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Punjabis are full of life and so is their culture. Punjabi weddings seem like a never-ending celebration. Bhangra, the most enthusiastic dance form, some of the most upbeat songs, and the undying energy, it all contributes to making the Punjabi weddings a lot more extravagant and larger than life. The grandiosity of the Punjabi culture can be experienced in their festivities as you won’t be able to take your eyes off the magnificence of their customs and traditions.
Suits are the main dress of Punjabi women and are also worn at weddings.
A Salwar Suit is the first preference of every woman in India because of its comfort and yet elegant looks. The name and the looks of this versatile dress change from place to place and in the northern regions like Punjab and Haryana it is called Patiala Suit. It got its name as it hails from a place in Punjab called “Patiala”. These were originally worn by the kings of Punjab because of the comfort. And thus a new pleated Patiala salwar was born which is worn with a kameez(tunic). Originally the salwar was plain and solid coloured but with the modernisation of the dress, it is now available in many colours and patterns. The main features of a Patiala suit are that it is pleated and baggy making up for the utmost comfort. A Patiala salwar suit is made up of lightweight material(preferably cotton, silk, georgette, crepe and mulmul) and takes about 3-5 meters of cloth depending upon the number and the density of the pleats.
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Another variation of a salwar suit, the churidar suit is completely opposite of a Patiala suit. A Patiala salwar is baggy and comfortable, whereas, a churidar is a tight-fitting salwar. It is worn by both men and women and is wide cut at the top and narrow down at the ankles. They are combined with kameez(tunic) for women and kurta(loose overshirt) for men. A churidar is longer than the legs and the length folds into pleats at the ankles resembling a set of bangles(Hence churidar, ‘churi’: bangles, ‘dar’: like). When a person wearing a churidar needs to sit the pleats ease out and help to sit comfortably. The material of the churidar is stretchy as it is very important for any closefitting pants.
A palazzo suit is yet another variation that is much more modern and can actually be categorised under indo-western wear as it is inspired by the western pants. The trend of these types of suits is relatively new. A loose straight fit or a bell bottom pant is combined with a waist-length kameez to make a much modern look. The straight A-line kameez combined with straight pants looks good on tall girls with broad shoulders while the women on the shorter scale should stay away from considering this look as it will make them look even shorter.
There is nothing much to explain about this look as this has captured the attention of women like no other. An Anarkali suit is a long, frock-styled top and features a close-fitting pant. With its origins in the neighbouring country, Pakistan, the look quickly became a trend in India but is not a new trend as it is widely believed that it was famous during the 16th and 17th century. The name of the dress is owed to a fictional character, Anarkali, a courtesan in Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court, who later married the crown prince Salim. These are created with various materials like satin, silk, net and cotton and are embellished with a Gota-Patti or zari work at the borders.
With the brides considering a lehenga as their bridal wear from all across the country the Punjabi brides have also accepted the look and added them among the list of bridal wear to choose from. A lehenga is a heavily embellished dress with a blouse and a frock with intricate design work which makes it really heavy. It is usually combined with a heavy lehenga or an Odhni to complete the bridal look.
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Apart from the Punjabi wedding suits the accessories too play a vital role in completing the bridal look of any Punjabi bride. From colourful dupattas to some metallic accessories embedded with colourful stones they all reflect the colourful and bright culture of Punjab. Here are a few options in accessories that are absolutely essential for completing the Punjabi bride look.
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Phulkari is a traditional embroidery form that is nestled in the culture of Punjab and dates back to the 15th century. It is the art of embroidering colourful flowers on shawls and dupattas. The style is also mentioned in the famous Heer-Ranjha, a heart-wrenching love story. The beauty of this dupatta is that it can be combined with any kind of suit and can even be worn in a Punjabi wedding.
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Choora, traditional red and gold bangles, are another traditional Punjabi bridal wedding accessory. A choora is of great significance and is put on brides’ arms by maternal uncles and aunts. These days brides are opting for coloured chooras as well as they go well with the dress. It is worn for at least three months after the wedding, however, the bride may choose to wear it for longer.
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It is a chandelier shaped dangling accessory that is attached to the choora by the maternal family of the bride. These can be really long or smaller based upon personal choice. It is a symbol of royalty and good fortune that the bride will bring to her husband’s family.
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Punjabi Jutis are flat footwears and are as much traditional as it can get to the culture of Punjab. These are made up of leather and are adorned with beautiful patterned embroidery and beads. It is a perfect accessory for a bride as it is really comfortable and can be matched with the attire.
As we have come to the end of the list it is worth mentioning that these are the only some of the various Punjabi suits that accessories as per their traditions. Every part has its own culture and the interpretations of the same things can greatly differ.
So, in case you’re here from a region where there are some other wedding traditions to follow, then do share the story behind them, we’ll love hearing from you!
BY Aayush Pareek | 16 Feb, 2019
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