Types of Salwar Kameez Unveiled: A Guide

Types of Salwar Kameez Unveiled: A Guide

Salwar Kameez is a traditional outfit worn by both men and women in South Asia, particularly in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Traditionally, this style is made of three main components: the kameez (a long tunic or top), the salwar (loose pants), and the dupatta (a scarf or shawl). With a country as diverse as India, the styles of salwar kameez also change from region to region, state to state. One can find a wide variety of salwar kameez styles like the straight cut style, Anarkali style, palazzo style, churidar, Patiala, and Pakistani style. Each style has its own charm and is best suited to be worn in accordance with the occasion.

The Timeless Charm of Salwar Kameez

Salwar kameez is more than just a fashion trend; it represents the rich cultural heritage and timeless elegance of South Asia. A wardrobe staple in almost every Indian’s collection of ethnic wear, salwar kameez is known for its versatility, comfort and customization options.

The salwar kameez was first introduced into South Asia by arriving Muslims in the north in the 13th century. Their use gradually spread, making them a regional style, especially in the historical Punjab region. Worn through generations, this style is as timeless as it gets. Modern day adaptations of this style are Anarkali suits, Patiala suits, straight suits, palazzo style and churidar style.

Exquisite Styles of Salwar Kameez

Each style of salwar kameez offers its own charm, and you can choose the one that suits your personal style, occasion, and body type. The versatility of salwar suits allows you to experiment with different styles and create a fashionable and individualized look. 


Anarkali suits are known for their flowy and flared silhouette. The kameez is fitted at the bust and then flares out from the waist, creating a regal and princess-like look. Anarkali suits are often heavily embellished and are commonly worn at weddings, festivals, and special events. Lashkaraa’s top picks? Styles like the Dusty Beige Floral Printed AnarkaliLight Pink Floral Printed Anarkali that comes with a waist belt, cinching the waist while styling the dupatta in a hands-free and stylish manner.

Straight Cut Salwar Suit

This style features a straight-cut kameez (tunic) that falls vertically without any flare. It offers a simple and elegant look and is suitable for both casual and formal occasions. Styles like our Peach Floral Printed Straight SuitLight Mint Floral Printed Straight Suit, and Dusty Green White Floral Printed Straight Suit are some of the straight suit styles.

Patiala Salwar Suit

Patiala salwar suits originate from Punjab and are characterized by their loose and pleated salwar (pants). The kameez is typically short, and the heavily pleated salwar adds volume and a traditional touch to the outfit. Patiala salwar suits are vibrant, colorful, and popular for festive occasions and celebrations. The Hot Pink White Floral Printed Punjabi Suit and the Light Green Peplum Style Punjabi Suit are the perfect examples of light weight and heavily embellished Punjabi suit styles.

Palazzo Salwar Suit

Palazzo salwar suits feature wide-legged pants called palazzo pants. The kameez can be of any length, and the loose and flowy palazzo pants add a trendy and modern touch to the ensemble. Palazzo suits are comfortable and fashionable, making them suitable for both casual and formal events. Special occasion, intricate detailing ensembles like the Coral and Mint Embroidered Anarkali Style Palazzo and Hot Pink Embroidered Anarkali Palazzo Set, are ideal fits.

Churidar Salwar Suit

Churidar salwar suits have a fitted kameez and tight-fitting pants called churidar. The churidar pants are long and gathered at the ankles, creating a bunching effect. This style is elegant, versatile, and suitable for both formal and casual occasions. Our best contemporary picks? Light Mint Floral Printed Straight Suit that comes with a churidar pant and Multi-Floral Printed Straight Suit are some great choices in printed style.

Sharara Suit

A sharara suit consists of a kameez (tunic), sharara bottoms, and a dupatta (scarf). The sharara bottoms are loose and flared pants with a significant amount of volume. They typically have pleats starting from the waist and are fitted at the knees before flaring out dramatically. Often adorned with intricate embroidery, embellishments, or traditional handwork, this style is a popular festive occasions and wedding ethnic wear choice. A light-weight printed version is Lashkaraa’s Pink Floral Printed Sharara Suit that is sophisticated and effortless to carry. A slight embroidery heavy would be the Light Green Embroidered Sharara Suit.

Gharara Suit

A gharara suit also includes a kameez, gharara bottoms, and a dupatta. Gharara bottoms are similar to sharara pants but differ in their construction. Gharara bottoms have a more pronounced flare and are heavily pleated from the knee level, creating a bell-bottom effect. The flare is generally achieved by using a significant amount of fabric. Gharara suits are known for their regal and graceful appearance and are commonly worn for special events and celebrations. Our favorites are the Dusty Blue And Grey Embroidered Gharara Suit and the Off-White Embroidered Gharara Suit.

Glamorous Fabrics and Embellishments of Salwar Kameez

Just like other Indian ethnic wear styles, salwar kameez can be stitched in a variety of fabrics. From premium quality silk and pure chiffon and georgette fabrics to velvet and brocade for the colder months, each fabric has a different look when it sits completely on the outfit. Embellishments like hand embroidery in the form of decorative stitches, threads, beads, sequins, and mirrors can be used to create intricate patterns and designs on the fabric. Embroidery adds depth, texture, and a touch of craftsmanship to the garment. Other works like zardozi work, stone and beadwork and mirror work are popular embellishment choices.

How to Style Your Salwar Kameez

Styling has the potential to make or break any outfit. Once you’ve chosen the right fit, color and fabric for your ethnic wear outfit, it’s time to accessorize it! Consider adding statement earrings, bangles, or a necklace to enhance the overall look. Choose accessories that match the style of the outfit and add a touch of elegance. We would also recommend opting for a hairstyle that complements the neckline and overall style of the salwar kameez. You can opt for an updo, loose curls, or a sleek ponytail. Consider adding hair accessories like hairpins or flowers to accentuate the look.


Origin, History & Styles of Salwar Kameez | Medium

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