varies from region to region depending on the ethnicity, geography, climate and
cultural traditions of the people of that region. Historically, men and women's
clothing has evolved from simple Langotas and loincloths to cover the body to
elaborate costumes not only used in daily wear but also on festive occasions as
well as rituals and dance performances. In urban areas, western clothing is
common and uniformly worn by people of all strata. India
also has a great diversity in terms of weaves, fibers, colors and material of
clothing. Color codes are followed in clothing based on the religion and ritual
concerned. For instance, Hindus wear white clothes to indicate mourning while
Parsis and Christians wear white to weddings. India
In India, woman's clothing varies widely and is closely associated with the local culture, religion and climate.
Traditional Indian clothing for women in the north and east are saris or gaghra cholis and lehengas while many south Indian women traditionally wear sari and children wear pattu pavadai. Saris made out of silk are considered the most elegant. Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is one of India's fashion capitals. In many rural parts of India, traditional clothing is worn. Women wear a sari, a long sheet of colorful cloth, draped over a simple or fancy blouse. Little girls wear a pavada. Both are often patterned. Bindi is a part of women's make-up. Indo-western clothing is the fusion of Western and Subcontinental fashion. Churidar, dupatta, Khara Dupatta, gamchha, kurta, mundum neriyathum, sherwani are among other clothes.
The traditional style of clothing in India varies with male or female distinctions. This is still followed in the rural areas, though is changing in the urban areas. Girls before puberty wear a long skirt (called langa/paawada in Andhra) and a short blouse, called a choli, above it.
For men, traditional clothes are the Sherwani, Lungi, Kurta and Dhoti or Pajama. Also, most recently Pant and shirt have also been accepted as traditional Indian dress by the Government of India.
A Sherwani is a long coat-boss jacket fastened with buttons. It comes to just below the knees, somewhere high on the calf. The jacket has a Nehru collar, which is a collar that stands up. The Sherwani is worn with tighter fitting pants or trousers called churidars. Churidars are trousers that are loose around the hips and thighs, but are tight and gathered around the ankle. Sherwani is usually worn during the wedding ceremonies by the groom and is usually cream, light ivory, or gold colored. It may be embroidered with gold or silver. A scarf is sometimes added to the sherwani.
The Indian turban or the pagri is worn in many regions in the country, incorporating various styles and designs depending on the place. Other types of headgear such as the Taqiyah and Gandhi cap are worn by different communities within the country to signify a common ideology or interest.
The Dastar, also known as pagri, is a turban worn by the Sikh community of India. Is a symbol of faith representing values such as valour, honour and spirituality among others. It is worn to protect the Sikh's long, uncut hair, the Kesh which is one of the Five Ks of Sikhism. Over the years, the dastar has evolved into different styles pertaining to the various sects of Sikhism such as the Nihang and the Namdhari.
Pheta is the Marathi name for turbans worn in the state of Maharashtra. Its usually worn during traditional ceremonies and occasions. It was a mandatory part of clothing in the past and have evolved into various styles in different regions. The main types are the Puneri Pagadi, Kolhapuri and Mawali pheta.
Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Vishveshwaraiah in traditional Mysore Peta
Originally worn by the kings of Mysore during formal meeting in durbar and in ceremonial processions during festivals, and meeting with foreign dignitaries, the Mysore peta has come to signify the cultural tradition of the Mysore and Kodagu district. The Mysore University replaced the conventional mortarboard used in graduation ceremonies with the traditional peta.
Turbans in Rajasthan are called pagari. They are distinctive in style and colour, and indicate the caste, social class and region of the wearer. In the hot and dry regions, turbans are large and loose. The paggar is traditional in Mewar while the safa is to Marwar. The colour of the pagaris have special importance and so does the pagari itself. In the past, saffron stood for valour and chivalry. A white turban stood for mourning. The exchange of a turban meant undying friendship.
The Gandhi cap, a white coloured cap made of khadi was popularised by Mahatma Gandhi during the Indian independence movement. The practice of wearing a Gandhi cap was carried on even after independence and became a symbolic tradition for politicians and social activists. The cap has been worn throughout history in many states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and is still worn by many people without political significance.