For most other countries of the world such as the United States of America for example the one word to describe everything that an Indian lady wears is a sari. However, that may not be the right way to go about things. It just so happens that sari is just one of the various traditional outfits that women in this South Asian country wear.
There are several reasons for the global popularity enjoyed by saris. Compared to other Indian traditional dresses for women such as salwar kameez and lehenga this word is much easier to utter. Of all the traditional dresses that women in India wear sari happens to be the stateliest. When it comes to lady diplomats and politicians touring countries it is the dress of choice. As an example it may be cited that Indira Gandhi, the first lady Prime Minister of India wore a sari to White House when she visited Richard Nixon, the-then President of the United States of America. This happened way back in 1971.
In recent times, famed designers in the West such as Hermes, and Valentino have been trying to create looks that are inspired by saris. This has only served to make this dress even more popular than it already is. There are several ways in which a sari can be worn. In fact, different states in India have their own ways of wearing the sari. However, the most-convenient way is to tuck an end into the petticoat, also known as the skirt slip, and then just wrap it round the waist. Once this is done, you can just drape the other end over your shoulder in a diagonal manner.
In any case saris are worn by Indian women on each and every day of their lives. This happens in a formal, as well as informal basis. As such they have become an important part of the Indian identity itself. However, apart from saris, women in India also wear many other dresses on a local basis. These are worn both casually as well as parts of ceremonial occasions. The salwar kameez is one such dress. Here the salwar is basically the loose pant and the shirt is the kameez. As per several fashion experts and analysts the usage of salwar kameez is restricted primarily to northern India while saris are worn all over the country. There are different styles of salwar kameez that are worn and as such it can get really tough to predict what is fashionable and what is not.
Normally in case of salwar kameez women normally choose the fabric that they wish to wear and then get one sewed by a tailor based on their bodily measurements. This is a traditional method of doing things and it ensures that the fits are perfect and the designs are unique.
This is also primarily a northern Indian dress. They are mainly worn on celebratory and special occasions. Normally women in India – especially the upper classes and middle classes wear western dresses. However, no matter what you wear in your daily life you cannot be expected to wear a western dress on a special occasion as a woman. It will always be deemed inappropriate.
As far as most Indian designers are concerned, most of their livelihood is sourced from traditional clothes that are worn during weddings. For most brides in India – as well as wedding guests – sari remains the biggest favourite but there are always plenty of other options to choose from. In northern India there has been a noticeable shift in this regard from saris to lehengas.