As a matter of fact, how we dress up plays a very important role in how we feel at any point in time. And for us, staying cool and comfortable is the most important, especially during summers. Would you agree?
Talking about dressing up, our go-to summer outfit is a Kurti. Be it at home, or outside. Because when we think of Kurti, we think of comfort. This super versatile, breathable outfit is the ‘to get and wear’ list in summers due to its effortless style and comfort level. It can be stitched into so many designs, paired with so many bottoms, and works on every occasion.
This summer, the team at LetsDressUp has picked six different styles of Kurtis that will help you #BeatTheHeat in style. In this blog, we will share all about these six styles that are superhits in the fashion world, for you to be able to make the right choice for yourself. Are you ready?
But first, let’s look at the history of Kurtis in India.
Kurti, as an outfit, has stretched beyond the Indian borders and has evolved down the ages to suit the ever-changing demands of the fashion-forward world. Since its origin in ancient times, the Kurti has been one of the traditional attires for men and women living in countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and even Sri Lanka.
Initially, this Indian outfit was a form of clothing worn only by men living in these countries, but later it became a regular attire for women. Looking back at the early 19th Century, Kurtis gained popularity as several scholars, artists, and poets were famous for donning this piece of clothing.
Contrary to the various styles and forms found today, this Indian Kurti back then was usually very simple with barely any elaborate designs. The most common fabric used to make it was Cotton, followed by Silk, which was only used to make Kurtis for special occasions, or for people with higher social standing and wealth.
Interesting, isn’t it, how outfits evolve through hundreds of years?
Now, before we proceed to the first 3 styles of Kurtis we will stitch this summer, let’s look at what is it we need to stitch a Kurti.
- The Right Fabric
To stitch a Kurti, we need 2.5 to 4.5 meters of fabric depending on the style we choose to stitch. For summers, the most suitable fabric choice is cotton because of its softness and the breathable texture. Another popular choice is silk, which is richer and more traditional comparatively. Georgette, linen, and chiffon are some more options.
- The Body Measurements
On a sheet of paper, we need all the body measurements like shoulder width, neckline width, neckline diagonal, armhole circumference, sleeve length, bust and waist circumference, and so on. Let me take this opportunity to bust a popular myth- yes, you can accurately take your own measurements! At LetsDressUp, you can even get on a video call with a female design expert who will assist you.
- The Style and Pattern
There are so many styles and neckline/ sleeve patterns you can choose from based on your body type, personality, and the occasion you want to wear the kurti on. Choosing the right style goes a long way in helping you achieve your dressing goals like looking taller, bustier, broader- whatever they be.
Now that you know how important it is to choose the right style for your kurti, let’s wait no more and look at the to six styles we have picked up for this summer!
Simple, classy, and the most versatile; straight kurtis have been around for the longest time, and why not! Straight kurtis can be paired up with all kinds of bottoms out there- from denims for a casual look to long skirts for a heavy look. You can pep them up with accessories for a casual outing, or tone them down with cigarette pants for a semi-formal look.
Straight Kurtis are the most suitable for women with fuller figures, that is, curvy bodies with heavy bust and butt, and petite body types. This is because straight kurtas give a slimming effect by creating a body-elongating illusion. And the lengthier the kurti, the better!
Straight Kurtis come in three lengths- mid-thigh, knee-length, and calf-length.
Mid-thigh kurtis are usually worn with jeans, cigarette pants, or culottes and give a casual look.
Knee-length kurtis can be paired up with long skirts or palazzos for a party look or pants for a casual look.
Calf-length kurtis are most often worn with ankle-length leggings, but can also be paired with pants and palazzos
A-line Kurtis reach the calf or ankle and have a flare from the waist for making an A-shaped panel. This means, A-line kurtis are fitted from the shoulders to the waist, and then flare out gradually to the hem. Like straight kurtis, A-line kurtis can be paired with various bottoms like cigarette pants, palazzos, culottes, and more.
A-line Kurtis are the most suitable for apple and pear shaped body types. If the kurti does not have slits on the sides, then you can wear it with a churidar. However, if it is open from the sides, then better team it up with cigarette pants. For apple body shape, loose pants are a better idea than the tighter ones.
A-line Kurtis come in three varieties- with slit, without slit, and flary.
A-line Kurtis with a slit are most often worn with churidars, leggings, or palazzos. This style is the best for pear-shaped bodies.
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A-line Kurtis without slit can be paired up with all kinds of bottoms, and are usually worn with cigarette pants. Great option for apple-shaped bodies!
The flared A-line Kurtis are often worn as dresses in themselves, without bottoms. And look as good with bottoms too, suitable for both apple- and pear-shaped bodies.
These are a recent addition to the Kurti world, and quite a fancy one. Asymmetrical kurtis have an asymmetrical hemline that can be of any pattern. The most common asymmetrical hemline is the one in which the front hemline is above the knees and the hemline at the back is below the knees. These Kurtis come in many lengths, and patterns. Depending upon the length and pattern you choose, you can pair them up with pants, skirts, leggings, denims, and more.
Though suitable for almost all body types, an asymmetrical kurta would perfectly accentuate the hourglass figure in the right way. It could be paired with slim-fit trousers and straight cut pants for a chic look. The reason why asymmetrical kurtis go with every body type is because they come in various hemlines and lengths to suit different body types.
The three varieties of asymmetrical kurtis we’ve picked are- C-cut, tail cut, high-low tail cut.
Short C-cut asymmetrical kurtis look great with skirts and are a good option for party-wear outfits, and the lengthier one paired with pants or leggings give a casual look
Tail cut asymmetrical kurtis can again be paired up with various bottoms, or even worn as a dress for a chic summer look
High-low tail cut asymmetrical kurtis work wonders for those with a slim waist. These look super chic and make for great party outfits. Pair them up with leggings, skirts, dhotis- whatever looks the best on you.
What is it?
Angrakha is an ethnic top that has an asymmetric opening, knotted or secured by either thread ties or loops. The Angrakha is an extremely versatile garment that has been innovated and integrated with Indian ethnic wear as a style of kurti and can be worn with any type of bottom such as a churidar or a salwar. This garment originates from Rajasthan and is a widely popular choice of attire, not just in that state but in many other parts of the country.
What are the types?
Traditionally, there are two types of Angrakhas. These are,
The Kamari Angrakha ends right at one’s waist and looks quite similar to a frock in the sense that the bottom half of this garment flairs outwards. This type is most commonly worn during a festival or any celebration. The reason why this type is worn for festivals is that it gives one the freedom to move one’s legs while dancing, especially as it is paired with dhotis.
This type of Angarkha is worn on a daily basis and serves to protect one’s body from the heat and the sun. It looks its best when paired with churidars (which are slim fitted pants that have pleats around the waist and gathers at the ankles). However, one can also wear them with pajamas or stalwarts.
Making of an Angrakha Kurti
One of the ways an angrakha is made is by using bandhini. Bandhini is a type of Tie Dye cloth that is created by dyeing a fabric that has been wrapped and tied tightly with pieces of string to create different types of shading and styles of this such as Ekdali, Leheriya, Mothra and Shikara. This fabric is then embroidered with patterns of squares, dots and circles to give it a textural dimension. Similarly, mirror work is used to add to the way the fabric looks. The fabric is then stitched into the angrakha and this can be done both, by hand and by machines.
Who should wear it?
Angrakha kurtis are very versatile, and look good on many body types. Specifically, they look the best on apple, pear, and rectangle body shapes because they give a curvy illusion to the body.
What is it?
The Anarkali is a beautiful and opulent ethnic dress that symbolizes a rich and ancient history. It lives up to the splendor of its namesake, – the famed dancer at Emperor Akbar’s court who stole the heart of Prince Salim. Her beauty was so exceptional that she was given the name Anarkali which means ‘blossoming pomegranate’.
What are the types?
Anarkali kurti comes in just one style, that is floor-length Anarkali. The types of fabrics include net, viscose, georgette, chiffon and lace. Embroideries like appliqué, Phool Patti, Bagh, Chikankari, Kashmiri kashida, Soof, Gota, Ahir, Kantha stitch, Kathiawari, Kutchhi, Badla, Mirror work, patchwork and much more. The shades of color used for the Anarkali are not ordinary. Colors like salmon, ochre, teal and fuchsia are combined with regular colors to create an interesting mix.
The latest trends combine bustier style bodices, ornamental tie ups in front and bodices with patchwork. It features the use of a fabric such as chiffon or net stitched over a brocade or crepe suit. Contrasting the churidar with the Anarkali is trendy. High necklines and low backs have become chic.
Making of an Anarkali Kurti
A simple Anarkali suit takes 2 to 3 days to be stitched and the time taken varies due to the fabric, cut, embroidery or product to be embellished. They are generally worn with a dupatta in the same fabric or with a net stole. Fabrics are readily available along with the various kinds of sequins, mirrors, beads, zari, faux pearls and much more, but it is easier to get the outfit stitched.
Who should wear it?
Anarkalis look great on an hour-glass body shape, accentuating the figure in a beautiful way. They are a good option for a rectangle-shaped body as well, as they make the body look curvy. For petite body shapes, they help them look taller.
Frock Style Kurtis
What is it?
Frock style Kurtis, or the Royal Ancestor of Anarkali Kurtis have been around for a long time. This garment can be described as a tunic and consists of a fitted bodice and skirt. Historically, it is strongly identified with the Mughal era. It was worn mainly in the state of Rajasthan. This garment was popularized in this region by Akbar when he married his wife, Jodha, who was a Rajput princess. Thus, historians have noted that this garment, under Akbar’s reign, shows Jodhpuri influences and was worn in Rajasthan as well. The garment is also worn in the Himalayan and Chamba regions.
What are the types?
Frock style kurtis come in two main categories- with gathers, and the more modern twist- with slits.
Frock style kurtis with gathers give a fuller look on the waist, and are paired with churidar, cigarette pants, or leggings. They are also worn with long skirts for a heavy look.
Frock style kurtis with slits are a modern twist to the conventional gathered frock style kurtis, and can be paired up with various bottoms, from jeans to palazzos.
Making of a Frock Style Kurti
Traditionally, frock style kurtis are ornately embroidered and made of heavier fabrics such as silk. The embroidery is often made using zari (threads of gold or silver) to add to the opulence of the garment. When worn as casual outfits, frock style kurtis can also be made from cotton and linen fabric to suit the season and occasion.
Who should wear it?
Frock style kurtis are the best options for inverted triangle, hourglass, and apple shaped bodies- helping them accentuate the best parts of their figures.
So, that makes it to our SIX Kurti Style picks! Curious to know which ones do you like the most. 🙂