The salwar suit is one of the most common traditional and casual attires worn by Indian women. Salwar suits evolved from a long line of Indian attire that is influenced by cultural and regional values. These changes were mostly for practical purposes and to accommodate the weather factor in each area.
Men and women can both be seen sporting salwar suits but worn and draped differently. They also have different names for their top and bottom portions but essentially look the same and serve the same purpose of comfort and convenience at work and home.
Salwar suits are one of the best attires to wear on a sunny day and for those who go for work as it is an accommodating piece of clothing that allows breathability, movement and circulation of air unlike the work suits and blazers worn by men and women in the west. There are many different forms and formats that salwar suits come in and each one can be used differently to suit different purposes.
The Evolution of Salwar Suit
Salwar suits evolved from a tunic that was worn on top along with a pant that was tied around in a Dhoti style. A dhoti is a piece of fabric that is uncut and long like a saree and has a hip band so that it can be secured around the waist tightly.
This fabric is wound around the legs to give it space for movement and breathability. It is a perfect work attire and allows for flexing and moving the legs as well as suits all climates and temperatures, India being a hot and tropical country.
The top portion of the salwar suit is basically a tunic or a kurti as it is called in India. A kurti is a short to a medium-length garment that is worn to cover the top portion of the body with varying lengths at the arm. Men were the first who introduced salwar suits as they wore a rugged dhoti and Jubba or kameez, a tunic similar to kurti with medium sleeves, buttons, and pockets, to work in the fields and for labor.
This kind of costume accentuated their work culture. Slowly this same kameez dhoti combination was taken over by women by adding different colors, work at the neck and hems, and altering the dhoti by making it simpler and sleeker.
This was how the salwar suit came into being. Today as we speak, there are about 20 to 25 types of salwar suits in the market and each one has a cultural and traditional significance.
Modern-day Salwar Suits of 2021
Anarkalis are perhaps the best types of salwar suits invented by mankind. Worn traditionally by queens and princesses of the Northern empires and Mughals, this type of salwar is exceptionally well designed and adorned with work, suitable for weddings and grand functions.
The Masakkali is an inspiration from the Anarkali but with a few differences in the height of the top and bottom portions. Masakkali is also well adorned with handwork and comes in various blends of fabric and is suitable for functions and parties.
Sharara is a type of flared pants that can be worn with an embellished top. The hem has grand amounts of work and looks bejeweled with mirrors and other embellishments.
The High Ankle Pants
The High Ankle Pants is the most modern version of a salwar suit with a straight-cut ankle-length pant along with a straight-cut Kurti that is perfect to slay at work in style.