India is one of the countries with the most extensive traditions and customs, thanks to the coexistence of different ethnic groups for hundreds of years. Thanks to them, their culture and traditions arouse a lot of interest, mainly because they have a different way of life compared to Europe or America.
In this post, we want to talk about some interesting features of Indian clothing for men and women
Indian Cultural attire
One of the most striking traditions of Indian culture is the way that they dress. The most internationally known custom is the red dot that women wear on their foreheads, the well-known third eye called Bindi, this third eye that is believed to see beyond the outside world and channel the energy through one´s chakras.
Widows use a black dot or do not wear bindi at all depending on the region of India where they live in and men wear a red one, although a little longer than the women’s bindi called tilaka.
There are three main types of typical female apparel:
- Sari: It is made up of a rectangular cloth, that is wrapped around the body and is pleated and set in a specific way to make it look like a dress. It is one of the most used attires in Bollywood dance and we are quite sure you have an idea of what it looks like. The sari stands out for its embroidery and prints and its vivid colors such as red, yellow, orange and blue. You have several ways of wearing the saree depending on the region of India from where the style originates.
- Salwar Kameez: This type of ethnic wear has two parts: wide pants fitted at the ankles and 2. a long-sleeved or short sleeved tunic that is knee-level. Given how comfortable it is, the salwar kameez is traditionally used in mountainous areas.
- Lehenga o ghagra-choli: This is the most popular dress for special occasions and weddings apart from forming an important part of the Bollywood dance wardrobe. It is composed of a voluminous long skirt with a short blouse and a shawl (dupatta). The lehenga designs can be traditional or contemporary and the blouse can be substituted for a long tunic/jacket for an urban touch.
For men’s clothing we have:
- Dhoti and kurta: The dhoti is a rectangular cotton garment. It goes through the legs and is attached to the waist. It is commonly white in color. It is usually paired with a collarless shirt that reaches the knees. It can also be combined with a regular shirt with a collar and short sleeves.
- Lungi: It is a garment that is tied at the waist and has a similar shape to skirts. Normally it comes in many colors and has various designs (stripes, squares, etc.) and it is usually a casual dress that men wear at home, that resembles a sarong.
- Sherwani: It is a long tunic with a closed neck. It is used by men to attend events such as weddings and ceremonies and is usually the most popular wardrobe for the groom on his wedding day since it can be heavily adorned with jewels on silk material giving it its regal look.