Importance of Women’s Ethnic Wear in India

Ethnic wear has always been an integral part of Indian culture and tradition. For Indian women, ethnic wear like saris, salwar kameez, lehengas, and kurtis holds a special significance. These ethnic wear are not just clothes but a representation of India’s rich cultural heritage.
In India, women’s ethnic wear is considered auspicious and is worn during festivals, weddings, and important occasions. The style, colors, and intricate designs of Indian ethnic wear reflect the diversity seen across the country. Each state in India has its own unique style of ethnic clothing for women. For instance, the traditional sari draping styles are different in North India, South India, West India, and East India.

Types Of Indian Outfits


Saris are the most commonly worn ethnic outfit by Indian women even today. A sari is an unstitched garment, usually 6 yards in length that is draped around the body in different styles. The sari is seen as a symbol of grace and elegance. Designer saris with rich fabrics, embroidery and motifs are worn by women for weddings, parties, and festivals. The unstitched nature of the sari means that it fits women of all body types, making it a versatile garment.

Salwar Kameez

Salwar kameez, consisting of a tunic top and loose pants is the Punjabi suits very popular among North Indian women. The Patiala salwar suit with a flared bottom is a modern style in demand. Churidar kameez worn by South Indian women is another variation. Kurtis, short top-shirts with leggings are also commonly paired with the salwar, churidar, or Patiala.

Lehenga Choli

The lehenga choli consisting of a skirt and a blouse is the lavish ethnic garment loved by Indian brides during weddings. The ornately decorated lehenga with zari, sequins, and motifs makes the bride stand out. Banarasi silk and brocade lehengas are treasured for their rich look.

Coord Sets

Coord sets consisting of matching tops and bottoms like shirts and pants are a popular apparel choice, especially among young women in India. Made from comfortable fabrics like cotton, they come in vibrant prints and colors reflecting Indian styles. Affordable and widely available, cord sets allow mix-and-match versatility for casual wear.
For festivals like Diwali, Navratri, and Dussehra women get decked up in lovely ghagra cholis. These consist of a flowing skirt with gatherings paired with a fitted blouse and dupatta. The mirror work, patchwork, and bandhej print ghagra cholis showcase the craftsmanship of the region.

Ethnic Outfits & Its Importance

In spite of the growing popularity of Western wear, Indian ethnic wear for ladies holds a firm position in the Indian fashion world. Ethnic outfits have evolved with the times to cater to the modern woman. Contemporary ethnic wear combines traditional techniques with new cuts, fabrics, and embellishments. Fusion wear is also emerging as a trendy outfit that blends Indian and Western styles.

The Demand And Importance Of Ethnic Garments For Indian Women Arises Due To The Following Reasons:

  1. It is considered auspicious for religious functions and festivals. Saris, lehengas, and salwar kameez in traditional weaves and vibrant colors are preferred.
  2. Indian weddings and functions have women dressed in opulent silk saris and heavily embroidered lehengas as a tradition. Bridal wear is almost exclusively Indian.
  3. The best part about ethnic wear is that it covers the full body and is considered appropriate for Indian sensibilities. Western clothes reveal more skin and hence ethnic garments are favored.
  4. Each state in India has its own style of draping saris, salwar cutting, or lehenga designs. Women take pride to wear their traditional regional dress on occasion.
  5. Political leaders, celebrities, and other public figures make a statement of national pride and solidarity when they choose to wear ethnic dress at public events.
  6. Ethnic garments use native Indian techniques like bandhej, ikat, batik, and kalamkari for creating prints. The handicrafts enrich the cultural heritage.
  7. Handloom saris, fabrics, and textiles provide livelihood to weavers and artisans. Ethnic fashion supports the indigenous crafts of India.
  8. Cotton, silk, and other natural fabrics used in ethnic wear are suitable for the Indian climate. The breezy salwars and saris allow airflow.

Also Read: How To Style Ethnic Wear For A Modern Look?

The vibrant colors, beautiful designs, and elegant drapes of Indian ethnic wear make it the foremost choice for Indian women even in the modern times. The attire is perfect for everyday wear as well as for special occasions. With a diverse mix of ethnic dresses seen across India, women have excellent options that flatter their body type while upholding traditions. We all know that Ethnic fashion will continue to be the mainstay of the Indian women’s apparel scene given its deep cultural connections and universal appeal.