Costumes for Indian women have seen a wide range of changes in forms, patterns, colours and ways of draping. Although the traditional wear of Indian women are sarees, today Indian women wear designer dress adorned with urban styles. Out of all the various ranges of costumes for the Indian women, Salwar Kameez is definitely an all time favourite. Another competitor is Chaniya Choli popularly known as Ghagra Lehanga Choli. New arrivals include Sharara, Garara and Lancha with tight fitting tops rather than usual Choli with deep side cuts, which give a chic look. Such costumes are the latest Indian trends, which give a choice for the Indian women to experiment with a complete variety of looks.
The saree is a costume par excellence among the costumes of the entire world and the innumerable modes of wearing it offers to its wearer are really amazing. On first thought, it may seem that fashions in the sari style of dress have not much scope-it is basically a covering garment or a drape-and that there has been hardly any change in the mode of wear, but a closer observation would reveal that changes in fabrics, woven designs, embroidery, printing and dyeing have provided scope for unlimited fashions in saris. A Sari is not an anatomic costume; all can wear it and fold it according to their preferences, by adjusting its length and breadth to suit the wearers` dimension. The development of the sari-style in India and the factors that have influenced the woman`s wardrobe tell a story of aesthetic and socio-economic progress resulting in the simplification and standardization of woman`s dress to a large extent.
Sarees were very much in fashion in a traditional Indian wedding. Even In today`s wedding functions woman prefers to wear saris in different styles. Fashion designers have come up with new ways to drape wedding sarees, which are quite popular among today`s woman. Saris always had a sensuous and elegant look at the same time. The wedding sari or Bridal sari is given a lot of importance in India. Indian Saris come in different fabrics from cotton to silk, from georgettes to crapes, from traditional like Banaras9+i to Kanjeevaram Saree
or a silk. Wedding saris are given a lot of emphasis in Indian family. It ranges from few thousands to few lakhs of rupees.
Saris today have a lot of work done on them. They come in various varieties and styles. Zari, embroidery, organza, zardosi, sequence, cut work, mirror work, patchwork, pearl work, kasab, kundan
, are all different kinds of work, which are found in sari. Earlier it was compulsory for Indian brides to wear heavy Benarasi sari for her wedding but now it is not so but still brides are preferring to wear saris for their wedding, however the styles and embroidery has changed. Earlier it was lot more heavy work and rich now it is lot more sleek and light in fabric.
Salwar kameez is the traditional dress worn by various peoples of south-central Asia. It is also popular among women in India. Some versions are sometimes called a Punjabi suit, after the Indus Valley Civilization
area called the Punjab
. Salwar are sort of loose pyjama-like trousers. The legs are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. The legs are pleated or gathered into a waistband. There is a drawstring at the top of the waistband to hold up the Salwar. The pants can be wide and baggy, or they can be cut quite narrow, on the bias. In the latter case, they are known as churidar. The Kameez is a long shirt or tunic. The side seams (known as the chaak) are left open below the navel, which gives the wearer greater freedom of movement. The Kameez is usually cut straight and flat; older kameez use traditional cuts. Modern Kameez are more likely to have European-inspired set-in sleeves. The tailors taste and skill are usually displayed not in the overall cut, but in the shape of the neckline and the decoration of the Kameez.
When women wear the Salwar Kameez, they usually wear a long scarf or shawl called a dupatta around the head or neck. For Muslim women, the dupatta is a less stringent alternative to the chador or burqa. For Hindu women (especially those from northern India, where the salwar-kameez-dupatta
is most popular), is useful when the head must be covered, as in a temple or the presence of elders. For other women, the dupatta is simply a stylish accessory that can be worn over one shoulder or draped around the chest and over both shoulders.
The modern women also wear jeans and other kinds of westernized dresses like gowns and frocks in varied designs and patterns. Indian costume for women has an unimaginable ground of creativity and innovation, where one can dress according to her taste and preference. Starting from sari to the modern dresses, Indian women portray elegance and smartness in every form and costumes for Indian women today has reached the zenith of artistry. Various fashion shows and exhibitions are best evidences to prove the art of costumes for Indian women.