Rajasthan has a rich and vibrant cultural heritage and their traditional clothing embodies this vibrancy. The traditional attire donned by both men and women of Rajasthan lends them a unique visual attractiveness. The coy women clad in bright and beautiful ghagra choli and odhni accessorized with heavy jewelry, men donning their colorful turbans and angrakhas and dhoti kurtas defines their identity. Everything they put on, the bright and fresh hues attire or the intricate accessories, represents their gala life.
The Rajasthani couture carries a lot of classic essence and uniqueness. Even contemporary fashion draws inspiration from traditional clothing with a fusion of modern adaptations. The traditional clothing worn by women in Rajasthan consists of Ghagras, Cholis, Kurtis or Kanchlis, Odhni or Chunars and lots of accessories, whereas the traditional clothing that’s worn by men, mostly consists of Bandhgalas, Pagri, Dhotis, Pyjamas, Angarkha, and Patka. Let’s take a peek into the typical Rajasthani traditional clothing.
Traditional dresses for Women
This popular attire needs no introduction. Ghagras are long skirts that are narrow at the waist and then flared till the ankles. It is a little short in size to provide visibility to the foot ornaments. They come in many prints and colors. These are mostly made in cotton, colored and designed with Leheria, Bandhej, Chundri and Mothra prints. Distinct materials can also be made use of for ghagras like chiffon, crepe, cotton, and georgette. These are multi-pleated and studded with embroidery, antique borders and Jaipuri Gota-Patti work. Ghagras or lehengas have become synonymous with weddings in present times, for instance, this lehenga would be the perfect bridal ensemble that showcases Rajasthani influences.
Choli or Kanchli
The traditional attire Ghaghra is teamed up with blouses and short Kurtis known as cholis or Kanchils. A blouse is a short-sleeved bodice while a Kurti is long skirt-like apparel that reaches to the waist and is worn over the blouse. These are available in cotton or silk and are embellished with embroidery, mirror-work, beads and sequins, coral and shells.
Odhni or Chunari
Odhni or Chunar completes the look of Ghagra Choli as it is worn over the blouse with one end tucked into the skirt and the other end on the shoulders and over the head. It is 2.5 to 3 meters long and 1.5 to 2 meter wide available in a variety of fabrics, printed in different colors and designs. It is selected as per the color of the particular skirt that is worn with it. This traditional wear is the crowning glory of every woman of Rajasthan. It varies in different religions and castes. Odhni is also worn as a veil in front of the elders as a token of respect.
Rajasthani women look grand in their attire which is complemented uniquely by accessories like jhola and traditional jewelry. Jholas are the bags made out of colorful fabric that lend a unique look to a woman and accentuates the look of their attire. These come in plenty of choices and are embellished with mirrors or stones that are carried during special occasions. The traditional Rajasthani jewellery like Jhumkas for the ears, Chura for her wrists, Rakhri or Mang Tika for her forehead and Timaniya (choker necklace) for her neck, Nath (nose ring) and Bichhiyas for toe Payals for ankle have become famous accessories that can be made use of for enhancing the effect of ethnic clothing. Silver is also popular with the women of Rajasthan. These unique designs take inspiration from the sun, moon, leaves, and flowers. For a royal look, diamond-embellished or gold-toned heavy Rajasthani jewelry looks stunning.
Traditional dresses for men
Soaked in the brightness and playfulness of hues like yellows and reds, turban also referred to as Paag, Safa and Pagri is one of the most important parts of men’s attire in the royal state as it symbolizes the pride and honor of Rajasthanis. Everything from the color and fabric to design and shape symbolizes their individuality. It is a long piece of cloth tied around the head, that seems to be very attractive. The width of a Pagri is 8 inches and length is about eighty feet. The shades and styles of turbans worn on various occasions vary. When it’s time for any occasion men attires themselves with bright a designer multicolored Pagri, while dull and dark colors are worn during the mournful occasion. Their everyday Pagris are rustic in a single color. Their wearing style varies from region to region and over 1000 types of Pagris are worn by men in Rajasthan. People living in Udaipur tie a flat Pagri over their heads, men in Jodhpur wear Safa having curved bands, while Jaipur people prefer an angular Pagri.
Dhoti and Pajamas
Dhori is a traditional outfit worn as a lower with Angrakha or kurta. It is a long piece of cloth tied around the waist and wrapped around the hips and thighs and tucked into the waistband taking it from between the legs. It needs a little practice to wear it properly. While a pajama is a loose trouser usually designed in cotton. People in Rajasthan usually wear white color, cotton Dhotis or Pajamas regularly. On any occasion or event, Dhoti or Pajamas in silk, with the Zari border or embroidery are preferred. These can be worn casually and also in a stylish manner for special occasions. The Dhoti reflects the will of the people to live simple.
Angrakhas an integral part of the traditional dress of Rajasthan. It is worn as the protective shield of the men of Rajasthan who are born with a soldier like a spirit. It is a type of robe with an inner panel that covers the chest. The two main styles of this attire are the long Angrakha and Kamari Angrakha. The royals prefer wearing flared, ankle-length Angarkha, which is still a trend in the Rajput clan in Rajasthan. While the other communities or the commoners use to wear knee-length or shorter versions. Everyday wear Angrakha are short and tied with laces, not buttons. Designer angrakha comes with Bandhani and mirror work and Gota Patti work in golden tones with geometric circular patterns that can be worn at festivals and religious ceremonies. The Angrakha Kurtis are also the substitutes of shirts and are worn with a sense of style.
Traditional Rajasthani outfits for men consist of Bandhgalas. Bandhgala is similar to blazers and the rich fabric is used to make it suitable for special occasions. These are the perfect wear for weddings and one can even wear them casually by pairing them with simple Dhotis and Kurtas.
Men wear round-shaped studs on their earlobes and crystal beaded or semi-precious stone neck pieces. Gold or pearl chains are common among the rich, and silver Hansli, a big round bracelet around the neck is worn by the commoners. High-class families or royal families also wear the Kamarband (waistbands) and Patka. Patka is a beautiful piece of a garment made of cotton worn all around the waist and hung over the shoulder.
Traditional Rajasthani Footwear
Both men and women in Rajasthan wear Juttis or Mojaris. They are leather shoes made up of sheep, camel or goat skin, complete with intricate embroidery and embellishments. While traditional footwear is usually black or brown. Nowadays multi-colored slip-ons are also available which are beautifully crafted with stunning embroidery over velvet or brocade. These are available for every occasion and can be paired with any attire, whether it’s wedding wear or casual wear.
These were just a few different Rajasthani attires and aesthetics. These have always managed to influence and stay on top of the fashion trend! The traditional dresses of Rajasthan are bound to make heads turn! If you have started fantasizing yourself in one of these attires, go ahead and stun everyone.