Traditional Indian attire is still largely the same as it was centuries ago. While the bigger cities of India have adopted some Western styles of dress (more so for the men than women), you can still see many men in the same type of garments they've been wearing for years in the country. While women's attire is meant to be beautiful and entice, men's attire is centred around comfort.
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The lungi, also known as a sarong, is a very simple piece of rectangular cloth that is wrapped around the man's waist 1 or 2 inches above his belly button. This provides airflow and easy movement in India's hot climate. The lungi is worn by both men and women. It is not uncommon in India today to see men wearing Western-style button-down shirts on top and lungis on the bottom.
The dhoti is one of the oldest garments in traditional men's attire. It is simply a short version of the lungi that is knee length rather than ankle or floor length.
The sherwani is a long coat-like top that extends down to the mid-calf. It is fitted close to the body and is closed with buttons that extend down its front. Sherwanis are considered formal wear and are usually worn for special occasions. They are typically embroidered to add a decorative touch. Worn underneath the sherwani is a traditional pant that is white and can be Western style or Indian style, i.e. tied at the waist, baggy at the legs and tight around the ankles.
The kurta pyjama set is similar to the sherwani, but is for casual wear instead of formal. Usually in simple cotton and a pastel colour, the kurta is a long collarless shirt that is adorned by passing it over the head, as it does not have zippers or buttons to undo. Underneath the kurta are pyjama trousers. These are white, cotton trousers that tie at the waist with a string, much like Western drawstring pajama trousers. Indian pyjama trousers are loose and floor-length.
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