Men these days usually wear a trouser along with a shirt and women wear the sari or the salwar. Traditional clothes are still worn in traditional ceremonies or in the interior pockets of the country. Also more and more women are taking to western wear (the skirt and the pant, with shirts), specially the youth and people in large cities.Many Indian women wear earrings, nose ornaments and brightly colored bangles. Some paint a dot of color or apply a readymade Bindi, on their foreheads. The bindi is also a fashion statement and may be matching to the color of the dress or to the personality (large, small etc).
Six yards of cloth, that is all there is to the saree. Yet, this dress worn by millions of Indian women is, by far, the most elegant. It is not merely an outfit but an ornament, lending both grace and glamour to the wearer. More important, the saree epitomizes the continuity of an age-old tradition that has withstood the onslaught of many different cultures, to emerge today as a visible symbol of the resiliency, continuity and timelessness of the Indian way of life.
Each region displays a different style of draping it. This is shaped by the lifestyle and the religious inclination. The urban Indian style is by far the most common. Stiff tangails, flowing silks, elegant chiffons and heavy brocades – all of them can be easily maneuvered into this style. Tied around the waist, the saree forms a skirt with the pleats positioned in front thus allowing for free movement. The pallav or the part draped over the left shoulder is either pleated and pinned up the convenience, or is left flowing loose for glamour.
This seemingly cumbersome garment is in reality an extremely versatile, meaningful and adaptable one. It suits every possible occasion, every possible activity. Washing and cleaning, carrying firewood back from the forest in the anchal (pallav) or walking long distances, can all be easily executed in a saree.The saree is worn with a short blouse or a choli, covering the upper body. The blouse is also worn with a skirt called a lehenga or ghagra. A long scarf called a duppatta (aka orna, orni, etc.) is commonly found to be part of various dresses including the salwar- Kameej and Ghagra – Choli or the Half saree. Headgear is a prominent part of the Indian attire.
The ladies generally use the dupatta or the pallav (edge) of the saree to cover their heads. The men use turbans and caps of various types. The Muslims use a different cap (topi) from those in the northeast and the Sikh turban forms an essential part of his identity and is very different from the ones worn by others on festive occasions.