What is the Pakistani Style of Women’s Dressing?

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Pakistani style clothing refers to the traditional ethnic and Eastern wear that is usually preferred by the people of sub-continent. Like all other countries, Pakistani women also like their culture to be reflected in the dressing sense that they adhere to. Dress in each regional culture (Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir area) reflects the weather conditions, a way of living and the religious beliefs as well to some extent. The distinctive dress code followed by every province of the country gives each of them a unique status in terms of “dressing style”.

The National Dress:
The national dress of Pakistan is “Shalwar Kameez” (shalwar refers to loose trousers and kameez to shirts) and the most frequently worn attire by Pakistani women. However, there are different variations coming to Shalwar Kameez and women are increasingly pairing their “Kameez” (shirt) with trendy trousers which are usually embroidered by local retail companies.

Again, each province has its own preferences for cladding a ‘shalwar kameez’. The shalwar kameez comes in exquisite colours, designs, and fabric like silk, chiffon, and cotton.

The “Dupatta” is an essential part of the Shalwar Kameez ensemble and it can be described as a long stole or scarf that at a time is just handing on both shoulders or is spread over the head and upper body. It is treated as an optional accessory in most of the urban areas of Pakistan now. Most women in Pakistan’s urban regions wear it is a decorative accessory. Dupattas are also worn by some women to cover their heads while entering a religious place like a mosque or a shrine. It is also widely used by women on along with wedding dresses.

Dressing up for Occasions and Festivities:

Apart from the region, religious beliefs and weather conditions there is another factor that influences the dress code of Pakistani women and how they style themselves i.e occasion. Pakistani women’s dress style is also influenced by the occasion or event they would attend or go to. Most of the events in Pakistan include family members and close friends. Therefore, ladies try to give their best to look stylish, attractive and elegant. This looks simple, but for Pakistani women, it is a serious business to pick and choose a unique outfit for the events that they will attend. However, thanks to the countless online shops of dress designers Fancy or luxury attires can be categorized in 3 main categories:

1- The Elaborate Wedding Dresses:
A matter of top priority for a “Pakistani Bride to Be” is her wedding day and even more important is her wedding dress. She wants to look flawless on her big day along with a dress that adds more charisma to her bridal look. Bridal dresses usually consist of lehengas, saris, fancily embroidered maxi. There are different dresses for different events associated with a Pakistani wedding (namely Mehndi or Mayun, Baraat (the actual wedding day) and the Walima or reception). Brides prefer to wear shades of yellow, orange, green or anything bright and vibrant on the mehndi day. For the baraat or the main wedding day mostly deep red colour or blouse and lehenga is paired up with a lighter tone dupatta or the other way around. On reception day, lighter colours are preferred by brides. The attendees of the wedding mostly wear fancy shalwar kameez or heavily embroidered clothes.

2- Official Events or Corporate Gatherings
The trickiest occasion for most of the working women in Pakistan is to look decently dressed on official events such as annual dinners, employee gets to gathers and other events associated with their professional life. In that situation, Pakistani brides look for dresses that are both elegant and comfortable. Women is that scenario tend to choose dresses that are less fancy, more sophisticated and also have their stamp of authoritative elegance. They like to look professional and classy at the same time. Dressing style opted at such events is often simple, however, there is a great deal of effort by women to set themselves apart through their outlook at such events.

3- Family gatherings
At family gatherings like parties, iftar dinners and birthdays, women like to dress up in a little bit of fancy and comfy way. This generally includes embroidered clothing.

The idea is to look informal, classy and stylish. Dressing for such events is not quite a hassle as women usually wear light make up along with a fancy style outfit. Women usually wear fabric according to the weather conditions at such gatherings and also try to keep their accessories limited.

In general, we can say that Pakistani women are extremely particular about their dressing style and that is the reason that retail shops for clothes both ready to wear and unstitched are budding with every passing day. If women need to stay back at home they go with the traditional “Shalwar Kameez” or their comfy baggy trousers and shirts. However, professional women are always hunting for well-tailored outfits and keep an eye on their wardrobe.

A nice fitting dress with clean cuts, soft pastels, and solid dark colors are ideal for working ladies in Pakistan. Cotton trousers and tapered pants are preferred while going for office work. Formal workplace look, party look and the look at the home of women are different and a great deal of the difference can be associated with the different dresses that are worn in these settings.

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