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The Salwar Kameez – Traditional Costume To Trendy Designer Fabrics

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By Author: menaka poonam
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The Salwar Kameez or Shalwar Kameez is a traditional dress in parts of the Indian subcontinent like India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Though worn by both men and women in the other two, in India it is mostly worn by women.

The salwar is a loose trouser like garment while the kameez is the straight upper garment worn from the shoulders, above it.
Women wear the salwar kameez, with an accompanying shawl or scarf known as dupatta or chunni. This serves to cover the head in the Gurudwara or temple and also in veneration when family elders are present. In India apart from the saree, the Salwar Kameez has been widely accepted as a national dress and a viable alternative to it for any occasion.
In countries like the UK and Canada, it is also called the “Punjabi Suit”.

The kameez is the upper portion of the salwar kameez which influences the buying decision to a large extent. It can be traditional to trendy to ultra fashion. It could have decoratively designer cut necks in a V with artistic embroidered borders or the neck could just be a plain semi circular one.
The bottom portion of the kameez could be having no noticeable border or it could have a patch border having attractive floral prints, thread work, or in plain multi-colour.
The body of the kameez is the most attractive portion which could be of plain striking colour, or having patterns, bootis with thread work uniformly distributed over it or in many cases floral print covering a substantial part.

The salwar or shalwar is generally wide at the top and narrow at the ankles. It is gathered at the waist by a drawstring or an elastic band. The salwar could be wide, baggy or even narrow depending upon the preferred style. The salwar or shalwar always accompanies the kameez to match or provide a delightful contrast. It would be plain, have light to heavy prints or plain with borders having embroidery or some other adorning feature.

The dupatta or chunni is the complement to the salwar kameez and is a lovely separate broad decorative piece worn over the shoulders from covering the front portion of the kameez to close round the neck hanging loosely behind from either side. Adorned by floral prints to exquisite end borders and vivid patterns, it is the picturesque canvas that many a time enhances the aesthetic appeal to a great extent.

The salwar kameez was a traditional dress in the Northern belt especially Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Today it is seen in all parts of India and in countries with sizeable population from the Asian subcontinent like the US, UK, Canada etc..

Some of the modern creations that the market has thrown up, range from attractive to breath taking. Pleasing to the senses, in different styles and fabrics, there is a wide range of fresh and captivating offerings in the choicest of colours.
There is this Banana Yellow Pure Handloom Maheshwari Cotton Salwar Kameez. It has Black Maheshwari Block Printed leaf buttis all over on the Kameez. With black block printed vertical lines on the shalwar, it has delightful maroon and black printed mango buttis on the cotton chunni. A designer version, it is very suitable as corporate wear, for office and small parties.
Also you have the Princeton orange and green Jaipuri silk Punjabi suit with dupatta. The Kameez is a chinese collar neck affair, with self colour jacquard weaving buttis with blue between green borders in the front and a large multi-color embroidered mango on the back. The Shalwar is a plain green cotton one with a laheriya printed multi-color chunni with a golden lace patch border on either side to complete the jazzy look. A must for social events, corporate functions and parties.

Today with some much to go by fashion, the salwar kameez still holds a place of its own and is still sought after by fashion designers for newer experiments in style.

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