India has a vast deposit of culture and tradition, but in what the Indian clothing is concerned a certain flexibility and adaptability are definitely noticeable. Although initially worn by some social classes or in distinct regions of the country, certain pieces of Indian clothing finally received national acceptance and popularity: this is the case with the salwar kameez, a combination between loose pants and a long shirt, often mistaken by Westerners for a Muslim dress.
The Indian clothing styles changes with male or female differences. The tradition is still strictly respected in rural areas but it has grown loose in urbanized regions. Thus, young girls in their early adolescence years wear the langa and the choli, which are a long skirt with a short blouse on top. Women wear the saris and teenagers half-saris.
The sari is maybe the best known piece of women Indian clothing. It consists of a wide strap of cloth several yards long, carefully wrapped around the body with a shoulder pallu; the sari reflects the social status, the region and the wearer’s preferences. Saris are generally made of light silk or cotton, dyed in vivid color and adorned with rich decorations. The art of draping and pinning a sari has been an open secret among women, and variations were created out of the desire to have comfortable clothing.
In western and central India, men usually wear the dhoti and kurta. A sherwani is a type of Indian clothing specific to special occasions. In Punjab and Northern India, the salwar kameez is a unisex clothing most often made out of plain white cotton, and the top, the kameez, is complemented by a dark waistcoat in male dress. Further on, another Indian clothing element worth mentioning is the lungi, a wrapped garment that is usually worn indoors in some parts of the country.
Indian clothing is known for its grace, elegance and, not lastly, its comfort, which makes the reason for its worldwide popularity. Fashion and tradition blend in the Indian clothing style; there is more a unisex wardrobe than an exclusive line of clothes for her or him. Good looks surely matter and, men and women are exploring different trends in Indian clothing, blending the modern-Western look with the traditional-Indian one in a fusion that becomes a trademark for a style of clothing.