Monday, May 20, 2024

The Fashion Fabric of India

The Fashion Fabric of India The prominent values, explicit nature, and traditional glory of India make it distinct and renowned globally. It is a hub of designs and crafts portraying unity in diversity. The variety of colors, fabrics, styles, costumes, patterns, and embroidery in fashion completes culture.

“Fashion has roots, which is why we see tradition holding its ground” – Didn’t Parmesh Shahani say it all?

From beautifully stitched Poots and Pheran of Kashmir to gorgeous Kanjivaram saree and dhoti with angavastram of Kanyakumari, traditional Indian attires are an elegant cultural symbol. They also represent diversity and inclusivity. Let’s take a deeper look at the stunning traditional fashion cultures of India.

“Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it.”

Northern India 

The northern part of India offers kaleidoscopic structures and vibrant places. It provides mesmerizing snow-capped mountains, scorching deserts, posh landscapes, and exclusive cuisines. Both men and women wear the Poots and Pheran of Kashmir. In addition, Kashmiri women carry a colorful scarf named Taranga as a headdress. 

The people of Punjab are globally famous for their enthusiastic nature. This nature is reflected in their costumes and attires. Punjabi clothes are known for their vibrant colors, shiny silk, and linen fabrics. They also represent brotherhood and unity.

Derived from cultural values, Punjabis always wear 5 Ks. These include Kesh- uncut hair, Kangha- a wooden comb, Kara- an iron bracelet, Kachera- a 100% cotton undergarment, and Kirpan- an iron dagger that dynamically represents Punjabi fashion and culture. Punjabi kurtas are a blend of linen and cotton worn along with Punjabi dhoti known as Tehmet. Men also carry a headgear named Pugg or Pagri along with Kurta and Tehmet to express comradeship and unity. 

Inspired by ancient cultures, Punjabi women wear Salwar Kameez with flower embroidery known as Phulkari. You must have seen the markets flooded with unique flamboyant footwear or juttis. Both men and women wear stylish folkloric Punjabi footwear or juttis. In addition, Punjabi females wear Parandi (a hair accessory) embedded with colorful threads and beads.  

Eastern India

The Bengali-style saree made using cotton and silk is a prominent fashion symbol of West Bengal. The Bengali Garad sarees are draped around the body without any pleats to give a natural look. It has a sophisticated texture with fine works of thread. A bunch of keys around the waist complements the Bengali look. Made from ikat cloth, the Oriya saree (known as Katak and Sambalpuri) of Orissa is popular for deep colors and explicit designs.

The interdependence of the seven sisters of India is visible in their attires, accessories, and fashion. All these dresses differ from one state to another. The majority of the men in eastern India wear stunningly stitched Dhoti and Kurta. Some males carry skull caps made from Yak hairs. Furthermore, men also wear loose trousers with leather belts in other parts of Eastern India. Above all, a fleece jacket is an essential clothing accessory in Eastern India.

Western India

The western part of India has a distinctive fashion sense. The females of Maharashtra wear the traditional saree in Maharashtrian style with pleats tucked between the legs. In addition, they wear Paithani sarees during festive seasons and religious celebrations. A big nose piercing called Nath is a characteristic look of females in Maharashtra. Generally, men wear loose cotton Dhoti and shirts for comfort. Furthermore, Maharashtrian males carry a special headdress known as Pehta to complete their looks.

Portuguese have majorly influenced the fashion and clothing in Goa. That is why wrap-around and western dresses are prominent in Goa. The state of Gujarat is renowned for its traditional Ghagra-choli studded with beads and stones. The beadwork is done with intricate detailing. Ghagras are also known as lehengas. So, they are ankle-length clothing with a lot of embroidery and beadwork. Men wear colorful Chrono and Kediya. 

The Bandhani pattern in saree, dupatta, or odhani is very famous on the outskirts of Rajasthan. Females of Rajasthan wear a lot of accessories made up of gold, silver, or brass. Males of Rajasthan prefer Dhoti, Angrakha, Banda, Dhabla, or Bugatari. The most characteristic part of Rajasthani clothing is a turban or Pencha or Safa and Jutti. 

Southern India

Both men and women of Kerala wear MundumNeriyatham draped below the navel. Mundum refers to a piece of clothing that helps in covering the lower body. Whereas, Neriyatham is another clothing item to cover the upper body. The cream-colored border strips compliments this clothing. In addition, women in Kerala opt for sarees with lustrous Zari work namely Kasavu for special occasions and festivals.

The Kanjivaram or Kanchipuram silk saree of Tamil Nadu portrays exquisite style and intricate designs. Young girls in Tamil Nadu generally wear half saree namely Pavada. The traditional outfit of South Indian men is classy and elegant. Men wear Lungi with a shirt and Angavastram. In addition, men wear Dhoti like Panche during ceremonies and celebrations. Women in the Southern part of India primarily opt for golden accessories such as necklaces, chains, bangles, mang-tika, and payals. In addition, floral garlands (Gajaras) pair best with a saree to give a sleek South Indian look.


If culture is lemonade, then fashion is sugar! Both complement each other. Diversity is visible in cultures, climates, and people in India. Our country offers various languages, traditional costumes, religions, and food. The traditional Indian outfits are elegant, classy, and stunning. Today, we have an extraordinary spectrum of western fashion developed with the help of traditional Indian attires. The Indo-western hybrid holds a special place in the world of fashion. Fashion is the lens of a society depicting cultural history, norms, and values. In addition, Indian culture is admired for its attractive culinary skills and adorable fashion choices. Culture provides values, attitudes, beliefs, fashion, and languages to people. Whereas fashion helps to display all these attributes to the world. India offers tons of outfits and styling patterns to the world. A single piece of clothing, a saree, can be worn in about 108 different ways.

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