India is a country with ancient clothing design traditions and it is still emerging. India is a country with diversified customs and cultures. People living there follow various traditions and their dressing also differ from each other. India has given the world yoga, architecture, heritage, traditions. One more contribution that must be added to the list is fashion. India has long been a muse to international fashion. The sheer amount of diversity and influences that designers can draw from every region is immense, and no other country can come close to it. India, with her rich and colorful heritage in terms of textiles, weaves, culture has served as an inspiration to international designers for decades.Indian fashion designers have contributed a lot in the international fashion arena with their incomparable weaves, embroideries, fabrics, and designs by bringing together their vast expertise, creativity, and innovation. Historically, male and female clothing has evolved from simple garments like kaupina, langota, dhoti, lungi, sari, gamcha, and loincloths to cover the body into elaborate costumes not only used in daily wear but also on festive occasions, as well as rituals and dance performances. Indian traditional wear for women is a sari and for men, it is the lungi and kurta shalwar which has evolved throughout the time by different styles of blouse such as varying sleeve length, different fabrics, and by embroidery. The bright colors of Indian clothing are very popular all around the world.
For men, traditional clothes are the Achkan/Sherwani, Bandhgala, Lungi, Kurta, Angarkha, Jama and Dhoti, or Pajama. Additionally, recently western clothing such as trousers and shirts have been accepted as a traditional Indian dress by the Government of India. Dhoti is the national dress of India. A dhoti is from four to six feet long white or color strip of cotton. This traditional attire is mainly worn by men in villages. The Bandhgala is also referred to as Jodhpur, and it is a traditional Indian suit worn by men. The suit is known as Jodhpur since it originated from the state of Jodhpur during the British occupation. The suit is a western-style coat and trouser, but with Indian embroidery and design. The Angarkha was an old Indian court outfit, famous for its flexibility and ease. The costume consists of an upper garment that overlaps and can either be tied on the right or left shoulder. Achkan is a traditional knee-length jacket worn in India. The garment was medieval court wear for men, and it has evolved over time to become contemporary wear. Headgear in India encompasses a broad range of pieces, from small to large to plain and ostentatious. The most famous headgear in India is the turban, which is made from cloth winding. The turban is worn by men and represents respect and honor. The Nehru topi is also a favorite headgear to complete a traditional ensemble.
In India, women’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 worn with choli tops; a long skirt called a lehenga or pavada worn with choli and a dupatta scarf to create an ensemble called a gagra choli; or salwar kameez suits, while many south Indian women traditionally wear sari and children wear pattu langa. Saris are still identified as the quintessential Indian garment. Over the years, it has become a huge fashion influence. Women throughout India wear traditional saris made of cotton, silk, or factory blends, and the 5 to 7 yards of fabric that make up a sari are wrapped on the body in countless ways depending on where the wearer lives. Salwar kameez, a pant and long-tailed or to-the-knees shirt outfit made of lightweight fabrics is most common for women in more urban areas. The Punjabi suit also includes the churidaar and kurta ensemble which is also popular in Southern India where it is known as the churidaar. The cradle of the Lehenga Choli is in the regions of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Kutch. The dress is a long, cut and flared skirt. The Panche or Lungi is a long piece of fabric wrapped around the waist which is one of the most popular among the traditional dresses of India. The Lungi is mainly made from cotton and on occasion, it can be sewn to mimic a tube shape. Indians adorn their foreheads with decorative bindi or dots, in red or black. In Tamil Nadu women wear sarees. The young girls wear full-length short blouse and shawl, this style of wearing is called Pavada. The traditional dress of Gujarat is unique in its own way. The women wear Chaniyo choli, Chaniyo is a colored petticoat embroidered with glass pieces while choli is a colored piece of coarse cloth covering the upper body
A lehenga is traditional Indian attire worn for wedding celebrations. Unlike western wedding ceremonies, brides avoid wearing white, as it’s a symbol of mourning. Typically, shades of red are popular colors as they represent happiness and good luck to the married couple. The bride is draped with an extravagant headscarf and a large amount of jewelry. Indian brides are heavily adorned in gold jewelry. Henna is a very important custom in Indian culture for a bride’s wedding day. Applied the day before the wedding ceremony, henna is a detailed and elaborate pattern of swirls and designs that symbolize joy, beauty, and spiritual awakening. One traditional piece is an ankle bracelet or a payal, that is meant to tinkle as the bride approaches her groom. The groom typically wears a long jacket called a Sherwani over fitted trousers known as Churidas. Usually, they are worn in a color complementary to the bride gold or white are common choices with a traditional turban or Safa. An Indian wedding is a very modest and traditional ceremony. Tight-fitting or revealing dresses are frowned upon. Strapless dresses or any gowns that show your shoulders should also be avoided unless you choose to wear a shawl or sweater overtop.