Indian Fashion: What You Can Hardly Find Out Of India

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Written by: Trâm Anh + Huỳnh Huy

A GLIMPSE OF CULTURE | INDIA

From the very beginning of human beings, clothes appeared to be indispensable. In the past, they are simply things, necessities. But day by day, along with the evolution of human, clothing has gradually become a symbol of fashion. 

The advent of the so-called Fashion can be traced back to ancient days in India where is well-known as the birthplace of humans.

The earlier human civilization appeared in India, the more diverse fashion styles Indian people have experienced. In this article, let us show you 10 special genres of clothes in India.

1. Saree

Saree is a woman’s garment originating from the India Subcontinent. It first appeared in the Indus Valley Civilization and flourished magnificently during 2800- 1800 BCE.

Saree is simply a piece of fabric with a length varying from 5 to 9 yards ( 4.5 meters to 8 meters) and width varying from 2 to 4 feet ( 60 to 120 centimeters). It is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff.  The saree can be draped in various styles.  The saree is widely regarded as a symbol of grace in cultures of the Indian subcontinent.



This garment has been commonly worn throughout India, especially in the Suburban area. We can also find women wearing Saree with more sophisticated details in their Wedding as a traditional dress. You can find women in Saree through almost Indian movies, namely Balika Vadhu, Thapki Pyar Ki, etc.

Moreover, the color of a Saree also represents the position of a woman in society. 

  • Red for brides
  • Yellow for the Elite
  • Green for the Caste system, lower class



2. Choli

It is a blouse or a bodice-like upper garment that is commonly cut short leaving the midriff bare, it is worn along with a sari in the Indian subcontinent. The choli is also part of the ghagra choli costume in the Indian subcontinent.

3. Dhorti Kurta

Unlike Saree, Dhoti Kurta is mainly for males. In fact, Dhoti is an unstitched piece of cloth usually 5 yards long that is tied around the waist and legs. The knot is tied at the waist. 

Dhoti is worn by almost males in the countryside, especially on the family functions.

In Indian tradition, Dhoti is often worn along with Kurta. As time goes by, it became a popular attire called “ Dhoti Kurta”.

In a wedding, the Indian groom always wears Dhoti Kurta at the time of customary ceremonies. To Indian residents, this attire is their pride, their national identity. Therefore, in special international occasions, Indian guests, like classical musicians, poets, dancers, etc, often wear Dhoti Kurta as a way to pay tribute to their home country.

4. Angrakha

It is an outer robe with long sleeves which was worn by men in India. By the 19th-century it had become the generally accepted attire of an educated man in public.

It looks more luxurious than any genres of Indian traditional clothes.

5. Anarkali

An Anarkali Suit is a form of women’s dress. The anarkali is made up of a long, frock-style top and features a slim fitted bottom. Anarkali is an extremely elegant style that is worn by women in India.

 

The word Anarkali literally means the ‘delicate bud of the pomegranate flower/ tree’. This name signifies the qualities of softness, vulnerability, innocence and beauty, associated with the women who wore Anarkalis.



Indian fashion

6. Panche/Lungi

In Indonesia, Bangladesh, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Brunei, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, the Horn of Africa, and the southern Arabian Peninsula, the lungi (/lui/), sometimes known as a sarong, is a traditional item of clothing worn around the waist. It is also known as Kaili in Kerala. It is especially common in places where the heat and humidity make for unfavorable weather for trousers.

Lungis are occasionally made into a tube shape similar to a skirt, unlike dhotis (Mundu), which are linear like sheets. In hotter areas, they are worn more frequently. Additionally, there are less expensive “open” lungis that are identical in size but not shaped like a tube. When open, the typical adult lungi measures 200 cm in length and 115 cm in height.

Lungis for children are available in about a third of this size. They often come in a range of patterns and colors and are made of cotton. Lungis made of silk are available for ceremonial events like weddings. The most popular designs are either solid-colored or plaid, which reflects how simple and affordable it is to create these patterns on a power loom. Because it fades to a lovely shade, blue is especially well-liked.

7. Achkan

Chapkan, a dress that once served as the proper class’s attire, gave rise to Achkan. Shrar claims that Achkan was created in Lucknow during the period when independent kings of India governed the country (rajas, nawabs and Nizams).  Later, wealthy Hindus adopted it from Muslim nobility. 

Numerous features, most notably the front opening, set it apart from the sherwani. Although frontal openings were not common in Achkan, they were not uncommon in Angarkha. Achkan traditionally has side openings tied with strings; this style of opening is known as baghal bandi.

While the sherwani always has a straight front opening because it serves as an outer garment. In order to keep the entire garment in place, Achkan, like Angarkha, was historically worn with a sash called a patka, kamarband, or dora wrapped around the waist.

Indian fashion

8. Churidar

Churidars, also known as churidar pyjamas, are form-fitting pants popular on the Indian Subcontinent for both men and women.

An alternative to the typical shalwar pants are churidars. Shalwars have a large top and a narrow ankle cut. Churidars narrow more fast, exposing the shape of the legs. They are typically bias-cut, which lends to their inherent stretchiness.

When wearing tight-fitting pants, stretch is essential. Additionally, they are longer than the leg and may include a snugly fitting buttoned cuff at the ankle. The extra length is folded and resembles a pair of bangles resting on the ankle, hence the name “churidar” (from the Sanskrit words “churi” for bangle and “dar ” for like). The additional material provides the “ease” required while the wearer is seated

Indian fashion

9. Belly Chains

The popular English name for the Indian jewelry known as Kamarband is a belly chain or waist chain. A sort of body jewelry worn around the waist is the belly chain. Some belly chains are referred to as “pierced belly chains” because they are attached to a navel piercing. They are frequently fashioned of gold or silver. Instead of a chain, a thread may occasionally be worn around the waist. The chain could be heavy and thick or delicate and tiny.

Indian fashion

Indian culture regards belly chains for women as lucky.

10. Indian Jewellery

Traditional Indian jewelry has a long history that predates even the history of India. The Latin word “jocale,” which means plaything, is where the term “jewelry” first appeared. Jewelry and the desire to improve one’s appearance became widely accepted between 5000 and 7000 years ago, during the Ramayana and Mahabharata periods. Beaded jewelry can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization circa 1500 BC.

Indian fashion

Conclusion

The topic of contemporary fashion in this text was heavily influenced by the development of modern attire and fashion in India over the previous 150 years. This is due to the fact that some of the more overarching themes and ideas developed during the time of British rule, Indian nationalism, and India’s independence from the British, as well as instances of self-fashioning that relied on the fusion of different local and global factors, continue to play out in the way that fashion is shaped by and for Indians in the present.

The ability of clothes to function as a visual and material medium of social mobility, social acceptance, and political power, as well as various Eurocentric and Orientalist frameworks that established their dominance at the period, all contributed to the historical.



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