(Last Updated on : 29/10/2012)
Costumes of Tamil Nadu
portray the cultural and traditional essence of the state. The men of Tamil Nadu wear traditional attires like Lungi
, with Angavastra and a shirt. The women adorn themselves in traditional Saree and blouse. Indian costumes have earned global admiration for their beauty and grace. Especially the costumes of Tamil Nadu have been much acclaimed for following the Indian tradition. Poetic references indicate that during the Sangam Age
in ancient Tamil Nadu, a single piece of clothing served as both lower garment and head covering, leaving the bosom and midriff completely uncovered. The South Indian costumes possess a certain aura within their dress materials with zari work predominating amongst women and white dhoti amongst men. Costumes of Tamil Nadu absolutely falls within this genre, with women dressing up intricately for any festive occasion and men also are looking towards the similar direction.
Costumes for Women
The women of this state are decked with these traditional sarees that mark them from rest of the communities. Ancient Tamil poetry, Silappadhikaram (Cilappatikaram
) describes women in sarees. The ageless charm of these sarees is the identity of the women of Tamil Nadu
. Being the abode of South Indian silk sarees with rich zari work, the costumes reflect the traditions of India and Tamil Nadu itself. The traditional Tamil woman chooses to drape her heavy Kanchipuram saree around herself, the lower part of the calf exposed, the extra piece of pallu established thereby wrapped around her waist. What is remarkable about this draping fashion is that a woman wears the most dazzling of Kanchipuram saree in the most informal manner.
Sarees have a special place in the costumes of Tamil Nadu, and are an indispensable part of the state's heritage. Saree is the traditional dress of Indian women and Tamil Nadu women as well. In Tamil Nadu, sarees are available in a variety of materials like cotton
, chiffon, crepe silk, organza, silk
, georgette, Pattola silk, micro silk, etc. Till a few years ago, the half-saree or Pavada besides serving as the traditional dress was also the most admired costume of young girls in Tamil Nadu. Full-length skirt, short blouses and a davani (shawl) successfully completed this dressing style. This traditional pleated dress however has been replaced by salwar kurtas, jeans and trousers. The style, colour and texture of a saree cloth vary and it might be manufactured from cotton, silk or one of the various man-made materials. In the state of Tamil Nadu, various types of saris are available made up of various materials like chiffon, cotton, silk, crepe silk, georgette, organza, micro silk, Pattola silk etc. Tamil Nadus Kanchipuram
silk sarees are quite famous and women mainly wear them on important occasions like wedding, religious ceremonies etc. The length of saris in Tamil Nadu usually ranges between 5-6 yards. One can also find 9yard saris. These are mostly worn by Brahmin women of the state and that too after their marriage.
Nowadays, salwar kameez is highly accepted among all the ladies of the state. Salwar Kameez
refers to a loose trouser in which bottom is narrow and the top-end is wide. Some salwars shrink at the bottom and thus are known as 'churidhar'. The tops of such churidhar are known as 'kameez'. Tamil women also like to wear the embroidered saris, salwars and kurtis. Kurtis can be described as a short top wear. It extends till the knees and is mostly worn with jeans. Most of the modern Tamil ladies prefer wearing kurtis instead of t-shirt.
Costumes of Men
Costumes of Tamil Nadu are although not just restricted to the fairer gender only; men also occupy a considerable position. Men are generally encountered dressed in lungi, together with a shirt and Angavastra. The traditional and tremendously popular lungi originated in the South and it is purely a short length of material worn around the thighs, resembling a sarong. A dhoti is a rather longer lungi, but with an additional length of material hauled up within the legs. The lungi
is a rectangular cloth, normally manufactured from cotton, draped around the waist and pleated in front at the groin. The Angavastra is an elongated piece of cloth wrapped around the shoulders. In earlier times it was donned instead of an upper garment, but nowadays men wear an Angavastra over a shirt.
The present generation of Tamil Nadu chooses to wear modern western clothes like jeans, t-shirts or tops. However, during festivals and other social celebrations, they adorn the popular traditional wears as well.