Indian Dresses

Occasionally, men are found with a blanket draped over one of their shoulder, especially during the winters. The blankets are light weighted. Most common type of blanket is the dark coloured checkered blanket

Women’s Wear

Women of different communities wear different type of clothing.

Women of the Jat community are found wearing shirts and ghagra with a chunder.

Shirt   women wear long sleeved shirts or kurtas made out of cotton.

Ghagra (Daaman)

Women wear long, free, flared skirts called ghagra. Ghagras have different patterns and designs on them and are of many bright colors. They may also have a border at the bottom end.

Odhni

Odhni or chunder is an elongated piece of cloth that women wear over their attire. The chunders have colorful borders with different patterns. Women use one end of the chunder to cover their heads. The other end is tucked in their waistline in the front, Women of Ahir Community wear angia – lehenga with a chunder.

Petticoat

Lehenga / Petticoats are straight fitted long skirts. They are different from ghagras as ghagra are more free flowing and open.

Angia

Angia is a tight fitting blouse that women were to cover their torsos. The blouses come only till midway on the torso.

Odhni -Women use odhni or dupatta over their attire.

Shoes

Women of Haryana wear traditional Indian style of footwear just as the men do. The traditional footwear is called jutti and is worn by most communities in Northern India. Women of these communities work outside in the fields, especially during harvest season. Thus, these dresses are designed in a manner that is comfortable for them to wear.Women from the Aggarwal and Brahmin communities wear sarees and dhotis with kurta and odhni. Saree attire consists of a blouse, petticoat and a long cloth called saree.

Wedding Attire

Weddings are major celebrations in India. The wedding events are meant to showcase the happiness and prosperity of the families. Women wear bright coloured sarees as according to the Hindu tradition. Many women, especially the younger, prefer to wear salwar – kameez or ghagra with odhni with some great embroidery on them.

Men wear dhoti and kurta with a turban. However, The kurta worn by them is of fine clothing and with some small but spectacular embroidery work.

Jewelry

The women of Haryana prefer to wear their traditional style of jewelry. They usually wear small sized earrings made of gold or silver along with a necklace or chain.

Kathla is a neck piece of the Jat community. They wear this on auspicious days. Bania people wear Malas, which are long neck pieces usually made of gold, with different patterns and designs and may also have a huge pendant in the center. Haryanvis wear costly jewelry on important days and during festivals and marriages. The ornaments mostly made of silver and gold.

Aged women prefer to wear the Hansil ornaments. They are unique in their style as they are not foldable like normal chains but instead are shaped to fit around the neck in a particular form. These are made with silver and weigh heavy. Older and young women also wear a nose piercing called Nath.

Influence Of Western Culture

Due to the influence of western culture, most men, especially the ones that are traveling, have started wearing trousers and shirt. Fewer women are found in western clothing wearing pants and tops except in the major cities. Kids are commonly found wearing tops, pants and frocks. People of Haryana are also found wearing sweaters during the months of December and January.

Rajasthan

Rajasthan’s rich culture is exhibited via its majestic forts, royal palaces, vibrant festivals, delicious food, performing arts, and even traditional costumes. The traditional outfit is colorful and elaborate, and is still proudly worn by Rajasthanis. Here’s an introduction to Rajasthan’s traditional dress.

Women’s traditional dress

Traditional attire for Rajasthani women is ghagra, choli (also called kanchli or kurti) and odhni. The ghagra is a full-length, embroidered and pleated skirt, which comes in a variety of colors, prints and fabrics, such as silk, cotton, georgette and crêpe. Of all the various prints, the laharia, bandhej, tie ‘n dye, chundri and mothra are the most widely worn. To impart royal elegance, antique borders and Jaipuri gota-patti work are incorporated to the ghagra.

The kanchli, choli or kurti are the upper-body wear. These are colorful and intricately designed and shaped as per the specific body measurements. For an ethnic touch, they are embellished with mirror-work, beads and sequins, coral and shells, and creative-cut work.

The odhni, or chunar, is a long piece of cloth, approximately 2.5 meters in length and 1.5 meters in width, and is worn as a veil. Made of light printed or patched fabric, it features beautiful embroidery, beadwork or other embellishments. There are different ways of wearing it, but the most traditional way is tucking one corner inside the ghagra, resting the middle portion on the chest and draping the end part over each shoulder and above the head, covering it gracefully.

Women’s traditional accessories

Elaborate necklaces, like Jadau sets, aad (chokers) and Rani Haar (long necklaces to the belly button) are worn around the neck, especially by women from affluent families.

The women of tribal groups such as Bhil, Meena or Garasia prefer wearing brass, silver or white metal

ornaments. Kaanbali or surliya (earrings), nathani (nosepins), bajubandh (armlets), rakhdi or borla (maang tikkas), tagdi or kardhani (belly or waist chains), payal (anklets), bangadi (bangles), bichuwa (toe rings) and finger rings are also worn to complete the ensemble.

Men’s traditional dress

The traditional outfit for Rajasthani men is dhoti and angarkha, or pajama-kurta. The dhoti is a long piece of cloth tied around the waist and wrapped around like a loin-cloth between the legs. It is paired with angarkha, a type of robe characterized by an inner panel that covers the chest. The angarkha is usually worn by the wealthy class. However, some tribal and pastoral communities have adopted it, reserving it for special occasions. The length and flare of this garment varies. The royal Rajput clan prefers wearing flared, ankle- length angarkha, while other communities and tribal groups wear knee-length or shorter versions. For everyday use, men wear angarkhi (or, puthia), which is short and tied with laces, not buttons.

Rajasthani men wearing dhoti, angarkha and pagari

The pajamas are like track pants, and generally made from cotton. It is paired with kurta or mufti, which is a loose- fitting shirt. While it usually goes down to the knees, today Rajasthani men may take liberties with the length and pattern of this traditional costume.

The traditional outfit is incomplete without pagri (turban or headgear), which is generally two meters long and 0.2 meters wide. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and is considered the pride and honor of men. There are different ways of wearing it, each defining a specific region or caste. Specially designed pagaris, called safas (short and broad in size), are worn during weddings and festivals, while everyday pagaris are rustic.

Men’s traditional accessories

To complete the ensemble, men wear round-shaped blades or studs on their earlobes and crystal beaded or semi-precious stone neckpieces. Influential families and royals also wear kamarband (waistbands) and patka, a piece of cloth hung over the shoulder.

Footwear for men and women

Both men and women in Rajasthan wear juttis or mojaris. They are leather shoes made up of sheep, camel or goat skin, complete with intricate embroidery and embellishments. While traditional footwear is usually black or brown, nowadays much more fashionable multi-coloured slip-ons are also available.

                                                              Footwear

The shoes are called Mojaris or Jootis which are made of animal’s skin and embellished with embroidery on velvet or brocade. Both men and women wear these. The footwear from cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are worn all over the country.

Rajasthani Textiles

Rajasthan is also known for a variety of prints and textiles like-

• Bagru Print

• Sanganeri Print

• Leheriya – a type of tie-dye

• Bandhani – a type of tie-dye

• Barmeri Print

• Kota Doria

It can be gathered that a lot of uniqueness and vibrancy to this northwestern state of India is derived from the distinct dressing culture. It’s laudable that a state with a vast stretch of sand, scanty vegetation and scarcity of water has such a rich history and culture. They dress beautifully even for everyday purposes, celebrating each day which makes their culture different from others. Suffice it to say, Rajasthani couture is a classic, which is celebrated all over the globe.

Madhya Pradesh

Traditional Dresses of Madhya Pradesh

Known as the ‘Heart of India’ due to its location at the center of India, Madhya Pradesh is well known for its incredible culture. Though the state has some cultural similarities to states

like Rajasthan and Maharashtra, it still owns a unique culture of its own. It is the land of vibrant folk music and dance which is still intact since the Mughal period. Handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh are well sought after owing to their intricate designing. The state is home to followers of diverse religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, and Buddhism. A significant chunk of the population belongs to tribal communities which make up 20% of the total population of the stat e.

 This diversity in communities has rendered Madhya Pradesh a unique culture which can be titled as traditional and ethnic. A prominent element of Madhya Pradesh’s culture is its traditional clothing. In the modernized world, the people of Madhya Pradesh still preserve their traditional clothing heritage. An overview of the traditional dresses worn by men and women in Madhya Pradesh is given below.

Madhya Pradesh Traditional Dresses of Men

Dhoti is the famous traditional dress for men in Madhya Pradesh. It is comfortable and best for summer months. Safa, a kind of turban, is another common element of the traditional dress of men here. Safa is considered as a symbol of pride and honor for men. Mirzai and Bandi are a type of jackets in white or black color which form a part of the traditional dress of men in Madhya Pradesh, especially in regions of Malwa and Bundelkhand. The clothes are colorful and vibrant as people in Madhya Pradesh like to add colors to their appearance.

Madhya Pradesh Traditional Dresses of Women

Lehenga and Choli are the most famous traditional dress among women in Madhya Pradesh. Odhni is a kind of scarf that covers the head and shoulders and is an essential element of traditional dress. Black and Red colors are the most popular colors in clothes. In the current scenario, saree has also become part of the dressing of women in Madhya Pradesh. Bandhani Sarees are becoming especially popular. The saree is dyed using various methods which create elaborate and colorful patterns. Wax is applied to the yarn of the saree to bring stiffness and richness to the cloth which is easy to weave. Madhya Pradesh is also well known for Maheshwari and Chanderi Sarees. Even foreigners like these silk sarees and Madhya Pradesh produces and exports these dresses on a large scale. The prints and designs are lovely and colors are vibrant.

Madhya Pradesh Traditional Ornaments and Tattoos

People of Madhya Pradesh love wearing Kathir and Silvers ornaments. These traditional ornaments are a major part of the tribal clothing. Bangles, necklaces, and bracelets are worn by women over their traditional dresses and are considered a mark of beauty and virtue. ‘Pajeb’ is another ornament that is very popular among women due to its pleasant sound and lovely design.

Another important element of traditional clothing in Madhya Pradesh is Tattoos. Tattoo designing is very popular among rural and tribal communities. The people living in Bajra, Bhil, Kumhar, Bhilala, and Kahar can be seen sporting tattoos on their hands and foreheads. Mostly the tattoos carry spiritual designs or names of loved ones.

West Bengal

Colors, ethnic prints and accessories form an important part of traditional dresses of men and women in Madhya Pradesh.While the influence of Western style is quite evident now with men and women adapting to the latest dressing style, they still like to wear traditional dresses on important occasions like weddings, festivals or get-togethers.West Bengal is a state of extremely rich culture and history. Every corner of the streets of West Bengal has a story to share. Not only has this land given us some of the most renowned names in the country, it also happens to be a place of strong civilisation.The costume of West Bengal is known for its distinct features and is perhaps the most popular example of our culture.

Men’s Dresses

The traditional dress of Bengali men is dhoti. The top or kurta that is paired with dhoti is called panjabi.In earlier times and especially during British Era, the dhotis were synonymous with white color. However, these days, to add twist to the attire the dhoti is made available in number of attractive colors.

The punjabis or the kurtas are usually made of silk or cotton and run up to knee length.The lungi happens to be another variation of the men’s costume. However that is more of an informal casual indoor wear.

 Women’s Dresses

Saree is the signature traditional attire for the women in West Bengal. The saree captures the very essence of the culturally infused state West Bengal is. Even the saree draping style of Bengali women is quite distinct and has become more of a distinguishing feature now. Sarees are primarily woven in cotton and silk which have been named chiefly after their weaving techniques. The traditional weavers or Tantis of West Bengal are reputed worldwide because of the quality of fabric spun and their elaborate thread work. In various districts ofBengal like Murshidabad, Malda, Nadia, Birbhum, Bankura and Hooghly, different varieties of Sarees are woven with supreme efficiency and dedication.

Traditional Jewelry

The jewelry of West Bengal just like its rituals and customs imbibes beauty, traditions and modernity beautifully. It is a pure mesmerizing sight! It keeps the cultural ethnicity of the state intact.

The traditional jewelry comprises a  pati haar which is a heavy studded necklace. Primarily, the Bengali ornaments are made of gold and precious stones.

Jhumko is the well crafted, intricately designed earrings which usually have beautiful floral motifs. Nath or the nose ring is like the regular nath of North India except that is hoop like in its

size. Choker is a small necklace that fits just around the neck.

 Chur is the traditional gold bangle of West Bengal which is exclusively made of pure gold, sometimes weighing upto 50 grams.

Modernisation of the Traditional Attire

These days, with a whiff of fashion plaguing everyone and everything, the traditional costume of Bengal too is somewhere losing its mass presence. Western outfits and other alternatives are replacing them. What used to be there everyday clothing is now restricted to special occasions and festivals only. Thanks to Bollywood and their obsession with the Bengali culture, these costumes are still very much in demand.But all said, the cultural costumes of Bengal have hugely been responsible for keeping the heritage of the state intact and will remain so for many generations to come!