The native attire or the clothing of any certain place is the symbol of the richness of the culture of that particular place. It not only signifies the heritage beauty but also gives a hunch about the climatic conditions of that particular place. The attire of Himachal Pradesh is not an exception to that fact.
The clothes are worn by the residents of Himachal expressively hold the true spirit of being Paharis. The clothes are mostly hand woven along with the accessories which properly balances the ethnicity along with the aesthetics. The vibrant colors are not just the blend rather, they are the shades of the lives consciousness of their cultural heritage which people still love to adorn.
One can easily find these clothing styles while roaming around the local streets but the ultimate show is set at the time of different festivals of Himachal when people are celebrating the beauty of their rituals and ceremonies. The attire not only speaks of the local diversity but also reflects the lifestyle along with the livestock which breeds with them, as most of the fabric is made up of Yak wool or leather and other animal products which are kept and reared by the local people.
Talking of the attire of people of Himachal then it is informative to bifurcate the natives into Rajput, Brahmins, and tribes, as they primarily constitute the real native people of Himachal. So without further ado let’s take you on a trail of colors that vibrantly recites the poem of Himachal Pradesh.
Kurta Over Churidar Pyjamas
This is an attire which is common for all the Indian Rajput men. It is a typical kind of kurta which is long enough to drop till the knees. It is combined with a pair of pyjamas which are ankle, typically known as churidar pyjamas.
The Rajput men adorn this attire with full pride as it is a signatory dress which has a lot to say about being Rajput and being Himachali.
Also, the kurtas are embroidered beautifully with different-different motifs. Sometimes these kurta-pajamas are also paired with a long coat which is made up of Yak leather or wool along with a turban which is mostly made with silk.
These long dresses consist of a long kurta which is paired with a long skirt, or a shirt (also known as blouse) and a skirt which is famously known as ‘ghagra-choli’.
Apart from these the Rajput women also wear the famous salwar- kameez which is paired with a beautiful piece of cloth that has to attach to the top of their head.
They have some jewelry that perfectly balances the beauty and aesthetics of their attire. They also have footwear which is made up of pure animal leather in order to protect them from the cold and the spine chilling winter of Himachal.
Long Kurta Over a Dhoti
This is yet another attire which is widely popular throughout the country but obviously, the Pahari people adorn it differently providing it a strong touch of their weather.
Long kurta along with the dhoti is a signatory attire of the Brahmins residing in Himachal. Dhoti is the native name given to Loin’s cloth. Because of the harsh weather men pair it either with an overcoat or with a waistcoat.
It is also coupled with a piece of plain white cloth which they put on their shoulder. This attire is not pretty much fancy and signifies the simplicity of Brahmins, they usually light coloured with very least or no embroidery.
The clothing style of Brahmin women is somewhat the same as that of the Rajput women, there is not much of significant difference among them.
These ghagra-cholis are also a type of long dress worn with all the jewellery and the accessories. The fabric of these dresses is really very comfortable and warm.
Attire for Tribal Women
The attire adorned by the tribal women of Himachal definitely stands out from the rest of the attire. The tribal women wear a lot of silver ornaments along with their clothing.
Their clothes are so comfortable and are made with serious specifications. The tribal women wear these dresses even in their usual days of life hence, all the difficulties of living a life in the mountains are fairly overcome by the peculiar designs of these dresses.
Attire for Tribal Men
The tribal men of Himachal can be witnessed wearing a Chola which is a sort of long shirt that comes with a waist belt in order to give it the perfect fit and to make it look beautiful and attractive.
The moment we hear this, the first thing that comes to our mind is probably the snow and the cold weather. Although this shawl is popular in many of the Northern states of India, the one which is seen in Himachal is quite different from others as it comes with a personal touch of the Pahari culture of Himachal.
These shawls are made up of the fur of the Pashmina goat, which is the origin of its name ‘Pashmina Shawl’. This fur is quite expensive as the pashmina goat is not found in the plains and the processing of this fabric is definitely not an easy task. The shawl comes with beautiful embroidery of vibrant colour which gives it an edge over the shawls made up of different wool types or fabrics.
Shwas or Caps
We have seen many Himachali people wearing this type of cap which is also known as the topi or the Shaws. These are very warm and very comfortable and protect your head from the cold out there.
They are dominatingly found in different shades of red or we can say that they are usually of dark color due to climatic conditions of Himachal and the places around it.
The embroideries which are there on Shaws are done with a vibrant and contrasting color in order to make it look more attractive and beautiful. And also it is very easy to be found in the local markets of Himachal.