Patiala Salwar Kameez – The Salwar Style of Punjab


Patiala Salwar KameezWhile Salwar Kameezes have always been popular, the latest rage in salwar kameez trends is the Patiala Salwar Kameez from Punjab which has taken the entire fashion industry by storm. The gorgeous silhouette has captured the hearts of fashionistas not only in India, but the rest of the world as well. A-list celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez have been spotted wearing patiala shalwar suits. Just one look at a Patiala Salwar ensures that it captures your heart and attention. Well fitted, comfortable and yet fashionable, this outfit deserves all the praise it gets.

The Patiala suit is a typically Punjabi dress. More specifically, it hails from Patiala where it was supposed to be the dress of kings and Maharajas. Even though in those times it was men who wore this dress, nowadays it is worn exclusively by women. Numerous women have adopted this stunning outfit as their daily wear. With its natural elegance and grace, it is just the right outfit for any occasion.

The history of the Patiala Salwar Suit is quite interesting. The Maharaja of Patiala found it to be one of the most comfortable dresses. The Patiala suits made during those times were even more voluminous than the ones available today. They were extremely heavy with innumerable folds around the waist. The patialas were worn with full sleeved kameezes and since it was men who wore them, the dupatta was not worn.

Punjabi Patiala Shalwar SuitThe earlier patialas required a lot of fabric to be made. The length of fabric needed was more than double of what was needed for regular salwar suits. It was therefore known as the dress of the rich and privileged. With time however, the design changed to suit common needs. The outfit began to be worn by women as well until men stopped wearing patialas and it became an outfit solely for women. This dress reflects our ethnicity, culture and vestiges of our royal past.

The Patiala Shalwar has tiny fan pleats falling from the waist till the ankle. This gives the salwar a draping effect and in turn imparts a very attractive look to the wearer. The fluid like lines of the Patiala suit makes it suitable for wear by women of all ages, sizes and shapes. The salwar is worn with a short and well fitted kameez or kurta. A traditional Punjabi Patiala suit usually has phulkari work in satin or silk. The delicate and intricate phulkari embroidery is usually on the dupatta rather than the kameez or the salwar. Any fabric can be used to make a Patiala salwar suit. While cotton, linen or polyester work well for daily use, silk, satin or other fabrics can be used to make fancy Patiala salwar suits.

Patialas usually don’t have a fixed set of rules for stitching. The designs and patterns for sleeves, necklines, cuts etc vary with the owner’s wishes. The finished garment can be left bare or embellished according to your wishes. One can use crystals, beads, lace, gota, zari and other embellishing elements to make a Patiala Salwar Kameez look more interesting.

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