When it comes to Indian evening wear, women have a plethora of options to choose from. Amongst the most under-rated garments is the silk salwar kameez, currently enjoying a surge in popularity amongst celebrities and in television shows. This outfit is not just flattering but also very versatile and comfortable, and because of the beauty of the fabric, it looks elegant and sophisticated too. Moreover, silk salwar suits come in a lot of different styles, including both traditional and contemporary, as well as in a wide range of colors and designs.
Silk salwars have a special appeal because of the fabric used. Silk is not just soft and comfortable; it also drapes the female figure perfectly, with a very classy flow and distinctive sheen. This enhances the style of the kameez, lending it some structure and elegance. Moreover this fabric can be easily dyed into bright colors and though thin, is strong enough to support various weaves, embroideries and embellishments, thus increasing the variety of options to choose from.
The most popular variety of the silk salwar suit is the anarkali. This is inspired by the courtly garments worn by Mughal noblewomen and their modern-day adaptations as seen in Bollywood movies set in that era. The anarkali consists of three pieces, just like the basic salwar suit design, but with corset like top for the kameez below which it flows out till the knees or lower. To accompany it generally a churidar style silk salwar is the best choice, since the long length does not really suit the classic inflated then tapering salwar design. Besides this one can also find silk used in the classic straight-cut salwar suits, Punjabi salwar suits, Pakistani Salwar kameez and Patiala-kameez combinations.
There are many silk salwar kameez designs to explore, from plain silk outfits for semi-formal occasions to the coveted designer options with innovative indo-western patterning. In some, the beautiful ethnic designs stitched out using Resham threads and patch border work are restricted to the borders and collar area, while in other more elaborate silk salwar suits, designs are etched throughout the outfit. Usually the more ‘heavy’ embellishments made of Kundan, cutdana, sequins, stones, aari work, booti work and gota patti work are attached at the borders while lighter embroidered patterns are used to create artistic patterns throughout the fabric. Sometimes, the designs maybe woven into the fabric itself, while at other times, they are printed on to the fabric. Occasionally beads, zari and stone work detailing is used to draw attention to the waist, or the bust line.
However it is not all about the designs and patterns when it comes to silk salwar suits: the choice of fabric is just as important when you consider the vast variety of silk materials available. Each type is often associated with a particular region and has its own set of unique attractions. Tussar silk salwar kameez are known for their dull gold texture and fine appearance; made from a unique species of silk worm, the beauty of these outfits cannot be matched. Raw silk salwar kameez are easily obtained and woven as they are made of a natural and relatively unprocessed silk material. However they are still considered one of the most delicate and gorgeous outfits, with the rawness of the silk adding a textured beauty to the outfit. One of the finest variants is Banarasi silk, made by using a complex dyeing and weaving procedure on silk and zari threads. Banarasi silk salwar kameez have a relatively thick look and feel and are widely known for the artistic and detailed designs woven into the fabric. On the other hand, a Chanderi silk salwar kameez is much lighter, made of a sheer, thin fabric. Here also one can get the golden zari effect since the silk threads are woven with silver and gold threads, but the effect is much more subtle. Chanderi silk salwar materials are often layered on top of one another because of the transparency of the fabric, or else different fabrics are paired up for an even more luxurious look.
Accessorizing Silk Salwar Suits
The trendiest look in ethnic fashion right now is the floor-sweeping salwar kameez. Many celebrities have worn these on the red carpet, with silk being the most popular fabric because of its ever-green appeal. These will look great for parties and weddings, especially when paired up with stone-studded jewelry, heels sandals and silk potlis. You can also match the ornamentation on the silk salwar kameez with the accessories; for instance, Resham embroidery can be paired up with a Resham embroidered clutch while Kundan or stone jewelry can be paired with stone studded silk salwar suits. For a more subtle and elegant look, a Chanderi silk salwar with an Indian pearl jewelry set would be perfect.