June 08, 2022

Indian Clothing for Women In Various States Of India

1. Indian Clothing In Punjab
2. Indian Clothing In Gujarat
3. Indian Clothing In Rajasthan
4. Indian Clothing In West Bengal & Assam
5. Indian Clothing In Karnataka
6. Indian Clothing In Madhya Pradesh

Discussing fashion in India can be quite a challenge.

Here is one of the most populous nations in the world with almost 1.4 billion people spread across 28 states with distinct fashion, cultures, and lifestyles.

While sarees, salwar kameezes, and lehengas are still the most popular dresses across the entire country. It’s always better to look at fashion in India from the eyes of some of the different states that make up the country. Because of this, we’ve compiled this post on clothing in the various states of India. Let’s explore!

1. Punjab - Clothing In The Indian State Of Punjab

If you want to explore fashion in India, then the clothing scene in the Indian state of Punjab is definitely one of those sectors you want to consider.

Punjab history holds great significance to Indian history.

Ancient Punjab has this reputation as one of the most geographically relevant areas of the Indus Civilisation era notable for some advanced technologies and civilization - and of course, the earliest cultivation of cotton for clothing and other uses.

This ancient Indian state was referred to as the  Sapta Sindhu or the Land of Seven Rivers during the Vedic period. Over time, the region has seen migration and settlement of people of diverse origins to become the melting pot of Indian culture and tradition that it is today.

This history, of course, has influenced the way of life here from the cuisine down to fashion. In the section below, we discuss some of the most significant elements of clothing in the Indian state of Punjab. Let’s explore!

Punjabi is one of the oldest states in India. So, you know it has a rich history that transcends both fashion and culture. This discussion is more about fashion so we’ll be discussing the prominent dresses that Punjabi women wear.

● Punjabi Patiala Salwar

As the traditional dress of Punjabi women, the Patiala Salwar is the most common ethnic wear in Punjab. The Patiala salwar is a baggy, pleated trouser with a furled-up design. The salwar can be paired with a Kurti and a chunni and is always draped at the back.

Punjabi Patiala Salwar

Punjabi Patiala Salwar for Women

Before we get started, you need to know that the Salwar Kameez is the traditional dress of women in Punjab. Also, you need to know that the Punjabi Salwar is in a class of its own.

The Patiala Salwar is Punjabi’s favorite Salwar.

This furled-up beauty is a combo of a baggy pleated trouser with its signature furled-up design and a kurta. The women also use a chunni with this dress that is always draped to the back.

● Punjabi Ghagra

Next on this list of the best components of clothing in the Indian state of Punjab is the crowd favorite Ghagra. If you’ve ever witnessed the ‘Giddha’ folk dance in Punjab, you most likely have seen the beautiful and colorful Punjabi ghagra worn by the women dancing. Along with the salwar, the Punjabi Ghagra is one of the traditional dresses of Punjab. The four-piece outfit consists of a ghagra (long skirt), a headscarf known as the Phulkari, a kurta or kurti, and the Punjabi salwar or suthan, a baggy trouser with tight bands around the ankle.

The Punjabi Ghagra is a form of Lehenga usually comprised of the four components namely; a ghagra, kurta or kurti, a suthan (baggy trouser with tight bands around the ankle) or a salwar trouser, and a Phulkari headscarf.

This four-piece outfit was born in Punjab but has now spread all over the country, enjoying great prominence in places like Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, among others.

In Punjab nowadays, the Punjabi Ghagra is now most commonly worn by the women during 'Giddha,' a traditional folk dance ceremony.

● Phulkari

In Punjab, the Phulkari is used to refer to flower craft, a key part of the fashion here. This floral embroidery practice dates back to the 15th century and remains one of the defining elements of Punjabi fashion to this day. The Phulkari is done intricately on everything from dupattas to shawls, lehengas, kurtas, and everything in between.

Phulkari basically is the flower craft heritage of Punjab. It can, however, be used to refer to this beautiful and colorful flower embroidery work itself or the Punjabi headscarf that’s commonly made from this material.

The Phulkari dates back to the 15th century. It is, however, not restricted to just headscarves alone. Everything from chunni to shawls, and dupatta, as well as colorful dresses such as the Lehenga now feature this attention-grabbing embroidery style.

● Punjabi women's clothing accessories

While the Patiala Salwar, Punjabi Ghagra, and the Phulkari are undoubtedly the most significant elements of clothing in the Indian state of Punjab, the women here, like elsewhere, also accessorize their dresses with different accessories.

Two of the most common here include the Jutti style shoe -a flat-soled leather shoe usually embroidered with gold or silver threads- and the Parandi, a braided hair accessory made from colouful threads and jewelry.

As can be seen, the clothing scene here is flamboyant, beautiful, colorful, and everything else we’ve come to associate with the Indian fashion culture. If you’re looking to explore ethnic Indian fashion, the clothing scene in Punja is no doubt a great place to start.

2. Gujarat - Clothing In The Indian State Of Gujarat

Gujarati fashion is quite colorful and beautiful.

This beauty and elegance today is no longer restricted to the state but now radiates the entire country. While there are a lot of dresses that women consider for clothing in the Gujarati state of India, we’ll briefly highlight the most prominent ones here.

Gujarati history has been traced as far as back as thousands of years ago, during the Stone Age. So, you can expect that the culture and fashion here are not just beautiful and vibrant but equally old and authentic.

This long history has been filled with diverse occurrences of varying significance, all of which, today collectively define clothing in the Indian state of Gujarat. In this piece, we’ll dive briefly into some of the unique dress pieces favored by local Gujarati women today.

● Ghagra choli

The ghagra choli, also known as the chaniya choli is the traditional dress for Gujarati women. This three-piece attire is usually made up of a long skirt, an embroidered short blouse that leaves the midriff bare, known as the choli or polku, and an odhni (a dupatta or chunni), as known elsewhere.

Ghagra choli in Gujarat

Women in Ghagra choli in Gujarat

The Ghagra Choli is perhaps the most beloved piece of dress among women in Gujarat. While women across other states of India also wear the Ghagra Choli, Gujarati women like to wear this dress for different festivals and occasions.

The three-piece outfit is comprised of a sharara or ghagra (long skirt), a choli or polku (an embroidered short blouse that usually leaves the midriff bare), and an odhni, also known as dupatta or chunni.

● Chaniyo

The chaniyo is also simply known as the lehenga.

In Gujarat, the women here wear this skirt-like colored petticoat dress which is often designed with beautiful embroidery work like thread or mirror work.

The Chaniyo is the Gujarati fashion’s take on the Indian Lehenga.

While the Chaniyo is more or less a Lehenga, the skirt-like petticoat usually comes in different kinds of vibrant hues and series of intricate embroidery world like thread or mirror work.

These colors, as well as the embroidery and embellishment, are the signature style elements of the Chaniyo and believe it when we say anyone can be easily blown anyway by these beautiful dresses.

● Sarees

Gujarati women love sarees too.

Here, the women wear their sarees with the end wrapped in the front rather than around the shoulder. The women also carry their house keys with them, tucked into the sarees with a silver hook.

Is there any culture in India that doesn’t like or wear the saree? Well, Gujarati women love their sarees. Sarees are quite popular in Gujarat and these women have a way of wearing theirs.

One of the subtle differences here is how the women prefer the end wrapped in the front compared to around the shoulder.  You might also run into women in Gujarat with ornate tassel keyrings hooked around their waist, tucked right into their sarees. Today, the double-ikat-weave Patola Saree, known as the pride of Gujarat is one of the best saree styles in India.

● Gujarati women's clothing accessories

So, while we now know that the Chaniyo, the Ghagra Choli, and the Saree, are the most prominent pieces of dress for women in Gujarat, perhaps, getting a little insight into how Gujarati women accessorize their outfits might also make sense.

There’s a slight difference in how young unmarried Gujarati women here use accessories compared to older married women. While unmarried girls commonly adorn their dresses with loop earrings) like small balis and nose jewelry pieces like Nath rings, married Gujarati women prefer bangles, necklaces, earrings, Mangal Sutra, bindi and sindoor, as well as nose rings, and of course, their house keys tucked into their sarees.

Gujarati jewelry pieces are often heavy and intricately crafted.

These accessories are made to complement the diverse collection of dresses available for women here. As you’ll see, clothing in the Indian state of Gujarat is as vibrant, beautiful, and colorful, as it gets. This is Indian fashion, in one of its most perfect forms yet.

3. Rajasthan - Clothing In The Indian State Of Rajasthan

West India wields significant influence on general Indian fashion and the clothing scene in the Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the most significant in the Western region of India. This region dates back as far back as 5,000 years ago with a long and rich history that has birthed one of the most intriguing cultures in India.

While we can go on and on about the beauty and history of Rajasthan, the essence of this post is to examine how that history has shaped clothing in the Rajasthan state today. For this reason, we’ll explore some of the most prominent Indian women’s dresses today, in Rajasthan.

The Rajasthani fashion scene is also one of the most prominent fashion hubs in India. The fashion culture goes way back and has also influenced the general fashion across the length and breadth of India. That said, here are some of the most prominent dresses in Rajasthan;

● Ghagra choli

West India wields significant influence on general Indian fashion and the clothing scene in the Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the most significant in the Western region of India. This region dates back as far back as 5,000 years ago with a long and rich history that has birthed one of the most intriguing cultures in India.

While we can go on and on about the beauty and history of Rajasthan, the essence of this post is to examine how that history has shaped clothing in the Rajasthan state today. For this reason, we’ll explore some of the most prominent Indian women’s dresses today, in Rajasthan.

Rajasthani women love their Ghagra choli attire consisting of the choli blouse top, and the long ankle-length ghagra skirt. These dresses come in different types from cotton to prints, and dyed fabrics like mothras.

● Sarees

Sarees are also a staple of Rajasthani women's fashion.

Saree Blouse for Women

Saree Blouse for Women

The women here prefer cotton and silk sarees which are often embroidered with golden and silver threads and semi-precious gemstones, in some cases. These sarees may also feature different styles of floral patterns and traditional motifs.

Rajasthani women are also big on sarees. And theirs are some of the best across the country, no cap. Cotton and silk are the most popular saree fabrics here with the dresses often embroidered with beautiful and rich threads of gold, silver, and some semi-precious stones.

Many different kinds of Rajasthani saree styles have gone on to take the country by storm. Two of the most famous ones are the bandhani or bandhej sarees. Others such as the block printed saree, and Leheriya sarees are also quite popular and enjoy nationwide acceptance.

● Lehengas

In many parts of rural Rajasthani, lehengas tend to replace the Ghagra for formal occasions. While the ghagras are mostly preferred for daily use, these lehengas are often paired with choli or kanchli or kunchuk. While the Ghagra Choli is one of the most prominent traditional Indian dresses for Rajasthani women, they prefer the Lehenga Choli over the Ghagra for most formal occasions. The Ghagra, on the other hand, is mostly used for daily wear and casual outings.

Bright and vibrant colors, Gotta Patti, mirror work and other elegant embroideries, as well as the diverse variety of fabric materials commonly used, are some of the highlights of the Rajasthani lehenga.

● Odhni

The odhni is another integral part of Rajasthani fashion.

It is a long piece of cloth that often measures 3 meters by 2 meters. It serves a similar purpose to a dupatta and is often paired with ghagra choli or lehenga. On special occasions, it may also be paired with the saree.

The odhni is also an important element of the Rajasthani clothing culture.

This piece of cloth is usually about 2 metres by 3 metres. Like the dupatta, the odhni is usually paired with the Lehenga Choli or the Ghagra Choli in the same way you would want to use a dupatta.

It’s easy to see why the Rajasthani fashion scene holds great prominence and influence on Indian fashion. The different styles of sarees and lehengas here are some of the popular styles across the country because of their elegance and uniqueness.

The Rakhdi or Borla is also the most popular piece of jewelry for Rajasthani women. Rajputana gold jewelry, as well as the madaliya amulets, are also common here. From dresses to accessories, the Rajasthani fashion scene is filled with more than enough for any woman looking to try and experience the beauty of traditional Indian fashion.

4. West Bengal & Assam - Clothing In The Indian State Of West Bengal & Assam

The West Bengal and Assamese culture of India is quite unique.

This state has roots similar to Bengali culture, literature, and art. This state’s traditional clothing techniques of stitching, weaving, and embroidery, are very interesting and have garnered the interest of fashion lovers in not just India but also across the border.

That said, the essence of this post is to shed the light on the uniqueness of clothing in the Indian state of West Bengal & Assam. And that’s exactly what we’d do. Let’s explore!

West Bengal and Assamese fashion is the result of a rich cultural heritage that extends from not just fashion but also to other aspects from food to literature, cinema, etc. this fashion culture has stitching, weaving, and embroidery at its core and the saree is by far the most prominent dress here.

● Sarees

West Bengal and Assamese women like Sanatpuri or Garad style sarees with their white or off-white colors and eye-catching red borders.

Multi Colour Saree Blouse for Women

Multi Colour Saree Blouse for Women

Other variants include the beautiful Tant saree with ornate pallu and thick borders, Jamdani sarees with geometric patterns as well as floral, and plant motifs, etc. These sarees are mostly preferred in cotton and silk with Baluchari silk being the most popular.

Sarees are variants of the sarees are some of the most popular women’s dresses in West Bengal & Assam. The women here wear diverse kinds of sarees many of which come in vibrant colors and slightly different styles. Some of these saree styles in West Bengal & Assam include;

  • Sanatpuri or Garad sarees: these sarees come in white or off-white colors and red borders - and boy are they attractive!
  • Baluchari or swarnachari sarees: this is an opulent saree style made from fine silk and usually featuring gold embroidery.
  • Tant sarees: these sarees are characterized by thick-colored borders along with paisley and floral motifs.

Other saree variants and styles here include the Dhakai Jamdani Saree, Muslin Cotton Saree, Tussar Silk Saree, Kantha Silk Saree, and Murshidabad Silk Sarees, among others.

● Dupattas

Cotton or silk dupattas are also key components of the West Bengal & Assamese women's fashion. These dupattas come in traditional motifs and weave synonymous with the people and cultures of this state. As in other places, the dupatta can easily be paired with dresses of different kinds from kurtas to salwars, and everything in between.

● Mekhela Chador

This dress is also a Saree variant and is the traditional dress of Assam women. The two-piece outfit is comprised of the Mekhela lower piece and the Chador upper piece. The Chador is draped similarly to the saree.

● Koum Kontong

This dress is mostly popular among Assam women of the Rabha tribe. This dress usually comes in unique patterns and is usually styled to be wrapped around the waists.

● Kambang

The Kambang is also another popular dress of the Rabha tribe of the Assam region. Unlike the Koum Kontong worn around the waist, the Kambang is primarily made for the upper body area. The Kambang is always styled with belts known as the Kamarband or Labok. These belts are usually adorned with pearls and shells and are usually tied around the abdominal area.

As you’ll agree, there’s so much to see when it comes to exploring the clothing scene of the unique Indian state of West Bengal & Assam.

From nationwide favorites like Sarees and Salwars to regional dresses like the Mekhela Chador, Kambang, and the Koum Kontong, among others, West Bengal & Assam clearly has a lot to offer for anyone looking to experience the traditional styles of this region of India. If this sounds like what you’d like, colorful dress pieces with rich tribal and ethnic undertones and designs are all in abundance here, waiting to be explored.  

5. Karnataka - Clothing In The Indian State Of Karnataka

Karnataka women, like many other states of India, love the saree as their traditional dress. This saree is, however, styled differently from others.

Along with the variety in draping styles, the saree itself varies across different regions of the state with Karnataka being one of the largest states in India. The sarees often come in cotton or silk varieties with Kanchipuram and Mysore silk sarees usually the most preferred options.

Karnataka's history dates back over two thousand years ago.

During that time, several dynasties and kingdoms have risen and fallen, all contributing to the culture and fashion of present-day Karnataka. Along with that rich heritage, it’s also one of the largest states in India and is a popular destination among tourists.

There are a lot of beautiful things about Karnataka and their sense of fashion here is top-notch too. Talking of fashion, this post provides a brief insight into clothing in the Indian state of Karnataka for anyone looking to experience authentic Indian fashion.

Karnataka women’s sarees

The saree is the favorite traditional dress of women in Karnataka. You need to see the variety available here as far as styles, designs, and fabric goes.

Artisans all over Karnataka have this reputation for weaving silk sarees with excellent precision and a level of finesse that is rare to come by. The Kanchipuram saree is majorly recognized as the Karnataka cultural dress. These sarees come in diverse styles and colors although red, cream, white, and pink, are the most preferred ones.

Major Karnataka sarees include;

  • Mysore silk sarees
  • Kanchipuram sarees
  • Bangalore silk sarees
  • Ikal sarees
  • Kora silk sarees
  • Arani silk sarees
  • Crepe silk sarees
  • Valkalams sarees
  • Chiffon sarees
  • Patola sarees, etc
Saree in Green Color for Women

Saree in Green Color for Women

Karnataka sarees tend to have this smooth and rich texture to them.

Both the Kanchipuram and Kanjeevaram sarees are often done by expert artisans who usually dye the fabric and then adorn it with zari embroidery. The zari work, which is usually done using a pure silk thread and a silver wire alongside pure gold thread easily gives the saree a beautiful shimmery shine.

● Langa Davani

The Langa Davani, also known as the half sari dress for young ladies in Karnataka, is also one of the important components of clothing in the Indian state of Karnataka. This two-piece dress is commonly gifted to ladies during the coming of age ceremony commonly done in South India.

The design composition includes a skirt with a drawstring around the abdominal area along with the Davani, a piece of fabric that usually measures 2 to 2.5 metres. The Davani is usually joined to the skirt and worn across the shoulder like a pallu. The Davani takes style cues from both the saree and Ghagra Choli.

● Karnataka Weaving & Embroidery

Karnataka’s traditional weaving is the Guledgudda Khana.

This weave is a blend of cotton and silk, hand-spun, and handwoven. The Guledgudda can also feature intricate motifs of the theru (a chariot), the tulsi pan (the leaf of the tulsi plant), and Suryanarayana Mukta (the Sun God), among other elements of both cultural and religious significance.

There is also the Kasuti embroidery, an intricate embroidery technique that often involves hand-stitching over 5,000 stitches on fabrics for dresses such as the Kurta, Ilkal sarees, and Ravike, among others. Complex motifs such as the chariot, gopura, conch shells, and palanquins, are often done for Kasuti embroidery.

Karnataka has no shortage of dresses for their women. There are as many great options available as you might like. For a state with this much significance, you agree that not only the culture but also the clothing in the Indian state of Karnataka ranks among the major style and fashion influences for the entire Indian nation.

6. Madhya Pradesh - Clothing In The Indian State Of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh enjoys a strategic location in the center of India.

This partly accounts for why this richly blessed state is known as the heart of India. The state is a melting pot for the different cultures that make up the country. But the indigenous people here also have a way of life and dressing that’s unique to them.  So, what does clothing in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh look like? We’ll find out shortly.

The lehenga choli is the most prominent traditional dress for the women of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The women here also use a kind of Odnhi known here as the Lugra, to cover their heads and shoulders. The Odnhi are mostly designed in red and black colors.

Along with the lehenga choli, sarees are also worn by the women of Madhya Pradesh. The Bandhani Sarees, made from a dyeing process that creates beautiful and colorful patterns are quickly gaining more popularity here. Silk sarees like the Chanderi and Maheshwari Sarees with colorful prints and vibrant designs are also common here.

● Lehenga Choli

So, let’s start with the traditional dress of women in Madhya Pradesh, the Lehenga Choli.

Purple Saree Color for Women

Purple Saree Color for Women

The women here, like others in places like Rajasthan, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, for example, prefer the Lehenga and Choli combo as their favorite dress. This three-piece attire consists of a long skirt, the Ghagra, a choli blouse, and the Odnhi or Lugra, known elsewhere as the Dupatta.

● Madhya Pradesh Sarees

Indian women love Sarees and the women in Madhya Pradesh are Indian, LOL!

Jokes aside though, the Saree gets a huge love among women here and believe it, there are some very stylish kinds of sarees here that you will really love. Some of these include;

● Bandhani/Bandhej Saree

Bandhani sarees are made from the Bandhani tie and dye technique. While they were originally exclusive to sarees, Bandhani Salwar Kameez dresses are now common, too. Designs such as the Ekdali, Mothra, and Shikari are done on textiles using natural colors like red, green, yellow, blue, and black.

● Chanderi Saree

This saree made from a rich blend of cotton and silk is also one of the favorite sarees of Madhya Pradesh women. These sarees are often done with intricate embroidery and motifs from geometric shapes and motifs to florals and peacock style, among others. Talking of the clothing in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the Chanderi Saree is generally believed to be one of the best across India.

● Maheshwari Saree

This is also one of the best sarees that women in Madhya Pradesh like.

The Maheshwari Saree can be made from either silk or cotton and it traces its origin back to the Maheshwar town of Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district. This saree oozes royalty and elegance and some of the Maheshwari Sarees adorned with zari embroidery are often preferred by women for big events and occasions.

● Odhni or Lugra

The Odnhi or Lugra is a form of Dupatta that women here wear alongside their Ghagra and Choli. Madhya Pradesh women style their Odnhi in a variety of ways. The most common style is to tuck one end in while draping the rest across the head or shoulder, diagonally.

Clothing in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is quite interesting and beautiful. The fashion scene here perfectly embodies what the general fashion in India looks like.

From Sarees to Lehengas and more, the women here like it all and you can see them in different variants of the colorful and beautiful dresses everywhere across the state. If you’ve been waiting to explore India through fashion, the Madhya Pradesh way is more than enough a great place to start your fashion expedition.


While the saree is always the most popular traditional Indian dress, different states often have slight variations as far as women’s fashion goes. From the sarees of Karnataka women to the lehenga choli of Madhya Pradesh women, India boasts a vast range of dresses that women love and cherish here. You can easily explore and try your hands on any of these dresses here if you’re looking for a way to get more traditional Indian pieces into your wardrobe and fashion style.

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