Rajasthan has a rich and vibrant cultural heritage and their traditional clothing embodies this vibrancy. The traditional clothing of both men and women of Rajasthan gives them a unique visual appeal. The restrained women dressed in bright and beautiful ghagra choli and odhni adorned with heavy jewelry, men with their colorful turbans and angrakhas and dhoti kurtas define their identity. Everything they wear, the clothes with bright and fresh hues or the intricate accessories, represents their gala life.
The Rajasthani couture has a lot of classic essence and uniqueness. Even contemporary fashion takes inspiration from traditional clothing with a fusion of modern adjustments. The traditional clothing worn by women in Rajasthan consists of Ghagras, Cholis, Kurtis or Kanchlis, Odhni or Chunars and many accessories while the traditional clothing worn by men usually consists of Bandhgalas, Pagri, Dhotis, Pyjamas, Angarkha and Patka. Let’s take a look at the typical traditional clothes of Rajasthani.
Traditional Dresses for Women
These popular clothes need no introduction. Ghagras are long skirts that are narrow at the waist and then flare out to the ankles. It is a bit small in size to show the foot decorations. They come in many prints and colors. These are usually made of cotton, colored and designed with Leheria, Bandhej, Chundri and Mothra prints. Different materials can also be used for ghagras such as chiffon, crepe, cotton and georgette. These are multiple pleated and studded with embroidery, antique borders and Jaipuri Gota-Patti work. Ghagras or lehengas have become synonymous with weddings in the present day, for example, this lehenga would be the perfect bridal ensemble showing Rajasthani influences.
Choli or Kanchli
The traditional dress Ghaghra is combined with blouses and short kurtis known as cholis or kanchils. A blouse is a short-sleeved bodice while a Kurti is a long skirt-like clothing 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 in 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 meters wide available in different fabrics, printed in different colors and designs. It is selected according to the color of the specific skirt worn with it. This traditional dress is the crowning glory of every woman in Rajasthan. It varies in different religions and castes. Odhni is also worn as a veil for the elders as a sign of respect.
Rajasthani women look grand in their attire which is uniquely complemented by accessories such as jhola and traditional jewelry. Jhola’s are the bags made of colorful fabric that give a woman a unique look and accentuate the look of their clothes. These come in numerous choices and are embellished with mirrors or stones that are worn during special occasions. The traditional Rajasthani jewelry 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 used to enhance the effect of ethnic dress. Silver is also popular with the women of Rajasthan. These unique designs are inspired by the sun, moon, leaves and flowers. For a royal look, the diamond embellished or gold colored heavy Rajasthani jewelry looks beautiful.
Traditional dresses for men
Infused with the brightness and playfulness of shades like yellow and red, turban also referred to as Paag, Safa and Pagri is one of the most important pieces of menswear in the royal state as it symbolizes the pride and honor of Rajasthanis. Everything from color and fabric to design and shape symbolizes their individuality. It is a long piece of cloth that is tied around the head, which looks very attractive. The width of a Pagri is 8 inches and the length is about eighty feet. The shades and styles of turbans worn on different occasions vary. When it comes time for any occasion, men dress with brightly colored designer Pagri while dull and dark colors are worn during the mournful occasion. Their everyday Pagris are rustic in one color. Their wearing style varies from region to region and more than 1000 types of Pagris are worn by men in Rajasthan. People living in Udaipur tie a flat Pagri over their head, men in Jodhpur wear Safa with curved ties, while Jaipur people prefer an angular Pagri.
Dhoti and Pajamas
Dhori is a traditional outfit worn as a bearing with angrakha or kurta. It is a long piece of fabric tied around the waist and wrapped around the hips and thighs and tucked into the waistband to run between the legs. It takes a little practice to wear it properly. While pajamas are loose pants, usually designed in cotton. People in Rajasthan usually wear white cotton dhotis or pajamas on a regular basis. For any occasion or event, Dhoti or Pajamas in silk, with the Zari border or embroidery are preferred. These can be worn both casually and stylishly for special occasions. The Dhoti reflects the will of the people to live simply.
Angrakhas are an integral part of the traditional dress of Rajasthan. It is worn as the protective shield of the men of Rajasthan who were born with a soldier as a ghost. It is a type of robe with an inner panel that covers the chest. The two main styles of this clothing are the long Angrakha and Kamari Angrakha. The royals prefer to wear flared, ankle-length Angarkha, which is still a trend in the Rajput clan in Rajasthan. While the other communities or the common people wear knee-length or shorter versions. Daily wear Angrakha is short and tied with laces, no buttons. Designer angrakha comes with Bandhani and mirror work and Gota Patti work in golden tones with geometric circular patterns that can be worn in festivals and religious ceremonies. The Angrakha Kurtis are also shirt replacements and are worn with a sense of style.
Traditional Rajasthani outfits for men consist of Bandhgalas. Bandhgala is similar to blazer and the rich fabric is used to make it suitable for special occasions. These are the perfect attire for weddings and you can even wear them casually by pairing them with simple Dhotis and Kurtas.
Men wear round studs on their earlobes and crystal beads or semi-precious stone neck pieces. Gold or pearl necklaces are common among the wealthy, and silver Hansli, a large round bracelet around the neck, is worn by the commoner. High class families or royal families also wear the Kamarband (waist bands) and Patka. Patka is a beautiful piece of a garment made of cotton that is worn around the waist and slung over the shoulder.
Traditional Rajasthani Footwear
Both men and women in Rajasthan wear Juttis or Mojaris. They are leather shoes made from sheep, camel, or goat leather, complete with intricate embroidery and embellishments. While traditional footwear is usually black or brown. Today there are also multicolored slip-ons available that are beautifully made with beautiful embroidery over velvet or brocade. These are available for any occasion and can be paired with any attire, be it wedding wear or casual wear.
These were just a few different Rajasthani clothes and aesthetics. These have always managed to influence the fashion trend and keep abreast! The traditional dresses of Rajasthan are sure to turn heads! If you’ve started fantasizing yourself in one of these clothes, go ahead and amaze everyone.