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Guide for the Non-Indian or New Salwar Kameez Wearer

As salwar kameez and its many variations spread on the global fashion scene, we often get emails from non-Indian women interested in wearing salwar kameez. This section is specifically created for those women and Indian women who are new to wearing salwar kameez. If this guide does not answer any questions or concerns you might have please send us an email at Info@pardesiservices.com, we will deal with your questions and concerns kindly and promptly.

Is it ok for non-Indian women to wear salwar kameez?

This is probably the most asked question we receive by potential customers. The answer to your questions is, yes it is ok for non-Indian women to wear salwar kameez. Many women think salwar kameez look very elegant and feminine but worry they will be offending Indians if they wear them. It is not offensive to wear salwar kameez if you are non-Indian. In fact, most Indians are extremely flattered by your choice to do so. If you would like to get first hand opinions from Indian women about non-Indians wearing salwar kameez and Indian fashion in general please see our community forums section under Indian Fashions.

I am new to wearing salwar kameez. What should I know before ordering?

  • Salwar Size - The second most common email we get from non-Indian women or first time salwar kameez wearers is “My salwar (bottoms) are huge! They don’t fit!” Western and American women are used to wearing jeans or pants which fit close to the waist, hip, and leg. When they receive their first set of properly fitting salwars they are amazed because the waist, hips and legs are huge by comparison of pants or jeans. As one customer once said “You can fit three of me in the leg!” As interesting as it might seem, this is the correct fit of a salwar. To illustrate how large the salwar should be please see the example of an American size Large salwar below Salwar
  • Drawstring Waist - The waist of a salwar will have a drawstring that is used to cinch up the waist and hips. Today you can also get elastic added to the waist which will essentially pre-cinch the waist for you if you so desire but many people find the drawstring to be the best fit.
  • Know the parts and terms - It is really helpful if you understand the terms and parts of salwar kameez and the most common variations. This will help determine the look you want as you are browsing and shopping. To see a list of terms associated with salwar kameez and examples of variations please see our salwar kameez types and variations page.
  • Ready-Made or Custom Fit - One of the most surprising ideas to our non-Indian customers is our custom fit service. In India, most women use a tailor to customize their suits according to their measurements. Very few people purchase ready-made clothing and wear it as is because they are used to a customized fit. In the west, the opposite is more common. Most western shoppers purchase their clothing “off the rack” and do not alter it. We offer both fits: ready made salwar kameez in American sizes XS-5XL for average height or customized fit for junior, misses, plus and super size. This service is no additional charge and really is a wonderful way to look your best.

Tips for first time or new salwar kameez wearers

  • Try wearing salwar kameez around your home first - This is a good idea until you get completely comfortable with it. You will want to be able to move freely and feel confident in it. Wearing salwar kameez is very simple but when something is new, people tend to be a little self-conscious about it. If you are not comfortable wearing it, your movements will look stiff and self-conscious. Once you are comfortable wearing it and moving normally you can try wearing it out of the house. People probably will look at you when you are out. Some will just be curious about the style of the clothes while others will find it so lovely they can not help but look. In the case of Indian men and women looking at you, please do not take offense or worry that you are giving offense. Most often, it is simply a case of astonishment simply because the western world has dictated fashion trends for so long that they are surprised to see anyone non-Indian willingly choosing to wear salwar kameez or traditional Indian fashions. Please do not feel self-conscious.
  • What do I do with the dupatta/long scarf? - There are many ways you can wear the duppatta. We have listed several ways showing step by step instructions for several styles of duppatta wear. Please see our online tutorial for further instructions on styles. We usually recommend pinning it in place for new salwar kameez wearers.

**Kindly note that this article and all information, photos and graphics are copyrighted material. These items may not be used without prior permission of the website owner.**

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