Beginners Guide to buying Indian and Pakistani clothes
It is said, When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Similarly whenever you visit India or Pakistan, you should make it a point to imbibe their culture as well as their sense of clothing. The Americans and the Europeans usually like to wear jeans and other informal wear on their trips around the world. However, India and Pakistan can provide them with colorful options as far as clothing is concerned. You should also note that India and Pakistan are traditionally and culturally diverse countries. The clothes you wear in India may not be apt for Pakistan and vice versa. We shall present a beginner’s guide buying Indian and Pakistani clothes to help you select the best Indian and Pakistani clothes for your trips to these countries.
Women in India have more options as compared to men. Other than the ‘Kurta’, the garments for men and women are drastically different. We shall only speak of traditional Indian clothes and not the usual formal or informal wear.
We shall have a brief insight into the women clothing first.
Women in India wear the Anarkali suits, cholis, Churidar, dupatta, Kameez, Kurta, saris, and Salwar.
Anarkali suits: This particular dress takes its name from a dress worn by a dancer in the court of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. This dress reaches below the knee. The dress has long sleeves and is worn with a Salwar. It comes in bright colors.
Cholis: This is a closely fitted blouse featuring short sleeves and a halter neck. You wear the cholis in combination with other garments such as sari, ghagra or the lehenga.
Churidar: These are pajama-type pants. They are quite loose at the hips but get tighter as they go down towards the ankles. They have long legs and you have to push the hem up to the ankle.
Dupatta: It is a type of a scarf or a veil. You can wear it with a variety of outfits such as Salwar to cover the upper portion of the body. Some women drape it over their heads like a veil.
Kameez: This is usually a full-sleeved top worn over the Salwar or the churidar. You have sleeveless versions too.
Kurta: This is a type of a long embroidered shirt usually reaching up to the knees.
Sari: This is very common among women. There are different methods of draping it depending upon the length. You require a certain amount of skill to drape it over your body. This is a very graceful dress.
Salwar: They are the loose fitting baggy type trousers worn along with the Kameez or the Kurta.
We shall see the men’s clothing now,
Dhoti: This is a bottom-covering garment. It is a long strip of white cotton cloth with a maximum length of fifteen feet. It is very much like a sarong. You wear the dhoti in conjunction with the shirt or a Kurta.
Kurta: This is a long flowing upper garment. Both men and women wear it.
Lungi: This is similar to the dhoti but comes in checked patterns and colors. The dhoti is white in color.
Sherwani: This is along buttoned coat you wear over your pants. You can find exquisite embroidery on this piece of clothing to impart a classy look.
Let us have a look at some clothing of Pakistani women first.
Some garments are common between Indian and Pakistani women. They are the Salwar, Kameez, dupatta etc. We shall discuss some unique Pakistani clothes.
Burqa: Pakistani women use this garment to cover their entire body from head to toe. You only expose the eyes. Sometimes, you use a mesh to enable you to see. This is usually black in color. Some women wear burqas of different colors too.
Chadar: This is similar to the Burqa. It is used to cover the head and the face.
Farshi Pajamas: It is a three-piece suit including a Kurta, dupatta, and Farshi pants. It gives the impression of a long split skirt.
Hijab: This is a piece of headgear. Women use it to cover their heads and face. It is a sign of modesty in the Islam religion for women to cover their faces while they are outside.
Salwar Kameez: We have seen this dress in the Indian section. It is similar in all respects.
Pakistani men too have their style of clothing. We shall have a glance at some dresses.
Achkan: It is along-sleeved buttoned coat stretching right below the knee. It is usually worn over long pants.
Salwar: They are loose fitting pajamas. You wear them in combination with Kameez or the Kurta.
Sherwani: This is similar to the Achkan. It is worn by Indian men too. This dress has embroidery patterns giving it a classy look. Pakistani men wear it over their pants.
We have only had a look at some traditional dresses of India and Pakistan. It is advisable to wear these dresses during your visit to these countries.