A brief history of Salwar Kameez
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Elegant. Comfortable. Indian.
The Salwar Kameez is a timeless & versatile style of garmenting. Unlike fashion trends, this attire has become a classic, by growing & changing with it's users. Learn more about the journey of these fabrics here!
The words Salwar & Kameez have roots in the Urdu, Lahnda, Persian, Pashto, Turkish languages. While Salwar is also pronounced with a "Sh-", kameez is also spelled as "Qamis" due to Arabic influence. Mughals were the first to adopt the long Kameez and Salwars made with the finest muslins & silks. Since then, it has been seen as a rich and royal garment.
Over the years it has replaced sarees and half-sarees. Starting from a concentrated popularity in the North-western part of the subcontinent, after more than 150 years, salwar suits are still a staple for the majority of women in the country. Visit G3 here to know more about this timeless attire through the decades.
Styles & Variants
“The Salwar Kameez is, and always has been a beautiful union of cultures & people. People who have been styling this versatile garment to meet their need, style and personality.”
Pre-partition India saw an incredible mingling of cultures across the Northern part of the indian subcontinent. The communities, now divided by borders, including people primarily from the Islamic, Sikh, and Hindu faiths shared this garment because of the wholesome values of their culture & the garment's simplicity. Styles like Anarkali, Baluchi, Punjabi, Paatiala, Sindhi, Pakistani started becoming popular in different regions across the country. With the growth of cinema in India, and women joining educational institutes & workforces in great numbers post-freedom, these styles started travelling across borders more quickly. Have a look at this article by The Tribune to know how it got accepted from Amritsar to Chennai.
The popularity of the Salwar Suit has since grown overseas too. It has been featured as a high fashion couture on the runways of Paris and London, the fashion hubs of the world. (Read about how fashion icons and people across the world have adopted this important part of our heritage here)
Salwar Kameez in the 21st century
"Salwar Kameez Dupatta went viral even before the internet was a factor because it solves a core need for half of our community. This is true till date."
Today we live in times of global connect and micro-trends. Even the smallest changes in style, like trying a palazzo pant with a patiala suit or changing sleeve lengths can create a completely new and viral look. It is because of this immense potential, that we at Mangla Textiles work on unstitched dress materials instead of stitched garments. Every set offers the same freedom & choice to be designed and tailored exactly for the wearer. A truly personal everyday-wear, made just for you.
Have you tried styling your own Salwar kameez yet? Fabrics make exciting gifts too if you can't try it personally.
Author: Aswathi Unni URL: https://medium.com/@aswathiunni/origin-history-styles-of-salwar-kameez-cc0cdbd4af45