Chandigarh, the capital of Haryana and Punjab, stands as the first northern city in India, embodying a unique blend of cultures due to its dual status as the capital of two states. This diverse and cosmopolitan environment has greatly influenced the costumes of Chandigarh, showcasing a mix of traditional attire and modern fashion trends. The city's proximity to Delhi, the fashion hub of India, has further enhanced its sartorial landscape, with renowned fashion designers residing in Chandigarh and continually introducing exclusive outfits.
Men's Wear in Chandigarh
Reflecting the urban ambiance, men in Chandigarh predominantly opt for formal office attire. The classic combination of a long-sleeved shirt, tie, coat, and formal trousers remains a popular choice among professionals, such as executives, servicemen, and businessmen, during office hours, conferences, meetings, and important deals. To infuse a touch of casual elegance, formal trousers are sometimes paired with sober T-shirts, maintaining a dignified appearance.
During the winter months, men embrace a stylish look by donning handsome jackets or warm woollen garments to combat the biting cold of North India. As for casual wear, jeans and other branded or high-quality cotton fabrics dominate the list of men's favorite costumes, reflecting the influence of Western fashion.
On special occasions such as weddings, the traditional costume for grooms in Chandigarh is the resplendent Sherwani. This sophisticated attire, which blends Western and Eastern elements, exudes a sense of masculine elegance. The Sherwani is a body-fitting, knee-length coat-like garment adorned with ornate buttons on the front. It features a Nehru collar, reminiscent of the collars worn by India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Paired with body-hugging Churidar trousers, the Sherwani lends a regal look to the tall and sturdy grooms of Chandigarh. Sherwanis are typically crafted in light shades such as off-white or beige and are intricately decorated with mind-blowing Zardozi embroidery, featuring stones, gold and silver thread work, and copper wire with a golden sheen. Completing the ensemble, Indian embellished shoes like Nagra, Khussa, and Mojri add a finishing touch to the elegant groom's attire.
Women's Wear in Chandigarh
Urbanized women in Chandigarh embrace both Indian and Western outfits, offering a wide range of choices. Their wardrobe includes salwar-kameez, sarees, kurtis, jeans, shirts, T-shirts, formal trousers, and chic capris, catering to various occasions and preferences. The salwar-kameez, a traditional Indian ensemble, remains a perennial favorite among Chandigarh's women. The diversity within this category is immense, featuring suits with mirror and Kundan embroidery, Persian embroidery, Aari and Resham work, cut-work salwar-kameez, golden filigree salwar suits, vegetable dye kurta churidars, Phirozi salwars, handloom jacquard salwar suits, and chikan suits with self-design.
The kameez of a salwar-kameez can have short, bell-shaped, or umbrella-shaped sleeves. Textile manufacturers play with a wide range of hues, from vibrant shades like red, maroon, mustard, yellow, and green to pastel and light colors such as baby pink, sky blue, saffron, peach, cream, beige, and white. For traditional weddings, the splendid Lehenga-choli-dupatta ensemble is the costume of choice for Chandigarh's beautiful maidens.
Traditional wedding Lehenga-choli or Ghagra lehenga choli outfits, as well as designer wedding Lehengas, are a splendid fusion of traditional costume patterns and modern designs, cuts, and color combinations. A contemporary Lehenga can feature vibrant hues like maroon, finely toned with contrasting beige, adorned with golden Zardozi work and intricate butawork. The color palette extends from maroon and red to sunset yellow, pink, blue, and other festive shades. The long-flowing silhouette of Lehengas, with flares at the bottom, bestows a princess-like appearance upon the bride.
A dazzling Dupatta, a beautifully decorated and matching piece of cloth, is an integral part of the bridal ensemble. It can either cover the upper front portion of the bride, passing around her neck and draping over the back of her head, or it can be suspended from the back of her head, pinned into her braided hair.
Accessories play a crucial role in enhancing the bride's overall look. Kundan and gold jewelry, adorned with rubies, emeralds, turquoise, and coral, embellish elaborate necklaces, chokers, garland-style malas, haars, arm bands (bajubandhs), anklets (payals), and headdress ornaments (mangtikas). Additionally, Zaridar, thread-embroidered sandals, add the perfect finishing touch to the bride's awe-inspiring attire. Some brides also incorporate semi-precious jewelry alongside gold ornaments, further enhancing the shimmer and opulence of their bridal ensemble.
Costumes of Chandigarh truly reflect the vibrant and dynamic nature of the city. The fusion of traditional and modern elements creates a unique sartorial tapestry that celebrates the cultural heritage of the region while embracing the contemporary fashion trends. From formal office wear to festive wedding attire, the costumes of Chandigarh offer a wide range of options for both men and women, allowing them to express their personal style and make a fashion statement. With its blend of tradition, innovation, and cultural diversity, the costumes of Chandigarh stand as a testament to the city's rich heritage and evolving fashion scene.