India is a diverse, multi-lingual country with a host of experiences to offer on its land. Anyone setting foot here is bound to fall in love with the different cultures and the beautiful manner in which all of them co-exist in harmony. One of the noticeable differentiating factors of each state is its culinary delights that tantalise the taste buds. However, another unique aspect that differentiates the culture of one state from the other, but feels uniquely Indian at the end of the day, is the elegant and beautiful ethnic wear of every state.
The reason Indian ethnic wear is so attractive among the young and old alike is that they are elegant as well as comfortable to wear. Let’s dive into what each state of India has to offer when it comes to men and women dressing themselves up in vibrant traditional outfits!
Just as Gujaratis love their eclectic food, they also adore their traditional attire- the beautifully embroidered and embellished chaniya cholis. Women love to dress up in elegant lehengas during Navratri, which is a nine-day festival celebrated with their traditional dance known as ‘garbha’. Men wear churidar pyjamas and kurtas along with vibrant turbans.
Punjabi women look gorgeous donned in their traditional salwar kameez or Patiala suits in pastel hues and threadworl for different festive occasions. Another very typical Punjabi attire is the footwear known as ‘jutti’ which goes equally well along with their dresses. Embellished and printed juttis are one of the trending footwear styles today, and are paired with evening gowns and summer dresses. Men dress up in vibrant kurta pyjamas too, which they pair with turbans known as ‘pagri’.
The nine-yard Nauwari saree is the traditional attire for Maharashtrian women that they wear with pride during festivals or other important days. Men wear dhoti, also known as ‘dhotar’ and ‘pheta’, along with their traditional headgear.
When it comes to Assam, you cannot miss the beautifully dressed women sporting the traditional saree known as ‘Mekhela Chadar’. Assam is home to a lot of unique tribes, which has resulted in a rich culture with varied customs. Gents wear a short kurti and lungi along with a ‘gamcha’.
Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu & Kashmir people like to wear ‘pheran’, which is a long loose gown hanging down below the knees. It is a very prominent attire for Kashmiri women. It usually consists of vibrant colours, along with zari work along the hemline, on the pockets, and collar area. Men usually wear a skull cap, a salwar or churidar pyjamas. Kashmir also boasts of its famous ‘pashmina’ shawls, which are perfect for its cold winters, and women carry them as an added accessory to their outfit.
Kerala has its ethnic dress for men, known as ‘Mundu’, which is the state’s version of a lungi. These are mostly white with a prominent golden border on all four sides. Women prefer to wear the elegant Kasavu saree, which is traditionally a cream-coloured saree with a gold border and often minimal embroidery.
Known as the silk hub of India, Karnataka is famous for its Mysore silk sarees which are simple sarees with elaborate gold embroidery along the border. Men wear a dhoti along with shirts, also known as ‘angavastram’ and the Mysore ‘peta’, a kind of turban for special occasions.
Goa has the most relaxed vibe in the entire country, which is why most men and women in the city love to dress up in casual dresses and shorts. For more traditional attire, the native Goan women also wear the ‘Nav-vari’ saree, similar to Maharashtrians, which are studded with valuable stones and gems.
Bengali women dress in white sarees with a red border for all traditional days and special occasions. Sarees of different materials such as silk, taant cotton, chiffon etc., are worn by them. Men like to wear dhoti, kurta, sherwani, pyjama and lungis for a traditional look.
Being the capital of India, fashion originates in Delhi and spreads around the neighbouring areas. Ethnic clothing for Delhi women is usually salwar kameez in different variants and style. The men wear fashionable sherwanis or bright kurta pyjamas for festive days or wedding celebrations.
Ever heard of chikankari work? The amazing thread work which is so intricately woven originates from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, which is also called the city of Nawabs. Women love to wear chikankari kurtis, because they are lightweight and make an excellent choice for summers. The state is also famous for its Banarasi sarees, inspired by Mughal motifs and known for their gold and silver brocade. Men love to wear the traditional kurtas along with a pyjama or dhoti.
Women of Bihar don the beautiful Bhagalpuri silk sarees, which is famous for its vibrant colours and a must wear for special occasions in Bihar. They also wear their traditional jewellery with great pride. The silver and gold jewellery is worn here in abundance. ‘Kamarbandh’ is one piece of jewellery which is also worn a lot here, an essential for all brides of Bihar.
Andhra men sport a short kurta along with ‘Pancha’, which is their version of dhoti worn on important days. Women wear a rich variety of sarees such as Pochampally silk sarees, Mangalagiri sarees or Gadwal sarees, which are all praised for their unique designs. Hyderabad, also known as the city of Nizams is famous for its freshwater pearls and is a must buy if you are visiting the city.
One of the seven sister states in India, Nagaland is known for its ‘Angami’ which is a casual dress for women comprising of a sleeveless top, a petticoat and a white skirt. They look beautiful and vibrant in their traditional outfits, which they wear with much pride and elegance. Men generally wear a shawl known as ‘ratapfe’, which is embroidered and looks very attractive.
Indian states boast of a vast variety of clothing which can completely transform one’s look. Head to Shoppers Stop today for a fantastic collection of Indian ethnic wear!
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