Seeing as I am travelling around to different countries for the next 3 months, I thought I'd give an insight into the varied and fascinating styles of dress that each place I go to has made their own (as much for my own nosy benefit as anyone else's!)
So after spending 5 weeks in India and travelling from the North to the South trying to fit in as much as we possibly can I have come to the conclusion that here is a country that is vibrant, confusing, wonderful and so colourful.
From a clothing point of view, this is a place that has the most amazingly creative styles in the most unexpected situations - men can be found wearing smart shirts and tailored trousers in the sweltering heat whilst the womens' saris are a riot of colour on every street corner.
The sari - that most expertly and confusing draped/wrapped of fabrics - is de rigeur for most women and in every situation. Worn in a vast cacophony of colours and patterns, with the underlying petticoat and choli (a kind of cropped blouse in silk or cotton) the sari is a beautiful example of seemingly extravagant dressing in all kinds of situations - from praying at the temple to waiting for a bus, to selling a basket of fish on the side of the road, the women always carry a sense of elegance when resplendent in shocking pinks, bright yellows, turquoise blues and any other colour you could dream of, overlaid with finely woven gold strands. When you are surrounded by such a fun and exciting way to dress it's hard not to be inspired to dress that little bit outlandish in the most ordinary of situations and make your everyday life a little bit more special...
The salwar kameez is the other popular option for Indian women - although many do dress in a more Western-influenced style now, it not being uncommon for most young women to wear jeans and a tshirt - and also with mern. This is a less complicated looking pairing of loose, wide-legged trousers (very similar to pajama trousers, a la this SS10!) and a long tunic open from the waistline down. This affords a more practical, yet still impressively stylish look.