I love Indian clothes! When I met and married my husband a whole new world of Punjabi suits, chunis, Indian Jewelry, Tiikas, Bindis and Anarkali dresses. All these new options opened up in front of my eyes. I have never tied a Sari but I would like to sometimes. I have mostly worn Punjabi suits and Anarkali dresses. Suits come in so many colors and designs! All custom made, you just pick the fabric and the style and it is made to your size and shape. The shops holding all the designs are huge! No worrying about getting the size right, you can literally have any of the patterns, fabrics, and colors you like.
This was so refreshing for a plus size girl like me. I was so used to going to a store in the USA and being so disappointed by a lack of clothes in my size on the shelf. If the American store did have my size it was usually shapeless clothes that made us curvy girls look even bigger. I was in heaven shopping in India . I looked to my sister in law who was shopping with me and I was in shock. “ I can pick anyone I want and it will fit me?!, Are you sure!” , She was like yeah! It was amazing!!
Not to pat myself of the back or anything but I look cute in suits. I am what you call curvy, so most jeans and shirt outfits make me look too sectioned off. Punjabi suits make me look slimmer and they are just so glorious and comfortable!
Punjabi suits are called Salwar Kameez , but most people just say suit. A traditional suit is made with a long decorated tunic top. This can be any fabric from cotton to silk. Some suits are simple for the house others are more decorated and are called party wear. They come will all kinds of embellishments from embroidery, to mirror work, beads, and all kinds of shinny accents. The length of the tunic varies. Some people like it long and some like it shorter, but it almost always covers the butt. The tailor can custom design the neck line and back. Some are made to zip up for that fitted look others have a low neck line in the back to show a little skin! Anarkalis dresses are also popular. They are more expensive and often have netting in the design. They flow like a dress.
The pants worn under the suit is called a salwar. There are two main types, fitted or pleated. The fitted ones are Pajami pants. These look great under longer suits or Anarkali dresses. They look especially nice if you have thin legs. The more traditional style of salwar is called Patiala style. This is named after Patiala a city in Punjab India, where my husband’s family is originally from before they moved to Chandigargh. This type of salwar is my favorite. The fabric is gathered at the ankles, and gives it a pleated look. The Salwar is tied with a draw string.
Traditionally a chunni also called dupatta ( long scarf) is warn with the suit. This can be drape in all sorts of manners, or can be worn to cover the head. I used to hate wearing a chunni, because I had issues keeping it up and it kept slipping. Then I learned the beauty of pinning it in place with safety pins, and now it is quite easy to manage. Chunnis are great because they serve so many purposes and they are beautiful. So lets say you don’t want your tummy to show, you just drape it the right way and boom you look stunning! They are also great for breast feeding moms. Your wearing it anyway and in public you can just drape the really thin material over your child for privacy and they don’t get to hot. This helped me a lot in India while we were visiting. I have used mine for covering my face for going on the motorcycle on dusty polluted days! My husband told me a story about how one day him and his mom were traveling by rickshaw and they went threw a swarm of bees and his mom put her chunni around them and they didn’t get stung, and the driver did. You can use it to keep the sun out of your face, or even in a tight stop wipe your child’s face. I love the fact that when you are wearing a suit you are always ready to go to Gurdwara, because you have the scarf with you to cover your head .
I also love Indian jewelry. When we went to India my mother in law gave me a beautiful set of jewelry. It had been passed down several generations of family from daughter in law to daughter in law. It included a beautiful gold ring, necklass, earings, and beautiful 24k Tikka. The Tikka is my favorite, its is the jewelry that is attached to you hair and goes down to you forehead. I also love all the matching bangles you can buy to match all the Indian suits. My husband loves to arrange them for me in interesting and beautiful designs. It is just something that he does for me, mixing the different ones into a beautiful design.
Over all I just love Indian clothes and I always look forward to Indian Party’s and going to the Gurdwara so I can wear my beautiful suits. I find that unlike so many other cultures that are shedding their traditional clothes for jeans and shirts, there are an overwhelming amount of women in northern India who still very much prefer Indian clothes! These women wear suits nearly every day, and I don’t blame them. The clothes are beautiful, comfortable, and totally unique and stylish! I am so glad I have the opportunity to learn about and wear these beautiful clothes.