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Popular Types of Indian Women Attires

Updated on October 21, 2016

We live in the technologically advanced era, when people have a rich variety of choices. This concerns everything they do, including education, entertainment, career advancement, child upbringing, building relationships and what not. Shopping is not an exception, taking into account the fact that the assortment of attires available on sale these days is much more extensive than it used to be even ten or twenty years ago. Correspondingly, women across the globe cannot but make use of these shopping opportunities, choosing between stylish outfits and accessories. When it comes to Indian women, though, they can’t boast the versatility of choice. Instead, they have to wear traditional clothes they have got used to since childhood. These clothes are almost the same from one generation to another and they are the indispensible part of their culture. This article is about the most popular Indian women attires and their characteristics.

Sari is the most popular type of female attire in India
Sari is the most popular type of female attire in India

Sari (Saree)

The sari is, probably, the most popular type of female outfits in India. Each woman in the country has such suits in her wardrobe and wears them on a regular basis. The attire looks like a long patterned piece of cloth that does not have any stitches at all. Women just drape them over their bodies and put them on over petticoats. Sari is traditionally worn with brightly colored blouses. An amazing fact is that each sari is about 5-10 meters long! The patterns and designs of these attires may range from one location to another, but most of them look the same. Indian women wrap sari around their waists and attach the end of the piece of cloth on their shoulders.

Kurti is a long tunic, which reaches the knees
Kurti is a long tunic, which reaches the knees

Kurti (Kurta)

The kurti is a very long blouse, which may even reach the knees. Indian ladies wear kurti as an official attire, but they are also suitable for everyday use. Sometimes the outfit is worn with wide pants known as “salwar” and traditional scarves called “dupattas”. In some locations, it is allowed to wear kurti with ordinary jeans or leggings, which give the attire modern look and make it more convenient.

Ghagra Choli is a dress, which is popular in the northern part of the country.
Ghagra Choli is a dress, which is popular in the northern part of the country.

Ghagra Choli (Lehenga Choli)

Another traditional Indian women garment is the Ghagra Choli. This is a dress, which enjoys popularity in the northern part of the country. The attire is embroidered and patterned. The upper part of the dress comes with short sleeves and is quite tight. Sometimes, Indian ladies put on the dupatta when wearing lehenga choli. As mentioned above, this is a long scarf, which is wrapped around the waist and attached on the shoulder, similar to the way the sari is worn.

There are different variations of the attire, which depend upon the occasion and the type of fabric used in the manufacture of the dress. Traditional ghagra choli is worn every day, while decorated and embellished attires of this type are put on during holidays. There is also a special type of lehenga choli. This dress is manually embroidered and women wear it during marriage ceremonies.

Salwar kameez is a costume, which consists of two elements,
Salwar kameez is a costume, which consists of two elements,

Salwar Kameez

Finally, there is one more type of Indian women attire. It is called “salwar kameez”. The attire is generally worn to the north of India. This is not a dress, but a costume, which consists of two major elements, namely the salwar (the pants) and the kameez (a long blouse that resembles a tunic). Ladies living in the southern part of the country also wear similar costume, but they call it the “Punjabi costume”. If you have ever watched Indian movies, then you should have noticed that the actresses often wear these outfits for women there. This attire is frequently combined with cotton chiffon or silk dupatta (long scarf), which is long enough to cover the shoulders and the head of a woman.

As you see, Indian attires differ not only as to their names, designs and materials. They also differ with regard to the purpose of use, location and occasion. These traditional garments look extraordinary, unique and authentic. They make Indian women stand out from the crowd due to the gorgeous and rich look.

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