is now being worn by women as well. The modified and hip version of the lungi is called the sarong or wrap-around skirts that are available in varied lengths.
Available in solid colors and zany prints as well, the lungi is a favorite amongst many, especially in areas that have a hot and humid climate. These are tied or fastened at the waist in various ways.
The turban has always been the one main accessory that has blended well with the Indian clothing.
This is worn on the head and consists of a single piece of cloth that is wrapped around the head area. Although Indian men today do not really use the turban on an everyday basis, it was a common affair in ancient India, as a means of protection from the heat.
Turbans are therefore popular in Rajasthan and are also associated with the Sikh community in India. It also has a religious significance in India.
With every state having its own unique and characteristic feature, the variety that one may see in all can be mind-boggling at times! Although most fashionable garments have a certain shelf life, they are definitely here to stay!