The history of clothing in India started back in the 2500 BCE during the Indus Valley Civilization. According to the received archaeological pieces of evidence; it is possible that it might have started even before as well. The Famous Queens of India happened to appear in the Post Vedic Age as well. Thus making it obvious that this was the age when the clothing and fashion in India rose to great heights.During the 2500 BCE, Indians were mainly fond of wearing clothes. These clothes were weaved with pure cotton. The cotton was made from locally grown cotton.
The remains of the initial Indian clothing can be found in the archaeological figures. The instances say that the people of ancient India believed in draping long pieces of clothes around them. Also, the clothing’s included sari and dhoti etc. The figurines suggest that the priests used to wear long robes over their shoulders. There are some pieces of evidence of priests wearing turbans also.
1. The Vedic Age Clothing History
It is evident that Indian women have always been fond of wearing different types of jewellery. Also, the data from the excavations at the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro suggest a different thing. It suggests that during the old times, even the men and the priests also wore jewellery. The evidence claiming this to be true is Dhokra art. Also, this is evident from many statues found from excavations.
Even though the ancient figures suggest that the ancient Indian people wore only traditional clothes. But, we all know that Indian history of clothing and fashion was and is a mix of certain influences such as regional, historical and cultural factors.
During this era, garments such as sari, blouse, dupatta and Ghaghara choli were very famous among the women. Pravara, a cloak-like garment was famous amongst men. Many scriptures reveal that Vedic men also wore dhotis as a lower draping and no upper garments.
2. The Clothing History Of The Post Vedic Age
The Post Vedic Era is also known as the time of dynasties since during this time period. India was ruled by many dynasties. These were the Guptas, Mauryas, Kushanas and Sungas etc. During this time silk fabric, jute, linen and muslin were widely used for the weaving of clothes. The ruler classes of the Post Vedic Era were known for their exquisite clothing styles.
During this period, the Famous Queens of India starting wearing the Antariya in many different styles. Antariya used to be a small strip of paper. It was made of fabrics such as linen, muslin and intricate stonework. The Famous Queens of India also wore headgears and head wraps. These made one of the dynamic styles of clothing of the Post Vedic Era. Queens also wore jewels such as earrings, baju band etc.
Major changes and advances were made in the field of clothing, fashion and jewellery in the Post Vedic Era. These contributed a lot of the sense of clothing of the modern Indian people. Also, the credits go to the kings and the Famous Queens of India and the craftsmen of that time.
3. The History Of Clothing In The Mughal Sultanate, Maratha Dynasty, Scindia Dynasty And Rajputana Dynasty
The kings and queens of the Mughal Sultanate still give us major goals of dressing sense and fashion goals. The Famous Queens of India such as Maharani Jodha, Razia Sultana etc wore clothes made by the best craftsmen of the kingdom. The clothes were made with the finest textiles and the best designs. Also, those clothes influence the present-day fashion industry. The Mughal Queens used to be in pardah / purdah system. So, they wore long-sleeved coat styled gowns or suits which covered most parts of their body. This was a part of their Persian culture.
The Queens of the Maratha and Rajputana Dynasty were famous for the braveness in their blood. They wore the attires with ultimate confidence and modesty. Maratha and Rajputana Dynasty were pure Indian Dynasties. So, the women and queens of these dynasties wore sarees of the finest silk of their kingdom. Embroidered silk and chiffon saris are very famous amongst Indian women in the present days as well.
In The Scindia Dynasty of Gwalior, the men wore Anga. This is a traditional dress along with brocade and silk kurta and a turban to complete the perfect warrior look. The Maharaja or the king wore a different kind of turban. This made him look different from the common people.
4. The Clothing History Of The Southern Dynasties Of India
The Royal kings and queens of the South Indian dynasties wore exquisite attires. Also, as it is a belief in the South that the better you wear, the better is your social hierarchy and social status. The famous kings of the South Indian Dynasties still give major competition to many western outfits by the traditional attire. They wore clothes which included below-knee black coat and pants which has taken the place of churidaar and sherwani nowadays. The Famous Queens of India wore silk sarees.
The Nizams of Hyderabad were famous for their royalty. This included their royal dressing and attire senses also. The Nizams were too fond of ethnic things which included ethnic clothing as well. They wore the better versions of present days sherwani adorned with many gemstones and silk etc. They were also very fond of jewellery. Also, there are many pieces of evidence which suggest that people wore precious gemstone rings and bracelets.
5. Khaki From The Charkha
Khakhi from the Charkha is one of the fashion revolutions in the fashion industry of India. Mahatma Gandhi started Khaki which is quite famous. Also, it is still very popular amongst politicians, elite classes in the form of kurtis, waistcoats, saris etc.
Some Last Words
The clothing and fashion industry of India is changing with every going day. Every day it is changing itself in accordance with the latest evolutions in the fashion industry. India itself has been very rich and diverse in terms of clothing. We can proudly say that Indian clothing culture is the most vibrant of all.