Indian Fashion Before & After Independence

71 years after India got its independence, let’s take a closer look at how the pre-independence period boasted of a diverse array of Indian fashion and trends infused with European influences and how the fashion trends changed over the years. Then there came the push from major events that not only paved the way for our independence but also had serious impacts on the fashion timeline. And now Indian fashion is at par with the rest of the globe, with Indian fashionistas taking over the world by a storm.

Maharani Gayatri Devi-fashion-India

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Fashion for the Royals

Before India became free, it already had the potential to boast of fashion epitomes, one of whom was Maharani Gayatri Devi. The royal palette consisted of dark glasses and French chiffon sarees in pastel hues such as Ivory, Light pink and Dutch blue along with jewellery pieces such as pearls and satin blouses. The men of the royal family were adorned with heavily embroidered coats and tunics, layered necklaces of pearls and gems as well as turbans encrusted with jewels. There were also later instances when the men adapted to European style of suits, pants and ties.


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Fashion for the Commons

The common men and women were far from any kind of western-influenced clothing as they neither had the money nor the status to do so. The men could be found wearing a piece of cloth knotted at the waist known as dhoti or lungi, a vest-like top and a piece of cloth wrapped around the head. The women on the other hand wore sarees and blouses or lehenga cholis i.e. skirt and blouse pairs depending upon which Indian area are we talking about. Also metal jewellery such as bracelets or earrings was found to be worn by both men and women.


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The Khadi Spin on the Fashion Tale

When the fight for independence was at its peak, there came movements of freedom fighters that changed the fashion to some extent – one of which was the khadi-swaraj movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. The movement called for abolishment of European clothes of both style and fabric, and urged Indians to wear clothes made in India, with the use of self-woven fabric known as Khadi. Gandhiji not only impacted the common people of India to wear khadi kurtas but also eminent leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru took to wearing homespun khadi in the trio-form of dhoti, kurta and the famous vest-like Nehru jacket.

Fashion of Today

Today, 71 years after independence, fashion has no specific origin as Indians wear clothes and styles from around the world as well as keep their own traditional trends’ flag flying high. Traditional Indian clothing is appreciated all around the world that speaks of or rich past and culture. Indian women can be seen flaunting a crop top & shorts with as much élan as she sports a saree or kurta!  Men have options ranging from trousers and shirts to sherwanis and churidars, and Indian men also rock all of these ensembles with swag.

Factors like freedom movements, British influences having major roles to play in the transformation of Indian fashion over the years. So let’s wish a happy 72nd Independence Day to all of us proud Indians and to our equally amazing sense of fashion. You can celebrate this special day by indulging in the flat 50% off sale at your nearest Lifestyle store or website!

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