A skirt is a clothing that is worn below the waist and which covers all or
part of the wearer's legs. A shirt is a garment worn to cover the upper part
of one's body. Although traditionally a shirt is more specifically a garment
with a collar, sleeves with cuffs, and a full vertical opening with buttons.
This is known as a "button-down" shirt or dress shirt. However,
with the passage of time many types of shirts as well as skirts have been
invented. Some of these skirts and shirts or tops are inventions from India.
Indians have adopted these western dresses to suit to their culture and
History of Skirts
Skirts are an age old clothing tradition not
only for India but for other countries of Asia too apart from western
countries. Men and women both had been wearing one or the other form of leg
dress such as the lungi, kanga and sarong in countries like China, Thailand,
Malaysia and other parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia. In India too,
women have been using
which hang down from waistline till
ankles. Beginning in1915, western skirts were long enough to touch the
ground. The fashionable skirts became short in 1920s and then long again in
1930s. The cycle of skirts becoming longer and shorter kept on going till it
became shortest of all during the 1960s. However, the Indian skirts have
always favored the trends of being lengthy with a few exceptions in mid
1900s when the Bollywood actors brought the trend of short skirts. However,
the common women of India never liked to wear skirts that were shorter than
the knee length.
History of Shirts
Historically, a skirt was accompanied by a
. Initially, it was a simple
blouse with a plain skirt
and was mainly liked by the office going women in western countries.
Then came the lingerie blouse in the 1900s and 1910s which were heavily
embellished with lace and embroidery. Then came the more worked upon blouses
with knit tops, and other feminine details like ruffles, a tie or a soft bow
at the neck, or embroidered decorations. In the Indian context, A choli,
which is a midriff-baring blouse was worn in India and the surrounding
countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc. The choli has a tight
fitting that hugs the upper body and also has short sleeves and a low neck.
The Indian ladies shirts or kurties are the refined versions of these cholis
that are worn usually with lehengas and sarees
The choli is usually cropped, allowing exposure of the navel where as shirts
have a length that either reaches the waistline or below that to cover the
upper portion of the skirt.
Basic Types of Skirts
The shapes and cuts of Indian skirts are not
very different from western skirts. These basic types of skirts include
- Straight skirt- also called a pencil skirt, it hangs straight
from the hips, is fitted from the waist to the hips through darts or a
yoke. It may have some pleats for ease of walking.
- Full skirt- It has fullness gathered into the waistband
- Short skirt- It is a skirt having hemline above the knee.
- Bell-shaped skirt- When worn, it looks like a bell- narrower
at the upper portion and wider below.
- A-line skirt- It has a slight flare at the ankles and looks
like the shape of a capital letter A
- Pleated skirt- It has fullness which is reduced to fit the waist with
the help of regular pleats. These pleats or folds can be stitched flat
to hip-level or free-hanging.
- Circular skirt- It is like a kali ghagra, cut in sections to
make one or more circles with a hole for the waist. This makes the skirt
very full but it also hangs smoothly from the waist without darts,
pleats, or gathers.
Types of Indian Skirts
Although, the Indian skirts are also cut
and sewn in the shapes as mentioned as basic types, there are certain skirts
that can be called typical Indian skirts.
of India love to wear long skirts that remind of the ethnic lehengas. These
skirts are either place specific like
the ethnic city of Jaipur, Rajasthan or culture specific like
related to the nomadic tribes of Gypsies and Banjaras. More
decorated types of these skirts are also used as party wear.
Skirts that are not stitched from one side and are wrapped
and secured around the waistline- the wrap around skirts- are enormously
famous among the Indian women. These skirts are mostly used as casual wear.
Crinkled skirts are very famous for the rough
looks. Women who want to be casual and trendy both at same time use these
skirts that have a crumpled look and need no ironing before wearing.
Indian women is a big fan of prints on clothing. Whether it is
skirts, they are liked by all. Indian printed skirts have all kinds of
prints on them- geometrical, block prints, ornamental designs and a whole
lot of other prints.
Embroidery and long skirts seem to have been made for each
other in India. From simple running stitch kantha embroidery to more
specific Lucknow' chikan embroidery and lavish zari embroidery- all can be
found on the skirts meant for daily as well as special wear.
Although denim is more familiar in the family of jeans,
Indian skirts have borrowed the comfort and style of denim by adapting the
denim skirts according to Indian orientation. The long denim skirts are
liked most as office wear but some embroidered denim skirts can also be seen
in informal gatherings.
Types of Indian Ladies Shirts
As can be made out from the history
of shirts in India, it is quite clear that skirts here are worn mostly with
Kurtas or short kurtis apart from ladies tops and T-shirts. Indian Ladies
are the Indian innovation for skirts and also for jeans and trousers. They
are also worn with salwars and churidars by the Indian women. Short kurtis
are knee length kurtas or a little above that. Sometimes they are short
enough to end at the waistline from where the skirt hangs below.
Trendy tops and T shirts are most liked by
the young women of India. There are limitless varieties of these tops in the
market in all kinds of fabrics and designs. Indian skirts go well with
brightly colored tops, though neutral and dull shades are also liked by the
women for their daily wear.
Indian skirts and shirts can also be classified
on the basis of fabrics used to make them
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