The Indian subcontinent – a land known for unity in diversity, home to the oldest of customs and traditions and a rich history dating back eons. The modern era demands changes, yet we Indians possess the tendency to stick to the roots and be authentic rather than adopting the considerably modern Western norms. One aspect of our society that the Western world influences the most is our dressing sense and we wear their attire with a sense of pride, if not arrogance and show off. The ladies of our motherland are also shifting from the traditional, but uncomfortable saree to the western tops, jeans and skirts in a quest for comfort and social status. Nevertheless, when the need arose for an intermediate, ‘Kurti’ was launched. A kurti can be interpreted as the female counterpart of a kurta, as the name suggests and the difference between them is observable in their respective design and size. Kurti is the key to comfort erstwhile keeping the traditions alive and women do behold kurti as a style statement and not a social level degrader. Even the high-class ladies and celebs opt for kurti and endorse in the popular brands. The northern ladies are the typical wearers of kurti but the trend is permeating to the south of the country as well and women are accepting kurti as basic attire. They are creating space in their wardrobes for Kurtis and even online shopping sites like stylecaret are showing keen interest in the traditional modern clothing.
Types of Kurtis
Typically, kurtis are classified according to regions with most of them being northern states. These are:
- Punjabi Kurti
- Bihari Kurti
- Rajasthani Kurti
- Gujarati Kurti
- Sindhi Kurti
Based on other parameters such as physique, age group, occasion, accessories, etc., kurtis are classified as:
- Shirt style Kurti
- Front slit Kurti
- Tail cut Kurti
- Kaftan style Kurti
- Anarkali Kurti
- Denim Kurti
And many more designs.
Some of these even portray the Western aspects people look for (such as Indo-Western style Kurti) while some maintain the Indian style by providing an ethnic look.
How to wear
This depends completely upon the person donning the apparel, but kurtis are somewhat specifically designed to be worn in some manner. Front slit kurtis and side slit kurtis are designed as per the names suggest and the customer has the liberty to decide to wear them in a manner to look decent while being fashionable simultaneously. The asymmetric kurtis are designed to drop down to a lower level at one end while the other side remains at a higher level and thus, the posterior garment is be selected accordingly. The wearing style also depends on how the person interprets fashion and tries to match the clothing with surroundings or accessories. Even the occasion determines the format of putting on the kurti in order to look fashionable – the prime concern of the ladies. (Sarcasm aside, even men tend to look fashionable.)
Best season to don a kurti
Based on reviews and suggestions, most ladies agree to the fact that the best season to put on a kurti is summer for the comfort it provides during the scorching heat. Cotton kurtis keep them away from heat and the fully covering kurtis also prevent the arms from getting tanned which could not be possible in case of shirts and tops that expose certain areas to the cruelty of the Sun during summers. Moreover, women despise hiding their expensive and stylish kurtis under sweaters and jackets and therefore, winter season loses the argument. Summers being the optimum time for kurtis also determine the fabric used to design them, with cotton being widely used to ensure the cool vibes.
Competition with Western attire
Kurtis are not considered completely Western or traditional, in general, and the kurti market faces tough competition from the Western apparel markets. In the name of modernization, foreign style is imposed on people while indigenous styles are termed obsolete. Kurtis are being adopted by women all around in place of tops and clothing that leave most of the body exposed under the guise of modern dressing sense. The selfie addict women looking for ethnic pictures during the festivals usually opt for a kurti instead of a t-shirt. Obviously, ethnic attire ensures more number of likes and reactions on Facebook than foreign apparel.
‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’, the maxim is well known and shows that no one should be judged on the basis of his/her dressing sense. But, Indian women, with their quintessentially whitish complexion, stand out of the crowd when they don ethnic clothing such as a kurti, erstwhile remaining modern by picking the most suitable design. Presentation and impression are most important, especially in the corporate sector and a kurti aids in improvising the stated factors. A person should not be ostracized for wearing Western clothes. The promotion of ethnic wear is not a declaration of war on Western or ‘modern’ clothing, but a means to keep the indigenous dressing sense alive and nurturing the age old clothing sectors. Not only are the physical markets rapidly growing, but also the online shopping sites. Online fashion stores such as stylecaret.com offer a wide range of clothing styles including Indian Kurtis and other ethnic wear. The existence of these sites is the alibi to the growing demand for such clothes and show that a career can be made possible in the required fields. In a country where the profession is a parameter of judgment, rat races are prevalent and thus, the uniqueness of such a career can be the topic of discussion amongst the peers and society. Moreover, the sense of self-satisfaction gained while promoting one’s indigenous clothing and representing it to the international audience would be beyond comprehension. Kurti is simply our acceptance of the Western ideologies while maintaining our prestige and customs and the kurti industry is deemed to flourish even more in the upcoming years.