Indian Clothing Modern Traditional

Modern Traditional's guide to Indian clothing.
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Note:  Not all of these garments are originally Indian, but they are commonly worn in India.
Sari (or Saree) - Ideally, 6 to 9 metres of unstitched fabric, that is draped around the body in a variety of styles.  Though the ideal is that it be completely woven, with no pins or needles touching it (because of the ideal of total nonviolence, or at least not wearing anything dangerous), with any decorations painted or glued on, rather than sewn, many sari today are embroidered and/or hemmed.
Click here to learn how to wrap a sari in a few different ways.
Choli - The blouse or fancy bra-like garment.  Ideally, this has an open or only tied back, but many today are like full shirts

Lehenga - The long, often pleated or gathered skirt, often made from sari fabric.  Usually rides low on the waist.

Salwar - The loose fitting pants, usually with gathers (churidar style) or a sort of a band-cuff (salwar style) at the ankles.

Kameez - A usually knee or below knee length dress-like shirt, that is usually split on both sides to about the waist, and sewn to flatter feminine curves, although some are "modest cut" for those who prefer it.

Kurta - A plain collarless, knee length shirt that is generally worn by men.  The shorter version, called a kurti is generally worn by women.

Dhoti - A draped version of shorts or pants.  There are many styles from casual to formal.

Dupatta - The long scarf, usually about 2 to 5 metres, that almost always comes with any salwar kameez or lehenga choli set.

Bindi Bindi - A dot or sticker worn on the forehead to stimulate and/or highlight the "third eye".  Click here to read more about it.

Shop for Indian Clothing Online:

Bindi and Accessories

Profoundia - Traditional and unique bindi, tikka, and Indian jewelry, gifts, and accessories.

Sarees and Indian Clothing

Utsav Sarees - Buy from a website that represents actual seamstresses, tailors, and weavers.  Custom and pre sized garments for women, kids, and men.

Islamic Salwar Kameez:

Al Hannah - Islamic clothing in children's, regular, and plus sizes.

Sewing Links:
Bazaar Beledi - Sewing patterns for salwar kameez and cholis.

Informative Articles and Sites:

Institute of Draped Clothes - A UK based organization archiving and studying draped clothing styles all over the world.  LOTS of information on the sari.

Sari Safari Gallery - Images of various sari styles.

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©2006 Nicole Lasher