What Do People in India Wear?

Although the people in India wear varied clothing depending on the region, many women wear saris while men wear dhotis. The cultural traditions and ethnicity of the region’s inhabitants as well as the climate and geographical features of the region largely determine what people wear.

The sari is the main article of clothing worn by most women in India. It is a long piece of silk, cotton or synthetic cloth that is wrapped around the body. The sari is usually 5 to 7 yards long, and the end can be used to cover the head or left hanging. Saris tend to come in bright colors and are often embroidered. They are wrapped differently around the body according to the region.

In Rasjasthan and some parts of Gujarat, women tend to wear blouses and loose ankle-length skirts. In Punjab, many women wear the shalwar-kamiz, which is an ensemble consisting of a long-tailed shirt and loose trousers. In rural areas, most women do not wear shoes and don sandals when footwear is required.

The dhoti is the garment of choice for many men in India. Similar in appearance to baggy trousers, the dhoti is a long loincloth that is wrapped around the hips and thighs. One end of the garment is brought between the legs and tucked into the waistband. The dhoti is made out of cotton and is usually white with embroidered colorful stripes. Many men also wear lungis, which are sarongs.

In many regions, it is common for men to wear turbans. The dastar, also referred to as the pagri, is a turban donned by male Sikhs and is a symbol of faith. In the state of Maharashtra, pheta is the name of the turban, and it's usually worn during ceremonies. The Gandhi cap and taqiyah are also worn on the head in some regions to express shared ideological beliefs.