Salwar Kameez – The History And Types of Ethnic Wear

The Indian sub continent is a wonderful land of diversity when it comes to clothing. Sarees, lehnga cholis, kurtas and salwar kameez are among the clothes that have attained popularity worldwide. Even the fashion stores in the countries like the USA and UK have started maintaining huge selections of these attractive dresses.

Salwar with kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is widely worn in the northern states of India. Very few people are aware of the actual origin of these dresses. Here is a discussion about the brief history and varieties in which these traditional dresses are available.

Persian Influence:
It was hundreds of years ago that the Persian forces invaded the region which is presently designated as Indian subcontinent and brought with them the new dressing styles.

The words ‘salwar’ and ‘kameez’ have their origins in Persian and Arabic Languages. The Muslim dynasties became extremely powerful in the region during the 12th century and it led to the popularization of salwar kameez among Indians.

During the reign of Mughal Empire, these dresses attained the peak of popularity. The use of a variety of fabrics, motifs, embroidery works and patterns led to the extension of the variety of salwar and kameez.

Popular Types of Salwar Kameez:

Ararkali is one of the most lovable designs of salwar kameez. The kameez consists of two pieces, a bodice and a skirt, attached together and the salwar is a churidar style trouser.

Another popular variety is that of Patiala salwar and kameez, named after a popular city in Northern India. The dress consists of a long knee length kameez and a baggy salwar. An important feature of this dress is dupatta, which is worn around the neck.

Churidar style is admired for its sleekness and elegance. The most unique feature of this style is the salwar which is extremely narrow and designed to tightly grip the legs.

However, it is very comfortable to wear and is one of the most acclaimed varieties. Bridal or wedding salwar kameez are designed for the occasion of wedding. These dresses usually flaunt heavy embroidery and work using stones and beads.

Modern designers have come up with designer salwar and kameez designs that meet the tastes of western audiences.

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