Here are the 10 different types of salwar suits, and we’ve also discussed how to find the right salwar kameez designs for your body type!
Among the many different types of Indian ethnic wear for women, the salwar kameez is the most popular and it is prefered for its style and comfort. There are so many designs and lengths to choose from. And you can mix and match them to suit your tastes and personality. A classic salwar suit is an outfit that combines a kameez (shirt), salwar (pants) and a dupatta (scarf). Since before the Indian independence, many different types of salwar suits have been worn all over the country. In the new millennium, Bollywood fashion and western inspirations have made the designers come up with so many new styles.
The kameez can be either long or of medium length. While the salwar can be either a fitted or loose piece. The salwar suits are a craze in India, whether it is for the working women, female students or the elderly as well. Not only is it a functional Indian attire, but its versatility makes it feature among the most preferred among all the Indian garbs.
Here are the different types of fashionable and stylish salwar suits and which body types they suit the best. If you don’t know your body type, check out: How to Find Your Body Type and How to Dress for it.
Types of Salwar Suits for Women According to Body Shapes
1. Anarkali Suits
Anarkali suit is an outfit consisting of a full-skirted kameez worn with chooridar pants and dupatta. This style became really popular after the Bollywood film Mugh-e-Azam, and has been an evergreen style ever since. The Anarkali churidar is regal and flowy and is very popular among most women. Styles that are a perfect blend of Indian and modern designs are great for weddings and parties, such as this ethnic wear at stylecaret .
Anarkali suit is a look for modern women who want to look stylish and traditional as well. It favors all body shapes with its sleek and elegant design and there are many styles that you can choose from. One of them is the floor-length Anarkali that brings out a modern royal look on any wearer. Women hoping to look slimmer and taller should choose these types of salwar suits for the appearance they give. Others like the frock style Anarkali and A-line Anarkali are good choices that women can choose to wear depending on their body type.
Anarkali suits will suit petite body types, since floor-length pleated dress can make you seem taller. They will also suit rectangle shaped women, since the flared dress will add structure.
2. Palazzo Suits
To achieve a harmonious blend of the popular western and Indian fashion, choose popular palazzo suits for they are extremely comfortable and stylish. A long straight kameez matched with a pair of long, wide-legged pants that flare from the waist is called a palazzo suit. This look is favored by the top Indian fashion designers, Bollywood celebrities, and every fashionista in India loves the the palazzo suit.
There are many types of palazzo pants to try. For instance, pleated palazzos, slit palazzos and trouser style palazzo pants among others. You can try a short kurta with them, or go for long kameez with unique cuts at the hem. Choose this suit as an ideal attire for both informal and formal occasions as it will not disappoint. These days, palazzo suits are one of the top options for small family functions, religious ceremonies, engagements, etc.
Palazzo suits will suit tall, pear-shaped women, since the flowy palazzo will help divert attention away from hips and thighs. Hourglass shaped women will also look good in these.
Also read: How to Dress for Pear Shaped Body Type
3. Punjabi Suits
To get a classic and authentic salwar suit look, choose the Punjabi suit. All other types of salwar suits have been derived from this style. This is an outfit that combines a knee length or longer kurta with pleated salwar pants and dupatta. The kameez in this look may also be short and well-fitted. The salwar and dupatta can match the kameez or they can be of a contrasting color. This is an everyday look for many women in India, but it can also be an outfit for special occasions, especially when embellishments or fancy fabrics are added. Try bright colors and silk for weddings. Be it your first week at college, an interview or meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time, the Punjabi suit is the perfect, fail-safe option.
Punjabi suits would look the best on hourglass shaped women, since their form just adapts to your body shape, instead of balancing anything out.
4. Patiala Suits
Patiala suits are also a type of Punjabi salwar suit, in which the salwar is fuller and more pleated. The Patiala salwar is a beautiful choice that is pleated from the waist and has folds behind the legs. Mostly the Patiala salwars are used to achieve a fun, unique look because of how generously pleated they appear. Add on an embroidered dupatta to these types of salwar suits for the chic factor. This is a great idea for wearing to college, kitty parties and at festivals like Teej and Rakhi.
Patiala suits would suit strawberry shaped women the most, since the voluminous bottoms will balance out your fuller top-half.
5. Dhoti Suits
Dhoti suit is a traditional outfit that originated in north and central India. Traditionally, a dhoti is an unstitched piece of fabric that is wrapped around the waist and thighs to create a garment resembling loose pants. However, these days pre-stitched dhotis are more common, worn with short kurtas. The dhoti salwar has numerous pleats that form a U-shape as the pleat runs from the front to the back from the side. For an uber-chic look, you can try a peplum kurta with dhoti pants, as this combs looks really cute at farewell parties and wedding mehendi nights.
Dhoti suits would look the best on slim, hourglass shaped women or apple shaped women, since dhoti pants would add bulk to the lower half, making women of other body shapes seem disproportionate.
6. Sharara Suits
This suit appears similar to the palazzo suit. Sharara is an outfit in which kameez and dupatta and paired with loose pants that flare from the knees. This attire is fashionable and comfortable as well. The unique design of the Sharara is one that gives this salwar suit an edgy and stylish appearance. Shararas makes it seem like they you’re wearing a skirt due to their loose, wide-legged appearance. This is why these types of salwar suits are among the trendiest right now.
Choose a short or knee-length kameez to pair with a Sharara suit. Opt for a Sharara suit if you prefer more voluminous outfits. Enjoy this look in the winter or summer for it is comfortable in either season. Shararas are extremely trendy this year, very popular for special occasions like weddings, karwachauth and dates.
Shararas would look the best on tall or medium height women, since the flared bottoms would make short girls appear stocky. They would also suit rectangle or hourglass women.
7. Pakistani Suits
Those who admire the culture and tradition of the Pakistani can choose Pakistani suits. The embroidery and design of this suit make it stand out from other salwar suits. These are similar to Punjabi style salwar suits, but the kameez is less-fitted so as to fall more elegantly and conservatively on the body. Wear the Pakistani types of salwar suits to formal and casual functions and make a style statement with the sophistication and charm that this garment portrays. This attire can have minimal or detailed embroidery and it comes in bright colors and the comfort factor is a big plus.
Pakistani suits look good on almost all body types, especially on curvy women, who don’t want too much emphasis on their tummy or hips. Rectangle shaped women should avoid these, since the loose fitting would make them look shapeless.
8. Chooridar Suits
Chooridar suits are not salwar suits, but let’s still put them in this list. Suits that are worn with long, tight-fitted pants that have wrinkles or rings at the ankles are called chooridar suits. Go for either long, calf-length kameez or short ones with chooridars. This attire is a great alternative to Punjabi salwar suits and are preferred by younger women for daily wear and special occasions.
Chooridar suits look good on almost all slim body types, since the tight pants can place a lot of emphasis on heavy thighs. Short women should avoid long chooridars, since they may look disproportionate on them, making their legs look shorter.
9. Pant Style Suits
This is a modern variation of the salwar, wherein the kameez is paired with a straight-cut or slightly flared trouser. The suave and sleek design of the trouser suits makes it a chic and trendy attire that brings out a formal appearance. A straight cut kameez with a formal-style Chinese collar is the best option to pair with the pant-style bottoms. With a collared kameez, it’s also common to drop the dupatta and opt for a well-fitted but not too tight look.
Adorn this salwar suit with pearl stud earrings and pumps to add poise and a high fashion taste to your look. The pant style salwar is ankle length and it is a good choice for office wear, especially for young women. You can either go for slightly flared trousers or cigarette pants.
Diamond-shaped women would look good in pant-style suits, since the slim structure of pants will not add any bulk to the overall silhouette. This design would also suit pear-shaped women.
10. Front Slit Salwar Suits
This is a design of suit in which the kameez has a front slit, going all the way up to the waist. These types of salwar suits are for the stylish girl and are daily wear as well as office wear. The kameez for this look is fitted and straight and it is best paired with pant style bottoms or churidar. Accessorize with a matching or contrasting dupatta for the sleek look. This salwar suit gives a tall and slimmer appearance to your body frame, due to the smart cut and design of the suit. So if you have a voluptuous figur,e you are best suited for the front slit salwar suit. Rock this to a party and stand out from the crowd or adorn it to make an impression in the office.
This design would look great on curvy hourglass shaped women, since it’ll bring attention to your slim waistline.
The above styles are the different types of salwar suits that every Indian girl needs to try. The comfort and uniqueness of the salwar suit make it a stylish piece to adorn on almost any occasion. So, go for a design that fits the occasion you are attending and flatters your figure at the same time. Online sites have a variety to choose from, or hit one of your local markets to check out their newest variety. Revamp your wardrobe with these Indian ethnic pieces. Choose one for your family members, too, as a gift or you do twinning with them in the same salwar suit design in different colors.
Shrutika Potwar is an SEO analyst and a part-time blogger with an experience of two years in the IT sector. She loves to blog about fashion, lifestyle and technology in spare time. She is working at Stylecaret, a fashion e-commerce portal in India, and is a guest author at ShilpaAhuja.com. Shrutika writes about ethnic wear, fashion advice and Indian casual & wedding wear.