India Dress

The culture, religion, languages spoken and attire of the people of India are as diverse as the landscape of this vast country. Due to its diversity this cultural hub does not have just one dress, which can be called as the National Dress or Indian Dress. If in northern part we find more of the Muslim influence, in the southern part of India Dravidian style of costumes dominate. WOMEN'S WEAR

The language, religion and dresses of the people change according to the region they inhabit. In northern part of India Salwar Kameez is prevalent among women. Salwar is a type of loose trouser, which is worn with lose Kurta known as Kameez. This Indian dress is usually accompanied by Dupatta, a kind of veil used to cover head or bosom. This Indian dress is the favorite of North Indian women as it is hassle free to wear and easy to maintain and allows complete freedom of movement which is necessary for hard working women whether in an office or helping her husband in fields.

In western India i.e. Rajasthan and Gujarat, Lehenga Choli forms core of the traditional dress of the locals. Lehenga is a lose ankle length skirt worn with Choli, a kind of blouse. This outfit is incomplete without Odhni, western Indian version of Dupatta, which lends the grace and style to this traditional Indian dress. Another dress that resembles Lehenga is Ghaghra. It is a type of full flared ankle length skirt, which is worn with a belt around the waist. In some parts of India you can also find women wearing Garara, a kind of divided skirt, flared at the bottom much like bell-bottoms.

Sari, an unstitched piece of cloth which looks common but lends the uncommon grace and elegance to the women wearing it. In ancient times unstitched fabric was supposed to be pure this belief gave rise to this Indian dress in which is there is no problem of size and shape. It is a six to nine yard piece of cloth. Depending upon the needs and cultural and religious norms of the region, each region has its own style of draping a sari. The style of wearing a sari reflects the age, region, religion, status and occupation of the women to some extent. The different styles of draping a sari are:
  • North Indian: It is the widely used style in which Sari is draped around a waist once and then pleats are tucked in the waistband. The remaining portion of Sari, known as Pallu is put across the left shoulder and is allowed to fall behind.
  • Gujarati: This style of Sari is known as Seedha Pallu Sari. In this style Pallu is taken to back side and is then put across the front side of the right shoulder.
  • Bengali: A pleatless style of draping a sari.
  • Maharashtrian: for this style of sari you need a sari which is longer than the usual one i.e. 8-9 m long. In this style sari is passed through legs and one portion of it is tucked at the back providing room for greater freedom of movement.
  • Other styles of draping a sari worth mention are: Kodagu, Nivi and Kachha Nivi style.
The popularity of sari resulted in its different types. The most famous types of Indian sari are:
  • Bandhani
  • Patola
  • Gujarati brocade
  • Paithani
  • Chanderi
  • Gadawal
  • Banaras brocade
  • Kota doria
  • Kanjeevaram
  • Konrad
  • Pashmina silk
  • Kota silk
  • Puttapakshi
  • Baluchari
This elegant garment, available in uncountable types and which can be draped in number of styles, suits every Indian occasion. Whether it's a formal office environment or a family get-together it always accentuates the grace of the Indian women.

But these days the trends are slightly changing. The traditional Indian dresses are paving the way for the ones with western touch. Nowadays, urban Indian women wear jeans, shirt and trouser and skirts, which is more suitable to her working lifestyle.


Dhoti and Kurta is supposed to be the native Indian dress for men. Dhoti is a piece of cloth, which is tied at the waist, and one part of it is passed between the legs and is tucked at the back, whereas Kurta is a type of an Indian tunic. In Southern India, men mostly wear Shirt and Lungi. Lungi is also a type of dhoti, worn differently. It is tied at the waist and hung lose at the legs. These days due to the changing occupational demands Indian men are opting for the dresses such as trousers, jeans and shirts etc.


The cap and dupatta are the main headgears used by Indian men and women respectively. Muslim men use a special type of cap known as 'Topi' to cover their heads whereas turban, locally known as 'Pagadi' in Punjab, is an integral part of a Sikh men.

  Related Links