4 Types of Indian Women's Clothing

Sattaj Kaur

Posted on March 21 2019

4 Types of Indian Women's Clothing

While fashion is making its way around the world, India can not lose. When travelling to India, the Land of Color and Wonder, the first thing tourists will notice is their sense of fashion. Women most especially, have a unique way to express their fashion sense and that is through the different types of dresses they wear.

We may think that all dresses Indian women wear are all the same, and the only difference we see is the patterns and colours they use; think again. To give you an idea of what our main topic is about, here are the 4 types of Indian women's clothing:

Kurti or Kurta

Photo: Indowestern Collection via Pinterest

This type of Indian women's dress is simply a long shirt or blouse that is knee-length and sometimes worn for formal occasions. The Kurti or kurta is also good for daily use or is worn as an office-wear and at times, Indian women pair their kurta with a dupatta (Indian scarf).

While at other times, the kurti is paired with salwar pants (pants that are wide at the thighs and tight at the ankles) or churidar pants which are commonly slimmer on the legs, like leggings or even jeans.


Salwar Kameez

Photo: shreemadhufahion via Pixabay
(photo is cropped on the upper part only)

This type of dress is mostly worn in the Northern parts of India like Haryana, Pradesh, Punjab, and Himachal. The dress includes the salwar and a kameez (long shirt or tunic). In the southern part of India, this style is named the "Punjabi suit" or "shalwar". The salwar kameez is commonly worn by teenagers and Bollywood actresses alike.

Salwar kameez is oftentimes paired with a dupatta — a traditional Indian scarf used to cover the head and the shoulders but now used as part of fashion.


Lehenga Choli or Ghagra Choli

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Another traditional dress was commonly worn in the Northern part of India like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.

Lehenga is a long skirt that is embroidered and pleated. Choli, on the other hand, is a midriff-baring blouse also worn with a sari. Together, the Lehenga Choli is made with a top that is a perfect fit to the body, have short sleeves and a low neck. Then finished off with a dupatta, which is inserted into the skirt and wrapped at the waist then draped over the shoulder similar to a sari.


Sari or Saree

Photo: Jivaana

Saree or sari is a long unsewn cloth with patterns, usually draped over the body. If rice is the staple food to some countries, then the saree is like the staple dress to most Indian women.

The draping style of the sari differs in some areas around India, but the most common way is simply by wrapping the fabric around the waist on one end and let the other settle on the shoulder. A saree's blouse is particularly backless with a halter style string drape.

Indian fashion never ceases to surprise tourists and fashionistas alike, creativity is present in each type of dresses Indian women wear as mentioned above and as seen on the sample pictures attached. Every detail, pattern, and color used to make an attractive Indian dress is given importance. So, the next time you visit India, make sure to ask for the right dress when you want to wear one!

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