Author: Vivek Jha
Indian wedding cloths are very bright and colorful, enriched with exquisite designs and embroidery. The color ‘Red’ is considered to be the color of married women in India. The brides generally wear red colored dresses in their wedding but it is now replaced by different colors as brides are getting more experimental.
The wedding clothes are becoming the most important part of a bride’s beauty along with other elements like jewelry, hairstyle, make up, henna application and footwear completing the wedding attire.
Indian wedding clothes are delicate and intricate pieces of work, composed of complex patterns, threading, sequences and beadwork. Brides from wealthy Indian families have their dresses embossed with pure gold or silver. Dresses are usually made from fabric that reflects light well such as satin, silk or chiffon.
The wedding day is referred to as the Bride’s day and she is allowed to have everything go her way, from the flowers to the colours in the decor that differ in shade from eggshell white to wheat white to ivory white. In these days many brides design their own dresses, or at least have some idea of what they want and work in conjunction with a dressmaker to bring that vision to life.
Those who choose informal wedding clothes because of numerous reasons many don’t want to pay the high price associated with pulling-out-all-the-stops, expensive, designer gown.
Hindu brides generally arrive at the ceremony wearing an outfit provided by her parents. During the ceremony, the bride changes into a red, white and gold , purchased for her by the groom. This is to symbolize the passing of responsibility from the parents to the groom.
The red and white colours stand for fertility and purity. The groom also generally is dressed in a white shirt with gold embellishments and either pants or a sarong. The groom may wear a turban known as a Safa and/or a necklace called a Kantha.
Another commonly used attire of women in India is the salwar-kameez. This dress was used in the northern part of India as a comfortable and especially in Kashmir and Punjab. Now it is very popular in all regions of India. Salwars are loose trousers like pants drawn tightly to the waist and the ankles. Over the salwar, they wear long and loose clothing known as a Kameez. Occasionally women wear Churidar instead of a Salwar. A Churidar is like a salwar but is tight fitting at the hips, thighs and ankles.
Apart from the sarees women in some regions wear a kind of plated skirt known as the Ghagra or Lehanga in marriage. This skirt is tied around the waist and thus leaves the back and midriff bare. This dress also has a Choli. The Choli is covered by a length of cloth known as "Odhni" or "Dupatta".
Men’s traditional Indian wedding cloth is Sherwani, Lungi, Dhoti and Kurta Pajama. Sherwani is like coat. It is tight and close to the body. It is usually knee-length or longer and opens in front with the help of buttons. Below this men wear a garment, which is baggy and wide at the top but tight around the legs and ankles. It is considered as a very elegant dress for men and mostly worn only during ceremonies.
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