Indian dressing styles are marked by many variations, both religious and regional with a wide choice of textures and styles. The many hued sari draped gracefully in different styles, brightly mirrored cholis, colorful lehangas and the traditional salwar-kameez have all fascinated the traveller to India. The sari, simple, understated yet supremely elegant is increasingly becoming a fashion statement in urban India.
One of the most commonly worn traditional dresses, it is essentially a rectangular cloth measuring about 6 yards, though in some places, women wear the nine yard sari which is passed through the legs and tucked in at the back. The sari comes in a profusion of colours, textures and designs, determined largely by the region. The sari is worn with a tight-fitting choli or blouse.
The style and length of the choli varies according to fashion trends and from region to region. A popular, comfortable and convenient dress is the salwar kameez or churidar kurta. This was traditonally the dress worn in Punjab, but is now worn almost everywhere, particularly among the younger generations. The kameez or the kurta is a knee-length flowing tunic worn over a salwar or churidar. A salwar is a pyjama-like trouser which tapers slightly towards the ankles, while the churidar is a tight-fitting trouser which gathers at the ankles.
These gathers at the ankles look like bangles (churis) and hence the name. A dupatta generally completes the ensemble. A traditional Indian woman is rarely seen without jewellery. Gold, silver or colourful glass bangles are another favourite, dating from the tradition of never having your hands bare. Indian women generally have their ears pierced, and commonly sport ear-rings. Men are considerably less traditional when it comes to dressing. In urban areas, they have adapted to a western style of dressing.
In villages men generally wear kurtas, a knee length shirt-styled tunic, with lungis, dhotis or pyjamas. The lungi originated in the south but is now worn all over India. It is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. . .