Different Costumes & Traditional Dresses of India
India is all about diversity in many ways like vegetation, climate, people, varied cultures, customs, and costumes.
Owing to various climatic conditions and cultural backgrounds, people in different regions have been wearing different styles of clothes that are known to be their traditional dressing.
Costumes of India vary from region to region and depend on the different ethnicity, geography, climate, and cultural influences.
Traditional Attires of North India
A major part of North India like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal experiences an extremely cold climate most of the year, that requires proper clothing.
In Jammu and Kashmir colorful Pherans and Shawls are worn by women, which are popular for the intricate embroidery styles and the stuff they are made of.
They also wear Poots or double gowns that look colorful due to the unique threadwork as part of the embroidery. They cover their heads with well-tucked embroidered scarves. It is said that a Kashmiri dress is incomplete without the accessories that comprise Kashmiri earrings known as Jhumkis or Chand-baale.
The men wear long robes made of pure wool known as Gouache, which is tightened at the waist. They wear long boots made of animal skin that keep their feet warm to manage the extreme cold.
In Haryana, women wear short Ghaghras or skirts, Kurtis and Chunder or Chunris to go well with
them. These Chunders may be of various colors and tucked with laces. They are used to cover the head, a ‘Riwaaz’ for married women here.
The men wear Dhoti, Kurta, and Pagri. Holding their Latch, they look typical Haryanvi.
The Pagri or headgear is usually the same but is tied and worn in different ways by people of different regions and that makes it look different. Apart from these, the usual lehengas and ghagras, and laches are also worn.
Clothing in Western India
The western region of India comprises Rajasthan and Gujarat which experience very hot and dry summers and chilly winters.
Unlike the sombre and sandy backdrop, the amazing mirror, bead, and stone work on them make them dazzle reflecting a wide array of colors.
Due to extreme weather conditions, the people cover themselves adequately. The village belles wear bright-colored Ghaghra-Cholis and Odhnis that are adorned with explicit gota and zari work.
Rajasthani women also wear Bandhini tie-n-dye sarees. They
wear head-to-toe ornaments like Maang-teeka, Matha-Patti, Rakhdi or Ghundi for the forehead, Kanthi for the neck area, Pajeb or anklets, Arsi or ring, and Kanghan or bangles.
These jewelry items are either made of gold, silver, or brass. The Kundan and Lac jewelry of Rajasthan is quite popular. The men wear Dhoti, Potia, Angrakha, Banda, Dhabla, Pachewara, and Bugatari.
The most essential part of clothing is that headdress or turban or Pencha or Safa, tied uniquely. Both men and women wear Jootis. They are embroidered to match up well with the costumes worn. `
In rural parts of Gujarat, the men wear cotton-made Chorno or shorts that are worn as lower and Angarakhu as the upper clothing. Along with this, they wear a thickly folded turban that is called a Fenton.
Women wear the heavily embroidered Chaniyo the petticoat and the equally embroidered bodice known as Choli.
They cover their head and upper body with Odhni the colored piece of cloth. They also wear saris in colorful Gujarati prints. Males wear Dhoti, coat, and turban.
Ornaments worn both by males and females include kanthi round the neck, kandora at the waist, and vintage worn on fingers. They are usually made of silver.
Maharashtrian men wear Dhoti and shirts along with the headgear Pheta or Patka or Rumal.
The women wear the typical Maharashtrian sari known as Luggage with a mega-sleeved Choli or blouse. They wear the sari differently by tucking it between the legs. They get that traditional Marathi look by wearing the typical Nathni or nose ring.
Costumes of East and North-East India
Traditional Bengali women wear a white saree with a red border, especially during festivals or special occasions. The men wear dhoti-kurta which is again the traditional attire of Bengal though most men of today hardly know how to wear one!
The traditional costumes of north-east India comprising of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur,
Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh are far different from that the rest of Indian clothes.
Women in Assam wear special Assam silk sarees. They also wear the three-piece dress known as Mekhla Chador.
There are many tribals in Arunachal Pradesh. The Buddhist Monpas tribal women wear sleeveless chemise and a jacket over it.
The women of the Naga tribe wear petticoats and a blouse.
Manipuri women wear Innaphi the shawl, a wrap-around called Panek, and a hard-stuff skirt called Sarong. During the festive season, for bridals and dance performances, the women wear Potlois.
In Meghalaya, the Garo tribal women wear an unstitched cloth known as Jainsen and a wrap-around. They wear the Endi shawls which are quite popular for the fine work done on them.
The Khasi women wear ankle-length Jainsen with a blouse and a cotton shawl known as tap-moh khlieh. They wear lots of gold and silver ornaments on special occasions.
The Mizo women wear bright-colored Puan that look like regular churidar-kurta. For weddings, they wear Puanchei. They wear head-dress in dance performances.
The Khakloo tribe wears Rinai a draped cloth around the waist, along with Risa worn in the upper part.
Clothing Styles of South-India
The clothing styles of all the states of south-India are almost the same. The traditional dresses of Indian women in Kerala are white-colored silk sari with a broad golden zari border.
As the trends have been changing now, the people wear lots of colors and designs. Men wear Lungis and shirt or short Kurta. On special occasions, they wear Mundu and Neriathu which match with the female costume in white color and golden zari border.
There are many tribals in Karnataka where Men wear Lungis and a shirt along with a piece of silk or cotton cloth known as Angavastram that is kept casually on their neck, covering the shoulder area.
Women wear Saris of various color combinations. The look of the sari depends upon the way it is draped. The Kodava women in the state wear sari differently with pleats at the back. They also wear scarves on their heads, which is a rare and strange combination.
In Andhra Pradesh, women commonly wear Sarees and men wear Dhoti-Kurta.
Some Muslim women wear Salwaar and Kameez while men wear Kurta-Pyjama
with special Fez cap.
The Lambadi tribe of Andhra is known for the colors of beads and mirror-studded costumes they wear. They wear
scarves on their shoulders. The women wear long-sleeved Choli and Sarees
Most south-Indian women wear Kanchipuram silk sarees that look beautiful with bright borders and heavy goldwork. Cotton, chiffon, and crepe are also worn by women.
The explicit artwork on these costumes of India makes them unique. No matter how westernized we may turn, our traditional outfits have always enticed and will stay in demand even among people across the borders and seas.