"“I can’t say that I have a better party-wear that suits me more”
When it comes to fashion, compared to the rest of the world, the Pakistani women obviously do not lag behind. The style and fashion looks of Pakistani women vary from class to class.
Pakistani designers are always playing with the styles of outfits to make them unique or different and set new trends.
Lawn suits are very popular for women because they are easy to wear outfits and more casual.
We bring you the most stylish fashion looks worn by Pakistani women.
Salwar kameez comes in two parts the top (kameez) worn over the bottom trouser part (salwar).
The salwar can have different designs. Typically, it is a garment which is loose at the top and narrows at the ankles.
Other designs include a baggy style, designer which is a straight leg and even three-quarter length designs.
The kameez also can have different designs. Usually, it is a long shirt, with or without collars, having side-seams which are left open below the waist.
Other designs include a shorter length and front designs which may be a diagonal cut.
The shalwar and kameez are paired together, making the Pakistani national dress, and a comfortable outfit to be worn casually.
Hanifa Ahmed, who adores salwar kameez says:
“The shalwar kameez, although worn because it is socially accepted in our culture, is still a simple, yet comfortable outfit to wear casually.
“It doesn’t cling to my body, allowing me to move freely with ease.”
The kurta and kurti is an upper garment, which is comfortable, elegant and loose.
It can be made from different fabrics including cotton, khadar and denim.
They can be worn formally as well as casually and also look elegant on any occasion or event, may it be a festival, a wedding, or casual gathering.
The most superlative quality about these kurtas is, that they can be worn practically with anything whether it is loose salwar, trousers, churidar pyjamas pencil jeans, long skirts, pants, denim, palazzos or even dhotis.
Sameena Ali, a Karachi fashionista, says:
“My wardrobe is full of kurtas which I normally wear with skinny jeans to pull off the Indo-western look. It gives off a rhythmic appearance.”
This is a floor-length maxi and is an elegant party-wear for the Pakistani women. They are tight-fitted from the top, and loose and flowy at the bottom.
They can be full sleeve or half sleeve and often are accompanied by a thin dupatta.
They are made from many different fabrics to give the flowy effect. A lavish fabric used for modern looks includes raw silk.
This particular frock is considered as the identity of and tradition of Pakistani women. The combinations of different sets of patterns, vibrant colours and embroidery give perfection to the entire outfit.
Naila Khan, who attends many functions, says:
“I wore the Anarkali frock on the occasion of my brother’s wedding.
“The flowy garment looked elegant and gave off a traditional vibe.”
They are tight-fitting trousers, mostly worn by females. Churidars are narrow, so the contours of the legs are revealed and finish with the tight fitting buttoned cuff at the end.
It is in excess length compared to the wearer’s legs and the excess fabric falls into folds which appears like a set of bangles resting on the ankle.
Churidars are worn with Kurtas, short frocks, and tunics.
Humaira Abidi, a cosmopolitan fashion lover, says:
“The churidar pyjamas have been always a favourite of mine. I wear them often, and they highlight my long and shapely legs. The folds further enhance the elegant look.”
A gharara is a pair of wide-legged pants, ruched at the knee so they flare out dramatically. The knee area is called gota in Urdu, and is often embroidered.
Each leg of a traditional gharara is made from over 12 metres of fabric, often silk. Gharara is usually paired with short mid-length kurti.
The design of the sharara is sometimes quite close to the gharara too.
Deedar Ansari, a fashion-loving Lahori woman, says:
“The gharara looks charming when paired with a short fancy shirt.
“It can be the perfect Desi look that anyone can wish for.”
Pishwas is a long wide bottomed well-adorned frock. It reaches to usually right under the knees. It was worn by the Mughals, from whence it originated.
It usually has laces adorning the back, which also contribute to tightening it at the upper part of the frock. Pishwas is paired with tights and pyjamas.
Hina Qureshi, from Islamabad, says:
“I can’t say that I have a better party-wear that suits me more than my parrot-green pishwas. I can tighten it according to my desire. It also makes me look taller”
Lehenga is a full-length skirt worn with a blouse by women in India and Pakistan.
The difference only being that the Indian women wear it with the back area bare till mid-length, whereas Pakistanis wear it with a full blouse.
The lehenga is long, pleated and tends to be gorgeously embroidered. But it can be plain fabric as well. It is popular for weddings and often worn by Pakistani brides as well.
“I have still not forgotten the red lehenga that I wore on my wedding day.
“It is the perfect bridal outfit and there are styles to suit any woman.
“The embroidery makes the lehenga look extremely dazzling.”
The kaftan is a variant of the robe or tunic and has been worn in a number of cultures around the world for thousands of years.
Crafted from lustrous viscose fabric to a satin finish, the kaftan dress is an elegant style that falls nicely, cut with a loose fit.
It is often worn as a coat, or an overdress, usually having long sleeves. Kaftan can be paired with slim-fit jeans or pencil trousers.
Fahmida Raja always likes to find clothes that suit her figure and says:
“I am very thin and because of that, hardly a garment ever suits my figure.
“The kaftan, of course, is an exception.
“The loose garment rests on my figure, hiding my flaws, as well as curing my consciousness.”
Bell-bottoms (or flares) are a style of trousers that become wider from the knees downward, forming a bell-like shape of the trouser leg.
They are worn with short shirts, stylish kurtas, as well as tunics.
Nargis Saif loves wearing modern attire and says:
“The bell-bottom trousers look very chic and pull off a modern vibe when paired with short shirts.
“I find them very comfortable compared to tights and jeans.”
“Not to mention, they are so highly stylish!”
The saree is attire which was first originated in the Indian subcontinent but after partition, Pakistani women also adopted the garment and still wear it today.
It consists of a drape varying from five to nine yards in length, that is typically wrapped around the waist with, with one end draped over the shoulder.
There are various styles of saree with many designers creating stunning creations. It’s one particular outfit which is the most favourite for Pakistani women to wear at parties and functions.
One difference between the Indian and Pakistani saree is Indians tend to leave the midriff bare, whereas, Pakistani women prefer to wear a fuller blouse sari or one that is more modest in how much it shows.
Aleena Malik, a contemporary fashion writer, says:
“The coolest thing about the saree is, that it clings to my figure, and enhances my curves, making me look more stunning than any other garment can!”
Pant suits as the name suggests are a trouser style bottom accompanied by different styles of kameez. There is a fusion in their designs which portrays a hint of western influence.
These are very trendy and stylistic suits worn for different occasions from casual to more formal by Pakistani women.
Long kameez designs with an open front georgette gown are popular for this attire. However, other styles of kameez are worn with the pants too.
Ayesha Shah, a lover of western styles says:
“The pant suits offer a great look which has the choice of pants which are then matched up with the top.
“You can even mix and match colours and styles too!”
The short frock outfits are more frilly in design and are above knee length in length. They tend to look like short kameez tops but are very stylish.
They have a very contemporary fashion look and offer a great range of sub-styles too. They are worn by Pakistani women often as casual attire or as party wear.
They pair nicely with tulip pants, tight pants, three-quarters, loose salwars and even can be worn with certain styles of jeans.
Maira Farooqi, who loves modern Pakistani fashion, says:
“The short frock is so stylish it makes me feel very fashionable.
“I love the fact that I can wear it with tulip pants as a suit or pair it with other bottoms for variety.”
Pakistani fashion is unique to the country in many ways but also has a strong connection to ethnic attire from the South Asia region.
As time passes, even these fashion looks are going through innovations, leading to a wider range of variety in clothing styles, found in the Pakistani fashion marketplace.