Churidar Stitching – Ladies Stitching Poonkunnam, Thrissur

Churidars, or churidar pyjamas, are tightly fitting trousers worn by men and women in India. The Churidars are a variant of the common salwar pants. Salwars are wide at the top and narrow at the ankle. Churidars narrow more quickly, so as to reveal the shape of the leg. They are usually cut on the bias, making them stretchy. Stretch is convenient when pants are closefitting. The excess length falls into folds and appears like a set of bangles resting on the ankle (hence 'churidar'; 'churi': bangle, 'dar': like). When the wearer is sitting, the extra material is the "ease" that makes it possible to bend the legs and sit comfortably. The Urdu word churidar made its way into English only in the 20th century.

The churidar is usually worn with a kameez (tunic) by women or a kurta (a loose over shirt) by men, or they can form part of a bodice and skirt.

Shalwar kameez comes in as 3 pieces set; Shalwar is like the pants, Khameez like the Shirt, Dupatta is like the shawl. The shalwar kameez can be worn by both men and women, but styles differ by gender. Men do not use the Dupatta.

  • The shalwar are loose pajama-like trousers. The legs are wide at the top, and narrow at the ankle.
  • The kameez is a long shirt, often seen with a Western-style collar; however, for female apparel, the term is now loosely applied to collarless or mandarin-collared kurtas. The kameez might be worn with pajamas as well, either for fashion or comfort. Some kameez styles have side seams (known as the chaak), left open below the waist-line, giving the wearer greater freedom of movement.
  • The dupatta or chunri, known as oṛna in Bengali: and unna in Sylheti is a scarf that is like a shawl and is essential to many women's clothing from the Indian subcontinent. It is worn with the shalwar and kameez but only by women. It is an evolved form of the ancient Indian Uttariya and is originally part of the Gagra choli costume. The Dupatta is worn in many regional styles across India, the most common style since early medieval times being to pleate the dupatta on the one end and tucking it into the front of the ghagra (or lehenga) and wrapping it across the waist and over the shoulder or head, similar to the way the sari is worn. The dupatta is traditionally seen as a symbol of modesty as its main purpose is as a veil.

The kameez can be sewn straight and flat, in an "A" shape design or flowing like a dress; there are a variety of styles.

There are many styles of shalwar: the Peshawari shalwar, Balochi shalwar, Sindhi choreno and Punjabi shalwar.

The following are some of the styles of shalwar kameez.
Anarkali suit

The shalwar kameez known as the Anarkali suit is named after the court dancer. This suit is made up of a long, frock-style top and features a slim fitted bottom. It also links to the Punjab region, where the Anarkali suit is similar to the anga and the Peshwaz worn in Jammu.

Peshawari shalwar suit

The traditional dress of Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is the khalqa (gown) which opens at the front, or shirt which does not open at the front, and the Peshawari shalwar which is very loose down to the ankles. The Peshawari shalwar can be used with a number of upper garments and is part of the clothing of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Balochi suits are worn by males and females

Men's Balochi suit
The clothing of Balochistan includes the shalwar kameez which when worn by males consists of a very baggy shalwar using large lengths of cloth. The kameez is also loose, and traditionally is long, with long sleeves. The Balochi shalwar kameez is similar to the styles worn in Afghanistan. The present Balochi shalwar kameez replaced the earlier version which consisted of a robe to the ankles and a shalwar using cloth of up to 40 yards.

Patiala salwar

The modern Punjabi shalwar kameez is the Patiala salwar which has many folds and originates in the city of Patiala

Pothohari suit

Another style of the Punjabi suit is the use of the shalwar which hails from the Pothohar region of Punjab, Pakistan and is known as the Pothohari shalwar. The Pothohari shalwar retains the wideness of the older Punjabi suthan and also has some folds. The kameez is also wide. The head scarf is traditionally large, similar to the chador or phulkari that was used throughout the plains of the Punjab region.

Multani shalwar suit

The Multani shalwar, also known as the 'ghaire wali' or 'Saraiki ghaire wali' shalwar as it is very wide around the waist, originates from the Multan area of the Punjab region. The style is similar to the Sindhi kancha shalwar as both are derivatives of the pantaloon shalwar worn in the Gulf Region adopted in these locations during the 7th century A.D. The Multani shalwar is very wide, baggy, and full, and has folds like the Punjabi suthan. The upper garments include the Punjabi kameez and the chola of the Punjab region.

Suthan and kurta suit

An older variety of shalwar kameez of the Punjab region is the Punjabi suthan and kurta suit. The Punjabi suthan is a local variation of the ancient svasthana tight fitting trousers which have been used in the Punjab region since the ancient period

Dogri kurta and suthan

The outfit in Jammu is the Dogri kurta and suthan. When the tight part of the suthan, up to the knees, has multiple close fitting folds, the suthan is referred to as Dogri pants or suthan, in Jammu, and churidar suthan in the Punjab region and Himachal Pradesh

Nepali daura suruwal suit

In Nepal, the traditional male dress, which is also the national dress, is the Nepali shirt called daura and suruwal or daura-suruwal suit. The upper garment is the long Nepali shirt, which is similar to the Guajarati kediyu, but does not have the pleats going across the chest, but has cross-tied flaps. The daura is a modification of the upper garments worn in Rajasthan.

The Nepali suruwa/suruwal is a combination of the churidar and the lower garment worn in the coastal regions of Gujarat, especially Saurashtra and Kutch where the garment is also called suruwal (and chorno/kafni). It is tight along the legs but wide at the hips. However, the suruwa fits comfortably around the legs so that it can be tapered tightly around the ankles.

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