Indian Clothing - Shalwar Kameez
or Salwar Kameez, Saree & Choli
Western culture is developing a
grand love affair with the distinctive fashion style that is
India. Along with Indian music and spirituality, Indian Clothing
is having a huge impact on the mainstream identities of western
style and culture.
The latest designer shows from Armani, Fendi, and Miyake all draw
on elements from the exotic Indian culture. In Paris Dries Van
Noten, one of the new fashion leaders and member of the so-called
Belgian Four, presented a collection of layered chiffon wraps,
dresses, saree, and kurta look-alikes. The color palette these
western designers are drawing from is as vibrant as a Rajasthan
desert at sundown, using rich golds, reds, and greens.
Indian designers like Sunita Shankar, Vandanna Roy, Ritu Beri,
Monisha Jaising, Ravi Bajaj and Krishna Mehta are leading the way
in redefining Indian fashion. Rohit Bal presented his latest
collection, Sanskrit, at a New York benefit gala organized by
Children's Hope, and stunned the audience with exquisite
embroidery, beadwork, and tie-dye fashions with a decidedly Indian
Many U.S. design companies are taking Indian fashion and
transforming it for western audiences. Silk Threads in Dallas, TX
is a premier provider of dresses based on Indian design.
About Traditional Indian Clothing
Indian people express themselves a great deal through their
clothing. Their spiritual quest for perfection plays a role in
their choices of beautifully colored, dramatic, and flowing
garments. The styles speak to the spirit with sumptuous, vibrant
colors woven into the intricate and ornate designs to be found
resonating throughout India.
Shalwar Kameez or Salwar Kameez:
Started as an alternative dress form in Kashmir and Punjab, it has
grown in popularity all over India and in all the muslim countries
of the world, especially with younger women. With Celebrities like
Goldie hawn, Sally field, Hillary Clinton, Jeniffer Lopez and the
Late Princess Diana adorning the Salwar(Shalwar) kameez at high
profile events, this garment is the clearly the current flavour in
the West. Salwars are pajama-like trousers gathered at the waist
and ankles, worn underneath a long, loose tunic known as a kameez.
Some tips on Salwar Kameez.
The kameez should be a little longer in height. It makes you look
taller. If your height is around 5 feet 3 inches then your kameez
height should be around 47- 48 inches.
If you have broad shoulders then avoid wearing puffed sleeves.
If you have fat arms and therefore cannot wear sleeveless then go
in for sleeves of about 5 inches length. This will hide the flab
on your arms and your hands will look thinner.
Salwar or shalwar can be worn in many styles. Styles keep changing
with Trends. Recently big bottoms were in fashion and now short
Kurtas Are back in vogue.
Chudidar looks good on long kameezs or Kurtas.
Avoid wearing them on short Kurtas. Chinese collar (closed neck)
makes you look tall, but avoid it if you have broad shoulders.
Wear a shalwar around your naval area, as it will pull in your
If you have the tie strings on your side, it reduces the look of
Tucks might be out of fashion but they give a very good cut to the
Avoid Organza or any stiff cloth if you want to look slimmer.
Dark colours like maroon, red, blue or brown look very good on
The saree is an extremely versatile garment. It simply consists of
a single, rectangular piece of material, five to six yards in
length, accommodating any size. The style, color, and texture of
this material vary according to region and caste. Different
draping styles convey the status, age, occupation, region, and/or
religion of the wearer.
Some Tips on: Saree
Buying a Saree :
Women on heavier side should buy sarees in Georgette, Chiffon or
Chignon. Heavy Mysore Silk saree looks beautiful and one tends to
Shorter women should buy sarees with small borders or no borders.
They should definitely avoid big borders as big borders make one
Thin woman should buy Organza, Cotton, Tissue and Tussar Saree.
These Sarees gives a fuller effect.
In printed Saree, avoid big prints, as it gives a gaudy and a huge
Delicate print on a Saree, gives a delicate look. Dark skin color
women should generally buy dark colours like maroon, green, dark
Draping a Saree :
In office Pinup your Saree, this looks smart and is manageable
For an outing or a function, just pinup the tip of the saree and
let the rest fall on your hand. This gives a very graceful look.
But of course the Saree should have a good fall.
Cotton, Tissue or any starched Saree should be ironed properly and
at the time of draping, the pleats should be done with your hands
pressing and shaping it properly.
Put the pin on the back shoulder as this keeps the saree intact
and does not show the pin too.
Don't wear a very flared petticoat inside.
The tightly fitted complimentary colored, short blouse worn under
a saree is a choli. Originally, cholis only covered the front, now
they have evolved to include versions covering front and back to
midriff. The traditional form is still commonly worn in Rajastan.
This is a pleated skirt worn mostly in Rajastan. Worn with a choli,
it is secured at the waist, leaving the back and midriff bare. A
length of fine cotton called a dupatta, completes the ensemble,
covering the head.