Traditional Indian dresses for men have changed over time and have included many different styles of clothes, but one style that has consistently been worn is a Kurta.
What is a Kurta?
A Kurta in its simplest form is a long tunic that is normally knee length. It is a loosely fitted garment with long sleeves and often a buttoned front placket.
Materials vary depending on the final usage of the Kurta, but normally include Cotton for daily or casual use and Silk for occasion driven dressing. For a very elaborate looking Kurta, richer fabrics like Brocades are also used.
A lot of traditional Indian Kurtas feature embroidered detailing on the front placket, shoulders and sleeves. The kind of embroidery depends on the region from which the Kurta originates. Very exquisite Lucknow Chikan work is an example of extravagant detailing.
Traditionally, the Kurta is worn over loose pants called Payjamas. Pants that are fitted along the calves and have multiple pleats on the calf are called Churidars; Churi means bangles and the effect that the pleats have is that of many bangles stacked up. Churidars are common for weddings or more formal occasions. The payjama is staple and can be worn for casual or formal events.
In modern times, if you needed to “dress-up” in a Kurta, you’d also carry a dupatta or a stole, that is normally draped around the neck. The use of a dupatta is purely optional, but it can add an entirely different dimension to the look of the Kurta. Dupattas are normally brightly coloured and might also feature beautiful embroidery.
Designer Indian Kurtas
Kurtas are staple garments in traditional Indian dressing. Indian designers create styles to suit all types of requirements and tastes, from simply embroidered styles to very detailed and heavily embroidered styles. The use of very fine fabrics and subtle detailing are usually the unique points about designer Indian Kurtas.
Re-interpretation of traditional styles in a way that is modern and stylish is a trademark amongst Indian designers like Abraham and Thakore. Designers like Siddartha Tytler and Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla create traditional styles.
Contemporary styled Kurtas can take various forms including the use of buttoned cuffs, metal detailing like on a pair of jeans and detailing around the front pocket. Abraham & Thakore have experimented with almost all these detailing elements in their Men’s Kurtas.
Traditionally styled Kurtas usually have a straight cut and use simple fabrics that are embroidered or rich fabrics that are lightly embroidered. Rarely is a combination of very rich fabrics with rich embroidery used.
Watch out for the colour combinations and the use of clever patterns and styles by Indian designers. These make the Kurta stand out.