Costumes of Maharashtra
It can be said that costumes of Maharashtra truly reflect the identity of a typical Maharashtrian culture. A nine yard sari is a traditional costume of its women, and dhoti and shirt is the traditional costume of its men folk. Maharashtra has a vast textile history, which has contributed to its rich variety of costumes. Pune, Paithan and Kolhapur are some of the ideal places to shop for typical Maharashtrian clothing.
Costumes of women
However, nowadays with the advent of modern and cosmopolitan fashion trends, the nine yard sari is mostly worn by the old ladies of previous generations. They call the sari as sadi or lugade. It covers about half the length of the back. Its width varies between 42 to 45 inches and it has two length wise borders, called as 'kanth' or 'kinar'. It has also two borders breadth wise at both the ends, which is called as 'padar'. One side is more decorated than the other. The Maratha Brahmin ladies and ladies of other classes too wear this lugade with the hind pleats, which are tucked into the waist at the center of backside. The decorated end is thrown over the left shoulder. The traditional Maharashtrian accompaniment with nine yard saree and the choli.
The Maratha ladies allow it to cover their breast and back over the head. The sarees are made from cotton or silk. There are different types of sarees such as paithani, narayanpethi, irakali, ichalkaranji, banarasi, chanderi, kanjivaram, etc. depending upon the material used and types of kanth and padar.
The sarees of five and six yards have become popular among the fashionable young ladies of Maharashtra in the urban areas. These types of sarees are worn over the parkar or ghagara, popularly known as petticoat. The old fashioned choli are now replaced by the blouses and polkas. The cholis are modified into the blouses, with close-fitting sleeves up to the elbow and low cut necks.
Costumes of men
The dhoti and shirt is a very popular costume of men. The typical Maratha dhoti is made from cotton cloth, and generally varies from 2.5 to 3 meters in length. It is with or without borders on both the sides. The headdress is freshly folded turban known as pheta, or a folded cap of silk, cotton or woolen fabric. The pre-formed turban known as pagadi is rarely seen in the present days. Sometimes, a jacket is worn over the shirt. It is known as bandi.
There is no specific dress for the festivals. Anybody can wear the clothes that he or she can afford. For the ceremonies and festivals, the men prefer the Indian style clothes such as Ackan, Chudidar Pyjama or Survar. Some women like to wear the nine yards sari with nath or nose ring, and various necklaces like the Kolhapuri Saaj, bangdya, patlya and tode.
However, the western culture has made its presence felt throughout the country, and Maharashtra is not an exception to that. We can find the shifts in fashion in Maharashtra. Traditional costumes of Maharashtra are replaced by the stylish western clothes. Maharashtra's capital, Mumbai, is a cosmopolitan city since the turn of the last century. Hence, gradually the trend of wearing nine yard sari is becoming outdated. Most of the college girls are seen in the western clothes such as jeans-shirts and skirt-top. The Punjabi dress of salwar kameez is also popular among the young girls as well as married ladies. The sari is worn only on the occasion of festivals and the college sari-day. The boys are also seen in the modern western clothes.