Monday, November 10, 2008

Traditional Indian Costumes

Many people often get confused with the names of different Indian costumes. Even some of my friends can't match the garment and it's name sometimes. Here are some of the most commonly used traditional Indian garments (for girls/women) in Malaysia.

Pavadai - usually worn by prepubertal young girls (although teenage girls may also wear them).

Pavadai davani - seldom worn in Malaysia. It consist of a long skirt, a short blouse and a piece of cloth which goes around (the body) only once. Usually worn by teenage girls.

Lengha - it is basically a skirt and blouse, much like the pavadai, but then it is usually more beautiful and elegant. Usually worn by teenagers or those in their 20s. Sometimes, lenghas are also worn by a bride during her wedding.

a bridal lengha

Punjabi suit/Salwar kameez - it consist of a long (sometimes short) blouse, a pants (can be baggy or tight) and a shawl. These can be worn as casual wear (for work, visiting someone) or even for functions.

Kurta/kurti - is a modern attire. It is basically a top/blouse and is usually worn with slacks or jeans.

*click here to view pictures of kurta/kurti

Saree/sari - It is a piece of cloth ranging from 4-9 metres in length. There are many ways one can tie the saree; different parts of India and different enthics tie the saree differently. In Malaysia, it is usually worn for functions and parties, although some older people wear it on a daily basis. In India, many of the ladies wear sarees the whole day long, no matter what they are doing - be it riding a motorcycle, cleaning up the house, even while doing labour jobs.

Malayalee style

Gujerati style
Iyer style

For pictures of other styles of tying the saree, click here.

This post has been written using what basic things I know about the Indian costumes. Some of the information that I have given above might be wrong (although I hope it's not) and inadequate. If you are really interested in knowing more, surf the web. It's that easy. :P


sharkgila said...

why not post a photo of beautiful you in a saree? wink

Sharini said...


Gabrielle said...

India is known for its colorful, rich and varied heritage of clothing, representing different dresses for different region. Reflecting true colorfulness and grace, Indian costumes offers you styling that will amaze the sense of onlookers. Also, Indian costumes are purely area specific; therefore; the geographical condition of any particular area plays a major role in choosing the right kind of outfit for people. Apart from the traditional Indian costumes, people do wear western clothes in cities these days.

Jetkee Hui said...

Hello Sharini, I don't know whether you're still realise about my comment but I get to know your blog from google, haha. Just may I know where can I get Indian costume at S'ban? Btw, I'm from S'ban too :D