Salwar kameez is one of the most popular casual wear Indian garments for women, much loved for the comfort, style and adaptability they offer. At the same time, there are also many fabulous varieties of party wear, festival wear or wedding salwar kameez that come with beautiful designs and chic silhouettes. This kind of perfect combination of comfort and versatility is hardly found in any other type of Indian garment, which is why the salwar kameez is the most commonly worn ethnic wear in India. The adaptability of the garment also extends to changing seasons; along with cool and comfortable summer wear salwar kameez there are also many fantastic types of winter salwar kameez.
A common misconception about winter wear is that it has to be bulky. This definitely does not apply in case of winter wear salwar kameez which are just as comfortable and easy to wear as their summer wear cousins. This is because the structure of a salwar suit itself is designed to be as adaptable as possible. It consists of three essential pieces: the baggy salwar tapering at the ankles, fastened at the waist using a drawstring; the kameez, a long tunic that can reach anywhere between the lower thigh and the calves and the dupatta, a long, flowing scarf. Winter salwar suits utilize materials and designs which promote the retention of heat and therefore make as cozy and warm as possible.
The most popular material for ladies winter salwar kameez is wool. Wool comes in many varieties, including pure and blended (with silk, rayon or jute). The main advantage of wool is the warmth it offers. Often, wool salwar kameez come in deep colors to off-set the heaviness of the material. Another popular material used to make winter collection salwar kameez is silk. Silk has isothermal properties, which means it retains heat quite well and thus warms the body. Usually, thicker and often woven varieties of silk are preferred over thin, floating materials in order to better provide protection from the elements. Silk, along with velvet and satin, is most often featured in formal wear salwar kameez collections for the winter. Casual wear salwar kameez for winter are more often made of wool, as well as various knitted fabrics which have a thicker, bumpier texture and a stylish look.
Winter salwar suit designs, contrary to popular belief, tend to be a lot richer and brighter than designs for other seasons. While black, white and grey remain eternal winter favorites the world over, in India, a more vibrant palette of blue, yellow, red and green is preferred as this balances out the gloominess of dark winter days. Since the fabrics used are also more heavy and thick, they can easily be embroidered or embellished with traditional Indian embroideries like Resham work, zari work, cut dana, gota patti and zardosi work. They can also be printed in bright colors with fascinating multi-hued designs of abstract shapes and flowers, fruits and peacocks. The range of winter salwar kameez designs is hence very extensive and is in no way limited because of the heavier fabrics used.
These silhouettes include the commonly seen straight cut design as well as the trendy anarkali or classy a-line design. Usually, winter salwar kameez come with full sleeves and a slightly higher neck, though low cut neck designs may also be incorporated in party wear salwar kameez. The floor length anarkalis are particularly suitable for winter parties, though they can also be worn in day to day life if they come with simpler, more muted designs.
Styling Winter Wear Salwar Kameez
Accessorizing and styling winter wear salwar kameez is extremely easy, as they can be matched up with both Indian and western jewelry styles. The accessories depend on the look and design of the salwar kameez. For instance, a plain salwar kameez for daily wear with a boat neck and long sleeves can be accessorized with a pair of colorful jhumkis (Indian earrings) to create a colorful, yet casual, ethnic look. Embroidered mojaris and Kashmiri work handbag can complete this kind of ethnic winter outfit perfectly.
For special occasions and more formal affairs, where a silk winter salwar kameez is worn, women can opt for more glamorous jewelry like a pair of dazzling Polki or crystal beads earrings or pearl necklaces. It is best to go with one or maximum two pieces of pretty Indian jewelry when accessorizing a winter wear salwar kameez made of heavy materials and decorated with thickly embroidered designs. In terms of footwear, close toed Indian sandals are a good choice as they protect the feet but also come embroidered and embellished with intricate designs to provide the ‘glam’ factor.