Salwar kameez are one of the most beautiful and comfortable traditional garments from the Indian sub-continent. They were originally brought to India by the Mughals. Over time, they became popular with women in different parts of India. Today, they are available in many different varieties and styles, from the typical traditional styles inspired by the courtly fashions of olden times to the innovative, contemporary types that incorporate western aesthetics as well as Indian designs.
One of the most popular types of salwar kameez is the short sleeve salwar kameez. This is essentially just a garment which, as the name suggests, comes with short sleeves of just a few inches. The use of short sleeve designs for salwar kameez is a relatively recent fashion development. The traditional design of the kameez included long, loose sleeves with a straight cut. However, today, salwar kameez are worn by girls and young women. This demographic tends to prefer clothes which are more comfortable and trendy, combining the best of western and Indian fashion styles. This is why designers began to produce salwar kameez short sleeve designs. Though it was once a daring and bold fashion statement, it has become, in just a few decades, a staple part of spring and summer ethnic fashion. The short sleeved structure is a blessing in the summer months. Women particularly love the combination of modesty, style and tradition offered by this type of outfit. Though the short sleeves are perfect for hot summer days, the over-all salwar kameez structure of a long tunic and loose pair of pants, combined with a dupatta, remains traditional and modest.
There are many different types of short sleeve salwar kameez. The kameez as well as the salwar can vary in cut, color and design. Depending on the personal preferences of the wearer and the occasion/s for which it is intended, there are many different styles which can be purchased. For casual wear, cotton salwar kameez are extremely popular. These often come printed with bright and beautiful motifs. These can be Indian motifs such as buttis (paisley), mangoes, flowers, trees, leaves, peacocks and animals, or they can be western designs of abstract geometric shapes and funky motifs. Digital prints have also become popular. These can be graphic images of Indian symbols and designs as well as the typical flower and bird images.
Short sleeve, salwar styles can vary from the typical loose, baggy salwars to the fitted churidar pants with fabric folds near the ankles. These salwars can be simple white or black ones which complement the color of the kameez. The trend, however, is to wear funky, colorful leggings and churidars, which add an interesting visual contrast to the outfit.
Cotton salwar kameez are also popular as office wear, along with silk and faux-silk varieties. Office wear short sleeve salwar kameez have a more formal look, with smaller, simpler designs and more subtle hues. They sleeves tend to be simple cap sleeves with a straight cut which flares out to add to the comfort of the wearer.
On the other hand, party wear short sleeve salwar kameez are usually quite glamorous, rich and fancy in their look. The most popular silhouette for parties is the anarkali one which has become quite trendy in recent times. The short sleeve anarkali has a very unique look. Like all anarkalis, the kameez portion is fitted till the bust and then flares out till the knees. The combination of the bare arms and the distinctive silhouette creates a very pleasing visual contrast. This is also quite an innovative garment as typically,anarkali suits come with long sleeves.
Short sleeve anarkali suits tend to come with beautiful and interesting embroidered and embellished designs along the border and neckline, including traditional work such aszari, zardosi, aari, booti, resham and ek taar.
Styling and Trends
A short sleeve salwar kameez can be worn for a variety of occasions. It is a trendy type of ethnic garment, especially popular among the younger generation as a party wear outfit. It can be accessorized and styled in a variety of ways, depending on the color and style of the outfit and the occasion for which it is intended. For instance, a cotton short sleeve salwar kameez with bright prints can be worn for a variety of casual occasions. Antique silver bangles and/or dangling silver earrings would be the perfect accessories for such an outfit.
On the other hand, a glamorous, embellished short sleeve anarkali would require equally glamorous jewelry. Dangling diamond earrings, pearl pendants and gold bangles would all add a great amount of flair and beauty to this type of outfit.
In general, pretty metallic bangles and pearl or gems studded bracelets are a great option to pair with short sleeve salwar kameez. Chunky rings, hath kamal (palm ornaments) and baju bands (armlets) can also be paired with this type of outfit.