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Monday, 19 March 2012

Summer With Indian Wear

Summer in any hot location typically means wearing as little as you can get away with, but in India, you'll have keep your cool while covering up. "Conde Nast Traveler" lists dressing modestly as rule number one in its guide to etiquette in India, and this is no less true in the sweltering hot and humid summer months. Thankfully, Indian clothes are designed with airiness and breathability in mind.

Women's Wear

No matter the season, Indian women typically wear one of two outfits in their average daily life: a saree or a suit -- also known as a salwar kameez. Sarees change in color and fabric depending on the season and occasion, and pure cotton or linen sarees offer a lightweight option for summer. The salwar kameez consists of loose, drawstring pants and a tunic-style top. Light, flowing salwar pants are remarkably cool in hot weather, though young women often sport fashionable, tight leggings instead. Even though modesty is always key, clothing stores do stock short-sleeve and sleeveless kurta tops for women in the summer to pair with leggings, also known as churridar.

Men's Wear

Indian men sport Western clothes more commonly than women, so in the summer, expect to see a profusion of T-shirts and polos with all manner of patterns and designs. With their T-shirts, though, men commonly wear jeans, despite the obvious discomfort in summer weather. In more traditional areas, you'll see men in a traditional kurta, a tunic length top with long sleeves, with drawstring pants. Made of lightly colored cotton or linen, this traditional garb lets the body breathe while reducing the risk of sunburn. The lunghi -- popularized by Gandhi and most akin to a large cloth diaper -- is commonly seen only in villages, though the style is gaining some modern popularity.


Summer With Indian Wear - Beachwear

In beach towns, locals are accustomed to seeing Westerners go around in skimpy garb, but that doesn't mean it is normal attire for Indians. Expect to see women, particularly middle-aged and older women, at the beach in full saris, hiking up their skirts when they step into the water. Women's bathing suits often cover not only the stomach, but also include a small skirt around the waist, hiding one's curves. At trendy resorts, you might see fashionable high-class Indian women in bikinis, but this is a very distinct subset of the population. Men, on the other hand, are the less modest gender when it comes to beachwear. Speedos or short swim trunks are the primary form of swimwear.

Formal Occasions

In India, formal occasions call for traditional dress: sarees or elegant salwar kameezes for women and kurta pajama sets for men. Many fashionable formal outfits today are made with synthetic fabric, which is difficult to wear in the summer. Trendy young Indian women don nearly sheer sarees for summer parties, while young men dress in shimmery, thin synthetic kurtas with tightly fitting churridar pants. Older adults sport more comfortable formal attire, with women in woven silk sarees and men in cotton kurta pajamas or occasionally linen suits.

1 comment:

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