The kurta and salwar are typical clothing for Nepali women, particularly married ones. It is usually made of cotton, and custom-tailored to fit. The sleeves have a snug fit, from the shoulders and arm pits all the way to where it ends on the forearm. The top is long and also fits snugly in the bodice, but with slits on both sides so it flares from the hips to the hem, which falls somewhere between the upper thighs and just slightly above the knees. The matching salwar is as loose as the kurta is tight. It has pleats that make it balloon on the thighs, but eventually tapers at the ankles.
It has been said that it’s so comfortable it feels like wearing pajamas. I agree with that statement, but only to some extent. The fabric is comfortable. But for me, and as a disclaimer, this is totally and completely out of a personal preference for loose-fitting clothes by someone who has only recently started wearing it, the kurta is uncomfortably tight. Clothing that I’ve worn that are this tight are either made of stretchy material or has zipper or button closures. I cannot wrap my head around how generations of women have successfully gotten in and out of a kurta without difficulty. Because I haven’t quite achieved that feat yet.
And the sleeve length is a bit off. When you bend your elbows, the arm hole tightens up. And when you wash your face and water runs along your forearm all the way to your elbow, it gets wet.
And the hemline is ok for the most part. But in a land where you do a lot of things squatting down – cooking, washing dishes, going to the toilet, even sweeping the floor – it’s cumbersome to have all this extra fabric hanging behind you.
The shawl…is the shining grace amidst all this negativity. haha. It’s great for protection against the sun and dust when you’re outside, and offers a bit of warmth, especially in the chilly mornings and evenings.
The fabric designs are amazing though. I especially love the embroidered ones, and the print-on-print mix-and-match style of the tops and bottoms.
Maybe I’ll change my mind about my issues with the fit once I get used to wearing it, but we’ll see.
Have you worn a kurta? What do you think about it? And if you have tips and suggestions, please write them down below! 🙂