This piece of article will be the most useful and interesting for Indian men. Or for those who would like to learn how to wear casual Indian clothes and look classy. We’ve gathered some info about the traditional Indian kurta and the garments it can be paired with – pants, shoes, jackets, etc. What color and design of kurta to choose? How much will it cost? What decorative elements should or should not a stylish kurta include? And, of course, which kind of Indian male attire is appropriate for certain occasions?
Traditional Indian clothes are the most stylish, most attractive things that you can wear as an Indian guy. Ethnic wear is one of those pieces of fashion that are very underrated these days. So, let’s see why such clothing should be more popular.
Today, we're talking about the traditional Indian outfits worn in everyday life and for semi-formal occasions. Nothing too fancy, too shiny, and too expensive.
Speaking about the price factor, when it comes to ethnic wear, prices in India can vary between 500 rupees ($7) to 25,000 ($350) rupees: 500 on the lower end – for something you can wear at college for your Traditional Day but still look good, and 25,000 for something you'll wear at a Shaadi Day (wedding day), like a designer sherwani.
Three main don’ts
Important info! There are 3 compulsory “don'ts” in Indian clothing tradition. Here they are.
1. No deep cut necks
That means that a V-neck style kurta (Indian traditional upper garment) with extremely deep neckline must be avoided. You might think that you're looking extremely sexy showing off that little bit of chest hair, but it just looks a little bit tacky. Remember, Indian wear is supposed to be formal and in any formal event, no one exposes that much skin, especially if you're a guy.
2. Avoid shine and mirrors
You can only put on shine and mirrors at weddings. You can't put it on if you're just wearing traditional clothes at home, or if you're going to your college, or even for a religious celebration. You don't want to overdo it. Nothing too glamorous – always keep it sober.
3. Not more than 3 colors on any kurta
A lot of men who are new to Indian folk costumes get this wrong. They wear a lot of colors on one piece of ethnic wear. Don’t do it. Use 3 colors maximum. It can be white and gold or blue, brown, and white, etc.
Rules for wearing Indian ethnic dress
1. Always treat your kurta like a fancy dress shirt
2. Priority to tighter fits
How to choose a kurta that fits? If you're a skinny guy or if you're a man who gyms, try selecting a kurta that's slightly tight. Kurtas are designed to enhance your physique. Try to choose a kurta that's slightly tight on your arms and your shoulders. If you wear slightly baggy kurta, it takes away from the look a little bit. You should only wear baggy kurtas if you're a slightly overweight guy.
2. Roll up your sleeves
It looks better, more stylish if you roll up your sleeves in any kurta. The man in such outfit looks a little bit more classy and at the same time, powerful.
Two ground rules: no sports shoes and no sneakers. This is a huge mistake that a lot of young men make. You cannot wear these kinds of shoes with your kurta. The shoes you can wear with your kurta are formal shoes – black and brown formal shoes. Try keeping it slightly simple, slightly elegant.
You can wear flip-flops with the traditional attire, but not flip-flops with logos. Try wearing very simplistic flip-flops, like those with simple leather straps.
Also, you could pair your folk clothes with loafers. Especially, if you've got a slightly Indian-ish looking pair of loafers, like something with tassels.
Indian formal shoes
When it comes to chappals, you can also wear the Kolhapuri chappals.
But the best choice for the traditional outfit is Indian formal shoes. Indian formal shoes are that element of clothing that can absolutely elevate your whole look. If you're someone who wears traditional clothes often, go for a pair of Indian formal shoes. You just need a brown pair and a black pair that you can wear with every single kurta. Not too many fancy colors, not white or something like that.
4. Bottom wear
How to match your kurta to the other pieces of your outfit? In today’s India, people kind of live in a westernized Indian society. So they often use jeans and chinos paired up with the kurta.
You can wear jeans or chinos with kurta if you're going to college or for a very casual function. But keep in mind that you can't wear it for big events, you can't wear it for family functions.
You’ve got to pair it up with a churidar. The churidar are these cotton pants that are extremely tight at the base and narrow at the ankle. The folds at the bottom of the churidar actually enhance your entire look, they make it look like one piece. So if you want to go for a formal function, go for a churidar. Wear a kurta with what it’s traditionally supposed to be worn with.
Indian churidar and loafers
You can also try wearing dhoti, if you think you're capable of pulling it off.
5. Nehru jackets
Nehru jackets are extremely trendy right now. That means it's very much in fashion, but it also elevates your look once again. This style of jacket makes your overall look a little more formal, a little bit more dressy.
The rules when it comes to jackets are, just keep it simple and try matching it to the color of your base kurta. So not something that contrasts too much and at the same time, look at the colors – if you feel the colors match, that does the trick.
Two simple rules when it comes to matching your nehru jackets with your kurta. Firstly, don't wear something too fancy, nothing with too many patterns on it, too many mirrors and shine on it, just keep it simple. And the second rule: pair saturated colors with unsaturated colors. Saturation is, basically, how much intensity of color there is in a certain piece of dress.
6. Dressing for occasions
In Indian society, males are told by the elders that they should be wearing bright colors on occasions, like Diwali or religious functions. So make sure you stick to that theme. And if you're going for a Shaadi, don't wear something too sober. At Shaadis and weddings, you want to wear something slightly fancy. That's where you can use a little bit more shine, a little bit more mirrors, etc.
And now, it’s time to talk about budgets and prices. Kurtas range anywhere between 500 rupees ($7) to 20-25,000 rupees ($280-350), depending on the kind of material used, the kind of patterns, whether it is handmade, whether it is designed, and so on.
For instance, here are kurtas that cost about 700-800 rupees ($10-11). These are extremely simple but still look extremely elegant if you pair them up with the correct pieces of clothing.
This is an example of a slightly more expensive kurta – 1,500-2,000 rupees ($20-27).
If you need a kurta for some special formal occasion and don’t want to buy an appropriate expensive one, you can rent one. The price will be around 900 rupees ($13) and higher.