Know In Brief About The History Of Fashion In India

The history of fashion in India is as ancient as the human civilization. It is a mix of historical influences, regional, and cultural. The history of fashion in India or anyplace else on the planet always recurrences in an era or two with a perfect blend of current style.

History of fashion in India does not just mean wearing outfits, but it is actually the ever-changing and evolving fashion trends that we love to include into our closets. Let’s know in details about the history of fashion in India.


Source :- harappa . com

Nowadays, fashion is changing more, and with the pace of time, the fashion history of India is also coming into existence. In this regard, the emerging trend is that you can find almost everything about fashion history of India in the form of fashion journals, fashion magazines, fashion design experts and other researchers on the internet. One thing that you need to remember about the history of fashion in India is that, all these experts have their own thoughts, perspectives and ideas about the field. This is to be expected, because, after all, the fashion industry has a long history, and the designers in India had got it from the countries around them. So, there are many ways by which we can trace the history of fashion in India.

For example, what has been said about the recent fashion trends in India? Well, the latest fashion in India is as easy as walking down the streets of Delhi or Mumbai and seeing the clothes laid out and displayed for public view. And when it comes to the clothes, what is more visible are the designer labels and logos, which are not only worn by the women of the country but are also worn by many men, in a bid to get in touch with the latest fashion trends. That is not all, and you should not forget to also remember the positive feedback that is given by the different fashion designers towards the products of various designers from other countries. The growing popularity of fashion products in India, is the testimony to the fact that the Indian designers have received much appreciation from other people in other countries. The fashion industry in India is only getting stronger. While they still have a long way to go, when it comes to producing high quality, affordable clothes, the future is bright.

When it comes to other countries, the Indian fashion industry will see that there is an improvement in the production facilities, and this is the final proof that the fashion industry of India is moving in the right direction. The latest fashion trends will also receive the most critical of comments, because, the changes in the fashion industry have brought about major changes in the lives of many people. One thing that everyone should remember is that, the change in the way people live is always going to bring about changes in the way clothes are designed and produced. The modern man, who needs to look good, needs to buy only the best. Thus, the fashion industry will soon be a new entity that is not only a source of income but will also provide a great deal of inspiration for the designers.


Table of Contents

Fashion started displaying its shades from the ancient times in India. There is so many evidence of the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappa Civilization that representing the use of cotton fabric. Textile is rarely preserved in Harappa era. Harappa figures are usually unclothed. So, there is not so much evidence about the Harappa clothing.

What Was The Clothing?

  • The priest-kings used to wear a robe over their left shoulders
  • Men used to wear turbans and they used to drape the turban over their head.
  • The style of women’s clothing included knee-length skirts with jewelry like earrings, beaded necklaces, and bangles. They also used lipsticks.
  • Even men used to wear jewelry
  • Metal objects of Harappa civilization show that they wove a range of grades of cotton clothes
  • Regional Indian species of silkworm used to utilize for silk
  • Skins also used for cold weather and to make items like quivers and belts.
  • Reeds and straw used to woven for footwear.


One of the first pieces of indication of the Dhokra art that is popular in the present time is the statue of the dancing girl of the Mohenjo- Daro.

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The Vedic period was the period during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism were composed.

What Was The Clothing?

  • The clothes worn in Vedic times did not basically differ those worn by the Hindus in the later times.
  • In the hot and humid climate, people used to wear single stretch clothes wrapped the body over the shoulders and they also fastened it with a belt or a pin.
  • Upper garments were called the Uttaiya and they used to wear it like a shawl over their shoulder.
  • Lower garments were called paridhana or Vasana. People used to wear it around the waist. Poor people used to wear a mere loincloth but the rich people used to wear it up to feet.
  • Another type of garment called pravara was worn in cold season like mantle or cloak.


  • The most initial attire of the Vedic men was “Dhotis”, which were like a dupatta but to some extent longer. Men used to drape the dhoti around their waist and partitioned it with pleats.
  • Men of the Vedic period used to wear Kurta. Kurta is a baggy shirt like upper body garments.
  • They also used to wear Pajamas which bear a resemblance to a loose trouser.


  • In this era the most comfortable piece of cloth for women was sari. They used to wrap the one end of the sari around their waist, pleated in front over the belly and used to throw the other end of the sari over their shoulder covering their bust area.
  • They also used to wear a blouse or a Choli with the sari.
  • In the later Vedic Period women started to wear “Ghagra Choli”. Where the Ghagra is a long skirt.


Source :- slideshare . net


Art, Philosophy, education, and other forms of learning flowered during this period.

What Was The Clothing?

  • Cotton, wool, silk, jute fabrics, and linen were readily available.
  • High quality cotton and silk and the bright red woolen blankets of Gandhara were worn


  • Women of this period used to cover their head with the uttariya.
  • The hair centrally parted and used to make one or two plaits or in a large knot at the back
  • Women used to wear Satlari, Mekhala, Pagliari, Chaulari, Tillari, Kantha, Karnika, Patna, Baju band, Kangan, Atkan, Lambanam, Kara, Sitara, and so many other pieces of jewelry.


  • In the early Mauryan period there was no trace of turban mauli but in Sunga period there was a turban
  • They used to wear decorative elements like a jeweled brooch or a jhalar with the turban.


Source :- metmuseum . org


The Kushans established their empire in the first century AD and were contemporaneous with the Satavahana, and western Satraps kingdoms.

What Was The Clothing?

  • The ordinary dress consisted as usual of an antariya, Uttariya, and Kayabandh with a turban for men
  • They used to wear a long-sleeve tunic with a slit for the neck opening.
  • Women used to wear a sari, ghagra choli, etc.

Kushan costumes were divided into five categories. These are:

  1. Indigenous people-theantariya, Uttariya, and Kayabandh
  2. Foreign Kushan rulers and their entourage
  3. Other foreigners such as grooms, traders, etc.
  4. Guardians and attendants of the harem-usually the indigenous and sewn kanuka, red-brown
  5. And the last category consisting of a mixture of foreign and indigenous garments.

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