India has been
known to have wonderful dresses and costumes. Though the majority of Indian women wear traditional costumes, the
in India can be found in more conventional western clothing. Tailored
clothing is very common in India as women's blouses have to be
made-to-fit. Clothing for both men and women has evolved and is keeping
Indian dress is the
which can be worn in many ways. Underneath the sari one wears a
Petticoat: - a waist-to-floor length skirt, tied tightly at the waist by
a drawstring and a Choli
: a blouse
that ends just below the bust. The Salwar
the second most popular dress and is gaining in popularity fast with the
younger generation. The Salwar Kameej too has had many design changes. The
new designers have come up with great variations of the Salwar Kameej.
Women also wear Lehangas.
: The age old Sari has kept its popularity throughout the
centuries because of its total simplicity and practical comfort, combined
with the sense of luxury and sense of sexuality a woman experiences. For a single length of material, the sari is the most versatile garment in existence.
A sari is a rectangular piece of
cloth which is five to six yards in length. The style, color and texture
of this cloth varies and it might be made from cotton, silk or one of the
several man-made materials.
The sari has an ageless charm since it
is not cut or tailored for a particular size.
Any unstitched fabric
in history has somehow been given sacred overtones. The belief was that
the unstitched fabric was pure. This garment can fit any
size and if worn properly can
graceful traditional dress can also be worn in several ways :
Maharashtrian : Navvari, Gujarati style, Bengali style, Kerala style,
Irula style, Pinkosa (farmer) style, etc. Thus there
are many ways of wearing a sari, as well as its color and texture. It
could be of shimmering silk or the finest gauzy cotton. Perhaps a
pastel-hued solid color or a myriad of woven flowers. It may even be
embroidered with golden threads, or finished with a richly tasseled
border. The way and kind the sari
worn is very much indicative of the status, age,
occupation, region and religion of a woman and is true especially in
"Sari legends" has been described in the 5,000 year
old Indian epic, the Mahabharat. Legend has it that when the beautiful
Draupadi - wife of the Pandavas -was lost to the enemy clan in a gambling
duel. Lord Krishna promised to protect her virtue. The enemy was determined
on "bagging" their prize, caught one end of the sari that
draped her so demurely, and pulled and pulled at it to unravel. They continued to pull and
unravel, but could reach no end. Thus protecting her virtue.
regions of India have their own distinct forms of draping a Sari. Some
of these are outlined below:
way: This version of draping, commonly known as the seedha
pallu way, is also found in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. Instead of opening to the left, the pleats
are tucked so that they open to the right. Then, the pallu is taken to
the back and brought over the right shoulder. It is then spread across
the chest, and the left edge is tucked in the petticoat at the back.
method: Instead of the usual five-and-a-half meters, the sari in
this version measures eight meters. One portion of the sari is drawn up
between the legs and tucked in behind at the waist, while another
portion is draped as a pallu over the bosom. Thus it forms a kind of
divided sari, allowing greater freedom of movement.
version: Like the Maharashtra version, the sare in this version,
too, measures eight meters. After wrapping around the waist, the pleats
are positioned along the left leg. The rest of the sari is taken over
the left shoulder, wrapped once again round the waist and tucked on the
style: The sari is worn pleatless; it is wrapped around the waist,
brought back to the right side and the pallu is thrown over the left
shoulder. The pallu is then brought up under the right arm and once
again cast over the left shoulder.
is how to wear a Sari......
tucked-in end hold the top edge
of the sari with right hand between stretched forefinger and thumb
and start making pleats.
about 6 inches wide each, hold them together at the navel level and
ensure they fall evenly on the floor.
Crease the pleats with your hand to ensure that they stay that
portion of the fabric on your left shoulder
by pinning it to the
blouse at the shoulder with a small 'safety' pin. This helps keep
the "pallu" in place.
this beautiful piece of clothing.
It is the tightly fitted, short blouse
ends just below the bust worn under a
sari. It is either long sleeved, short sleeved or sleeveless. The choli evolved as a form of clothing in 10th
century AD and the first cholis were only front covering; the back
was always bare. Blouses of this type are still common in the state of
Rajasthan. Today, there are numerous styles of cholis inspired by
the booming Indian fashion industry. Top
Another popular attire of women in India is the
This dress evolved as a comfortable and respectable garment for women in
Kashmir and Punjab, but is now immensely popular in all regions of India. Salwars
are pyjama-like trousers drawn tightly in at the waist and the ankles.
Over the salwars, women wear a long and loose dress known as a kameez.
One might occasionally come across women wearing a churidar instead
of a salwar. A churidar is similar to the salwar but is tighter
fitting at the hips, thighs and ankles more like leggings. Over this, one might wear a
collarless or mandarin-collar dress called a kurta.
Apart from the choli, women in Rajasthan
wear a form of pleated skirt known as the ghagra or lehanga.
This skirt is secured at the waist and leaves the back and midriff bare.
The heads are however covered by a length of fine cotton known as "odhni"
or "dupatta". Top
Though the majority of Indian women wear traditional costumes, the men
in India can be found in more conventional western clothing. Shirts and
trousers are worn by men from all regions in India. However, men in
villages are still more comfortable in traditional attire. The men wear
Sherwani : a coat like garment, worn by men, fitted close to the body,
of knee-length or longer and opening in front with button-fastenings.
Below the men wear a garment for the lower part of the body, baggy and
wide at the top tied with a string at the waist , and tight around
the legs and ankles. It is avery elegant dress for the men and mostly worn
: The traditional lungi originated in the south and today it is
worn by men and women alike. It is simply a short length of material worn
around the thighs rather like a sarong.
:A dhoti is a longer lungi
but with an additional length of material pulled up between the legs.
: The Kurta or the top is a knee length colarless shirt which is adorned
inmostly white or pastel colors. But today you will find Kurtas made out
of the most wonderful and colorful of fabrics. Pyjama-are like loose trousers
with a string tie at the waist. Traditionally white in color.