Tips on salwar kameez

Salwar kameez suits, sometimes called Punjabi suits, are clothing sets typically worn in South Asia that consist of a long shirt, trousers and a scarf which is known as the dupatta. Whether making your own, purchasing the fabric set or buying a ready-made salwar kameez suit, use tips from professionals to ensure your look remains stylish.

Fabric Selection

Salwar kameez suits can be purchased in cotton, polyester, organza and many other fabric types. Before purchasing consider what time of year and where you will be wearing the suit. Cotton will allow for the most comfort in the hot, humid Asian summers while knit fabrics will keep you warmer in the winter. Both fabrics are most suited for daily wear in and around the house or for running errands. When you are purchasing the suit for a special occasion, fabrics such as silk and highly embellished fabrics are more suitable.


Most salwar kameez suits are one-of-a-kind designs developed between the owner and the seamstress. The designs can be sleek, form-fitted or elaborate. Some suits are purchased with designs pre-made onto the fabric including necklines, button embellishments and length of the kameez, or shirt.

When considering the design of the suit, take into account your height, weight and bone structure to obtain the most flattering fit. For example, avoid puffy sleeves if you are broad-shouldered, opt for a longer kameez to look taller and cover bulky areas of your body with elements such as longer sleeves and smaller necklines.


Choosing colours is also important when selecting your salwar kameez. Your skin tone will determine which colours look best on you. Some colours, such as bright yellow, have a tendency to make skin look darker while bright, but not vibrant, shades of maroon and blue will make your skin look lighter. Try on different colours or place fabric swatches on your arm and under your face to see which colours flatter your skin tone.


The salwar, or trousers, of the suit come in many different varieties. When purchasing the suit as a set, the trousers will be included. However, when purchasing ready-made clothing, the designs can be mixed and matched. Styles include pajama trousers, churidar trousers, traditional salwar and Patiala salwar. When choosing how to design the trousers or what to pair the kameez with, consider the length of the kameez and colours. Points to consider are whether or not the trousers have a design that compliments or clashes with the kameez and your figure, and whether you are able to find a dupatta that suits both pieces. This may take several trips to the dressing room until you are more familiar with matching pieces but is well worth it for a look that is truly yours.

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About the Author

Based in southern Virginia, Kristy Robinson has been writing for various websites since 2008. Her work focuses on tutorials and self-help articles. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from American InterContinental University.