How to Dress in a Salwar Kameez from India
In India, women wear, "salwar kameez", all the time. Whether at home or out on a social occasion, these outfits consisting of loose tops, scarves and pants are common in India.
Choose a salwar kameez. If you want one for home, choose a simple cotton one. If you want a grand one for social occasions, choose a silk outfit with bead work on it. Normally, the more bead work there is, the heavier the outfit, so keep that in mind while choosing.
Wear a tank top underneath. The top might be transparent.
Wear the pants first. Slide them up to your waist and if there is a drawstring, tie it tightly. Often, near the ankles, there are hooks. Tie up the hooks with the loops near them. They are meant to cling to your ankles.
Slip on the top and smooth it down. If there are more loops and hooks on the back, carefully do them or have someone do them for you. Make sure that all the bead work is on the front, not the back.
The scarf is normally draped around the shoulders, covering the chest. Try to pin the scarf to your shoulders. It is also commonly worn over one shoulder or around the neck with the ends in front instead of in the back. You can also wear it with one end in the front, and the other in the back. This look can be achieved by draping the scarf around the neck and then pulling one end to the opposite side of the neck. Basically, a scarf can be worn any way.
Wear any other accessories that you deem necessary. These may include bangles, traditional Indian bindis, worn on the foreheads, earrings and necklaces.
- Buy the dress in India. It will be less expensive there, and look more authentic.
- Wear matching, light make-up to make the look authentic.
- Typically young girls in India have their ears pierced, so wear earrings. Indian dresses for girls typically have much decoration on them and earrings sort of "blend in".
- Traditionally, a scarf on an Indian dress like this one is called a dupatta (say doo-puh-thaa)or a chunni (say chuh-nee). However, nowadays it is sometimes considered more stylish to leave the dupatta and go around without it. You can still wear it though for a more authentic look.
- Be careful not to break the hooks on the blouse.