Trending Indian Salwar Suits: How to look stylish Without Cultural Appropriating

I’ve blogged before about how a lot of American celebrities have embraced fashion and culture of India. In recent years, celebs like Beyonce, Coldplay, Major Lazer, DJ Snake and others traveled to India to shoot videos, after borrowing Indian instruments and sounds to create their hit songs. You can see elements of Indian dress and suits in the videos as well. Granted a lot of them like Selena Gomez, who donned a bindi during a Bollywood-inspired performance on Dancing with the Stars, get accused of cultural appropriation.

As Everyday feminists once wrote:

“The sari was originally intended to keep teenaged girls and women both comfortable in the heat and to look ‘modest,’” noted Palash Ghosh in the International Business Timesp.

That doesn’t mean non-Indian women can’t ever wear them; when in 2013, British first lady Samantha Cameron wore a sari to a Hindu temple to celebrate Diwali, a temple-goer told the Guardian:

“The fact that Mrs. Cameron made such a huge effort to dress as per Hindu customs most definitely shows how much she values our culture, religion and traditions.”

Oprah accomplished a similar effect when she donned a salwar kameez for the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2012, in Jaipur.

On the other hand, when a non-Indian tosses one on without much understanding of its origins, Gosh wrote, it feels like watching trick or treaters on Halloween

One way of avoiding the label is to learn more about the culture and clothing you’re honoring and respecting the tradition, heritage and history. Here is a little bit more about Indian Salwar Suits which are trending items during its annual Festive Season that happens this time of year.

Salwar suits, a traditional Indian wear, is one of the most-preferred outfits during all kinds of auspicious occasions. It’s a three-piece dress, traditionally consisting of pants called shalwar or salwar, a top called Kameez, and a stole called dupatta, which makes it quite a comfortable attire. This ethnic wear originates from the Northern part of India; however, it has gained popularity in the rest of India. Due to its adaptability and versatility, this outfit is one of the primary Indian ethnic dresses.

A salwar suit looks elegant on all occasions. It adds grace and accentuates the charm of the wearer. With festive season here, it’s the best time to flaunt your love for this traditional wear. Here is a list of trendy salwar suits styles you might want to consider before you decide your dress

  1. Palazzos: This trend is a rage among Indian women. This trend requires a Kurta paired with wide and relaxed fitted bottom pants. It’s comfortable and adds class to the personality. The wearer can choose from various styles of Kurta to team it up with a Palazzo pant. From a short length top to a flared Anarkali kurta, all kinds of tunics look great with palazzos. Take your fashion game to the next level by choosing a heavily embroidered palazzo designed on sheer fabric and pair it up with a solid colour plain kurta. This reverse style is newest in fashion and looks extremely stylish.
  2. Extra baggy salwars: The most popular suit style is Punjabi, also known as Patiala salwar suit. These pleated styles of salwars have a timeless appeal and are perfect for all body shapes. Their baggy fitting makes them very comfortable. However, the newest style of baggy pants popular among young girls is Harem pants, dhoti style pants and Afghani pants. All of these pants come in relaxed fit. While Afghani pants have pleats, Harem doesn’t. However, both come with tight-fitted edges at the bottom. Meanwhile, Dhoti style pants are loose from top to bottom, but they are wider at the thighs. Pleats on the thighs give it a beautiful structure. All of these pants can be teamed up with different kinds of Kurtas, but they look best with short tunics. Heels or flats both look equally elegant with these pants.
  3. Floral patterns: Floral patterns are quite a favourite among Indian women. The sophisticated and suave flower patterns enhance the feminine allure of the wearer. Florals on salwar suits look great in prints and embroidery. You can choose from a heavy floral kurta to an opulent flower-patterned dupatta to team up with the shalwar. The dainty florals have unique appeal when done on soft pastel shades of pink, blue, yellow, peach, etc. Also, whites and ivories with multicoloured thread work in flowery designs are a new trend.
  4. Jacketed Salwar Suit: Jackets add regal charm to a simple salwar suit. There are tons of style to experiment with. You can pick a long jacket for a classy look or a short one for a chic look, depending on the event. However, an intricately designed floor length jacket will make you look nothing less than a royal queen. Jackets design with heavy embroidery, zardozi, or zari adds an ornamental appeal to the outfit. Brocade jackets are back in vogue and are perfect for balmy weather.
  5. Cape and shrugs: Layering is not only restricted to jackets. Capes, ponchos and shrugs give a modern twist to this traditional wear. For a contemporary and modish look, opulently designed cape and ponchos are great options. These make for a perfect cocktail and dinner party ensemble. This is the best time to update your wardrobe with newest fashions and avail Diwali offers. Grab salwar suits online or in a nearby store at discounted prices.
  6. Crop tops and skinny pants: Salwar suits do not have to be worn in the traditional way always. Changing times brings changes in fashions, traditions and preferences. One of the most modern avatars of a salwar suit is Crop top and skinny pants. Since crop tops are a new rage among young girls, they love pairing it with skinny pants, also known as cigarette pants designed on dupion silk fabric. With sheer sleeves and a trail attached to the blouse, it becomes a spectacularly stylish masterpiece. If cigarette pants are not your thing, then you can team up the crop top with a designer palazzo or a sharara.
  7. Shararaas salwar suit: Speaking of shararaas, these type of shalwar kameez are back in fashion and creating quite a stir in the fashion industry. Originating from Pakistan, this outfit is quite popular in wedding parties and other auspicious occasions. It’s a three-piece suit with a Kurta, a dupatta and a flared lower. Usually, the lower is joined above the knee and are heavily embroidered with zari and sequin work to go with it. Traditionally, it is worn with a short Kurta. However, one can experiment with anarkali style kurta or a crop top to make a statement.
  8. Pastels: Pastels have been quite a fad since 2016. These soft and soothing shades of colors are now taking over the ethnic fashion industry. While solid and bright colours have taken a backseat, women prefer wearing pale and softer tones of colours these days. Pastels ooze out youthful and princess-y allure. The subtle hues have a unique grace and poise that look attractive in daytime events. These colors can be worn all-round the year. Traditional embroideries like chikankari, phulkari, Mukesh, aari, and others done on pastels has a resplendent charm. Even the brides are ditching traditional reds and pinks for their bridal wear and prefer pastel peach, sage green, and dull pink. At the same time, whites, ivories, dull gold and beige are picking up as preferred colors of fabric for traditional wears like salwar suits.

More popular salwar suits trends worth mentioning are sheer Kurtas, Anarkali style salwar kameez, gowns, and churidars. These styles have been popular for a while and it seems these trends are here to stay.

Indian salwar suits have been the hot favourite of women among other Indian ethnic wear. With new trends, this conventional dress is suitable for a formal occasion, wedding, ritual, traditional ceremony as well as an office meeting. Meanwhile, the dupatta is now just an accessory that you can simply skip if you want a more edgy and contemporary look. Pairing this outfit with statement jewelry and stylish footwear completes the look that will make the heads turn.

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