In India, individuals of every caste, creed, and culture coexist peacefully, side by side. India is a country rich in diversity. Every one of these communities has a unique set of garments that are considered to be part of their cultural heritage and are constructed in a certain way.
The modesty, diversity, and beauty of traditional Indian clothing are some of its most endearing qualities. These garments not only cover the body to preserve its modesty but also highlight the wearer’s natural attractiveness.
Indian outfits have a particular fascination that can’t be overlooked as far as outsiders go. People from outside India are always intrigued and attracted to Indian clothing styles and try to incorporate them into their wardrobe.
Fashion In India: A Brief History
Clothing in India has developed throughout the centuries. The Gupta period, Islam’s arrival, and British colonization have all impacted Indian clothing. After India gained its independence, the late 1980s and the 1990s were particularly significant decades for developing the fashion industry in India. During this time, India was open to the latest fashions from worldwide. The country’s economy was booming, which drove the expansion of the fashion business.
To create statement clothes, up-and-coming Indian designers combined traditional and western components. They became masters of the embroidered art form. Additionally, India’s fashion sector was boosted by the booming Bollywood industry.
Here is a list of the 10 Indian clothes which are famous all over the world.
A traditional Indian women’s garment, the saree, is worn by millions of women across the country. It is a single piece of cloth that is between 5 and 9 yards in length and between 2 and 4 feet in width.
The garment is worn in several different ways according to the requirement of the situation. It is customary practice to tie the cloth around the wearer’s waist and then sling the opposite side over the wearer’s shoulder so that the midriff is exposed.
The origins of a saree may be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Given the country’s hot heat and the need for mobility, most Indians choose cotton as their primary fabric of choice for their clothing. The saree has transformed and is now worn by around 75% of Indian women daily. Sarees are so famous worldwide that many Hollywood celebrities have also worn them on several occasions.
Cotton, georgette, silk and chiffon are all common textiles used for sarees. Sarees can be found in a variety of styles, including embroidered, patterned, sequenced, net, and many more.
Sarees are so popular worldwide that a number of Hollywood stars like Pamela Anderson, Oprah Winfrey, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, and tennis star Venus Williams have donned them. And who can forget the beautiful Julia Roberts in a saree in the hit movie Eat, Pray, Love!
This is another well-known ethnic garment for ladies. It’s a three-piece outfit consisting of a salwar, kurta, and a complementing dupatta, all of the flowy fabric. Many young women in India wear it. It has a few different iterations depending on where you go in the country, from the north to the south. Salwar kameez, just like the saree, can be made from various fabrics and designed in various ways.
Full-ankle-length skirts, known as lehenga, are popular among Indian ladies. It has been practiced for a very long time as an aspect of the Hindu culture, and it was assumed that it might reawaken the mystic chakras of the body. It is just fastened at the waist, and the lower back and the middle of the stomach are exposed.
The Bettiah Christian population in Champaran wears it, as well as Marwari ladies, as their traditional attire. In Hindu culture, the lehenga is seen as an item of suitable clothing, and in a spiritual sense, it is also regarded as a satvik garment. Both of these concepts are related to the concept of dharma.
Lightweight cotton, chiffon, or net are the most common materials used to construct the lehenga. It features a stunning sequenced pattern and exquisite needlework throughout. Most sets have silk blouses or cholis, which are simple to make and need only a small amount of time and effort.
A variety of designs and ornamentation is available. You may give your lehenga-choli a saree appearance, a ghagra look, or a maiden look by holding the dupatta in various styles.
Queen B, Sophie Turner, and Elizabeth Hurley have donned a lehenga at some point in time. This shows the popularity of Indian clothing among foreign nationals.
Kurti is a type of traditional Indian garment which can be worn below the knees as a blouse or long shirt.
According to their preference, people can wear it with churidars or salwars. Women across all strata and ages prefer Kurti. They are quite comfortable and affordable.
You may wear a Kurti to a party, a celebratory event, work, or any other occasion. Cotton, silk, denim, chiffon, and a slew of other materials are among the various options used to make Kurtis. Kurti comes in a variety of styles, including Anarkali, A-line, long, side-slit, and more. You may dress up your kurti outfit by pairing it with fashionable trousers, palazzo bottoms, or even plain leggings.
The Lungi or Tahband is a sarong-like ethnic clothing and the lower-body garment worn around the waist, generally below the belly, that originates in the Indian subcontinent. Additionally, lungis may be found in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
There are other names for it, such as the longyi in Burma, Singapore, and Thailand. People who live in hot and humid climates fancy the lungi for casual and nighttime wear because of the discomfort of wearing too tightly fitted pants.
A Sherwani is a very popular garment generally worn at a traditional North Indian wedding. Sometimes it is paired with pyjamas or classic Indian pants.
Men typically don sherwanis for formal occasions such as weddings. Kurtas and blazers are combined to create a more traditional and ethnic version of western suits. Long sleeves, as well as a self-designed pattern, make this Sherwani unique. The buttons are on the front, with a complete button placket.
It is typically paired with a fitting pair of cotton trousers, which are also sometimes referred to as churidars. Depending on your taste, you may choose from bright, delicate, or deep shades. To finish off your style for any wedding, give your Sherwani a neat appearance, fasten some linen to the breast pocket of your pants, and put on a mojari.
Again, Hollywood elites like Robert Downey Jr., the Jonas brothers, and Ashton Kutcher have rocked a sherwani!
Kashmiri men and women wear Pheran or Phiran, the traditional attire. It is composed of two gowns, one layered over the other. The classic pheran covered the entire body down to the feet and was common up until the late 19th century C.E.
An Afghan-inspired variety of the pheran, which is donned with a loose-fitting salwar called a suthan, stretches to the lower thighs. Suthans are not commonly worn with pherans. Therefore pairing them is optional. There are no side slits on a typical phiran.
The Mughal emperor Akbar is credited by some accounts as bringing the pheran with him when he took control of the valley in the year 1586.
Summer pherans are made up of cotton, whereas winter pherans are made up of wool, shielding the person from the cold, particularly during snowfall. This type of garment is popular with the residents of the Kashmir Valley and the Chenab Valley.
The dhoti is a conventional Indian men’s clothing. Distinctive in its unstitched design, a dhoti can be as long as 5 yards. Clothes are fastened around the waist with a knot. In eastern India, the term “dhoti kurta” consists of a combination of the dhoti and the kurta, which is the most common way to wear it. Southerners wear dhotis with angavastram.
The outfit has grown through time into an exquisite cultural icon that may be worn both formally and informally.
When it came to public appearances, Mahatma Gandhi, the legendary Indian revolutionary freedom fighter, was never seen without his trademark dhoti.
The achkan is a little jacket with buttons that are visible the entire garment length. The garment should fall just below the knees, as a general rule. The Achkan is akin to the Sherwani, lengthier coat-jacket-type apparel in terms of style. The achkan’s collar has a Nehru-inspired design.
Historically, the Achkan was paired with long, form-fitting pants called churidars. Achkan, which may be worn both formally and informally, was made from various materials. The achkan is embellished with Indian embroidery, gotta, and badla.
Men in India commonly dress in a traditional ensemble known as the Bandhgala, also known as the Jodhpuri. Jodhpur suits got their name from the city of Jodhpur in India, where British officers first wore them. An Indian-inspired coat and pants complete the ensemble. A vest may be part of the outfit at times. The suit jacket has many distinguishing features, the most prominent of which are the embellished buttons and the collar lining.
Originally used for ceremonial events and weddings, the bandhgala is now a popular choice for Indian women. The bandhgala was formerly a part of any court’s attire, a beloved of the royals, grooms, and politicians in India.
The suit is regarded as a stylish alternative to traditional Indian costumes. It is frequently depicted in Bollywood films. Even Hollywood stars like Vin Diesel, Nick Jonas, and Sean Combs have worn a bandhgala at major red carpet events.
To sum up
Indian clothing has long been a source of fascination for the global society. Talented designers merge modern and traditional styles to create fusion wear garments, which boosted the fashion sector.
The clothing in India is adaptable, comfy, and distinctive. These characteristics have contributed to the global popularity of Indian clothing styles. As a result of the wide availability of trusted online retailers and e-commerce sites, selling Indian clothing in countries like Europe, the U.K. and the United States, and Middle-East, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia, has become easier.
The magic of Indian clothing is here to stay now and forever!
About the Author
A voracious reader and enthusiastic writer, I have a knack for concocting a plethora of creative write-ups. I'm a trend-savvy researcher, always on the hunt for inspiration to create unique and captivating content. I fancy myself a genre chameleon, flitting from intellectually stimulating pieces to captivating works of fiction. Whenever not weaving my thoughts into words, I indulge in my love of painting, cooking, dancing and some good old Netflix binge!