Salwar, short for Salwar-Kameez or Salwar-Suit, is a quintessential Indian garment that is widely worn across the length and breadth of the country. The ease of wearing them, coupled with the variety of designs that they are offered in, makes salwars a popular choice of clothing among women. The salwar suit is a three-piece outfit that comprises of a tunic, referred to as the kameez, a loosely fitted pyjama that is known as the salwar and an optional dupatta.
The salwar-kameez is worn not just in India but also across many other countries in South Asia. In fact, in many countries, the kurta-pyjama worn by the men is also referred to as the salwar-kameez. The style of the outfit varies from region to region but the basic design remains the same – a three piece comfortable ensemble that can be worn throughout the year.
The kameez or the topwear is nothing but a tunic that can reach upto the knee. The tunic may or may not sport a collar but those with Mandarin collars are very popular. A neckline in an unconventional shape or design tends to add a novelty factor to the kameez. While daily wear salwars tend to be made of printed fabrics, those with embellishments or embroidery are saved for special occasions. The kameez can be sleeveless or have sleeves ranging from short, three-fourths the arm length or full length. The fit of the kameez can be loose with side seams and slits below the waist-line, to allow for easy movement. No wonder that women transcending all age barriers have embraced the salwar-kameez as the garment of choice for day to day wear – for the sheer comfort it offers.
Being a part of a set that is ‘ready to wear’ or ‘tailored to fit’, salwars usually go with the kameez in terms of having similar prints or a complementing colour. Solid salwars are nice to have since they can be paired with any kurta or kameez to put together a casual traditional look.
Most salwars are pleated and have a loose fit with a string around the waist. This makes it easy to pull up the salwars and tie them around the waist to fit you snugly. Salwars are shaped such that they are wide at the waist with a tapering width as you proceed lower and are narrowest at the ankles.
Salwars have historically included a dupatta that was considered to be a must have for women in the past. However, today, the dupatta stands as an optional accessory that may or may not be included in the set.
Salwar suits can be made of a variety of materials, ranging from cotton, silk to synthetic fabrics. Being breathable, cotton salwars are the most comfortable during summers. Those made of synthetic fabrics come in handy for day to day wear since they are easy to maintain. If it is a festive occasion that you are looking to dress up for, then we’d recommend picking up a silk salwar with embellishments that will do full justice to the occasion.
With the demand for fusion garments being on the upswing, the salwar suit styles have also changed remarkably. One can now find fusion salwar suits that come with palazzo pants or asymmetrical tops that are chic and contemporary, giving the traditional garment a modern touch.
In case you are looking to build your traditional wear wardrobe and are wondering where to start, we’d recommend you pick up some salwar suits in an assortment of colours and fabrics. Our exhaustive collection of salwars is a good place to start and stock up some exquisite designer salwar suits that will suit just about any occasion!