The saree or sari in Sanskrit literally means a strip of cloth, which is between six and nine yards long used for draping, to make a woman’s traditional attire, with a petticoat or inner skirt and blouse. True to India’s diversity, there are 80 recorded ways to drape a saree. The other widely worn traditional outfit is the salwar kameez – two pieces of clothing, a long shirt paired with baggy trousers. This is usually accompanied with a dupatta, originally intended to be a veil as a symbol of modesty. Both the saree and salwar kameez are made from different cloth, based on the region and occasion, and styled in innumerable ways.
The salwar kameez without a dupatta is a traditional attire for men. These are made in a wide variation of styles depending on locally sourced textile and geography. A sarong could also be considered a traditional piece of clothing for men in the Indian subcontinent- called different names (Lungi, Mundu, Veshti, Dhoti, etc) and draped in many ways.
With the rise of urbanization and the country adopting western values at an increasing pace, the fashion and apparel industries get on the wheel of adaption. Indians increasingly choose comfort and convenience in clothing for daily wear, leaving traditional clothes for special occasions and festivities. Fashion in the country has developed into a fusion of ethnic and western styles, incorporating the assortment of the subcontinent with significant support from consumers willing to spend on it.