Traditional Dress of Tamil Nadu


India is a vast country with several diversities. One can notice a difference in culture, food habits, clothing, languages that differ from state to state. Ethnic clothing of a particular state differs according to the religion, tribes, and communities within the state. Tamil Nadu which is in the southern part of India is known for its rich culture. Traditional dress of Tamil Nadu – People here wear clothes made of different materials like cotton, chiffon, silk, organza, georgette, and patola silk. 

Let us now find more about the dress culture of Tamil Nadu.

What people of Tamil Nadu wear generally?

Daily wear for women

Women of Tamil Nadu generally wear saris. Saris are called pudavai in Tamil Nadu. Due to the hot climate that is prevalent throughout the state, cotton sarees find a significant place in their daily wear. The traditional production of handloom sarees also helps in the economic development of rural communities. In urban parts of Tamil Nadu, young girls wear modern western wears, salwar kameez, and skirts while those in the rural side prefer half saree also known as pavadai thavani and salwar kameez. Girl children wear frocks and paavadai.

Also read: Traditional attire of an Indian woman

Daily wear for men

Men in Tamil Nadu wear dhoti and shirts. Dhoti is the national dress of our country too. Dhoti which is called veshti in Tamil is widely worn by men across the state. Urban men wear shirts, trousers, and jeans to a large extent.

What people of Tamil Nadu wear during a wedding or traditional festivals?

Sarees find immense significance in the traditional clothing of Tamil women. They prefer to wear silk sarees while going to temples, parties and marriages. Silk sarees are worn during various festivals too. Kancheepuram silk saree is famous across the globe. Its exquisite style, intricate zari work, color, texture, and style are quite different from its northern counterparts. The length of these sarees would be six yards and nine yards. Nine-yard silk sari is generally worn by married women of the Brahmin community. Young girls wear pattu pavadai and sattai or dhavani for special occasions.

Men wear pattu veshti and pattu sattai and angavastram. Angavastram is a piece of cloth wrapped around the shoulders. In the olden days, it was used as upper clothing but nowadays it is used above the shirt. Today silk shirts of different bright colors and designs are available in the market.

How has the North Indian clothing style influenced Tamil Nadu?

Even though Tamil Nadu has a wide variety of dress types, people nowadays prefer northern outfits as well. Salwar kameez, lehenga, Anarkali, kurta, net saree, dresses with zari work and beads have found a place in their closets. The floral designs, beadwork, embroidery work, and the perfect fittings of these dresses attract the women here. Bridals lehengas worn by the brides during their marriage in the northern part have now found a significant place in Tamil weddings too. Women wear northern dresses for parties, receptions, and marriages.

Men in Tamil Nadu too prefer wearing North Indian dresses for special occasions. They wear kurta pyjamas, sherwani, indo-western traditional outfits, jodhpuri suits, and many more. Of late men too have started a keen interest in experimenting with different types of dresses. They too are conscious about their look and style. This can be evident from the rise in the number of men adorning north Indian outfits on several occasions. Now they too can boast about the variety and types of clothing they have apart from dhoti and shirts.

Bottom Line 

The traditional dress Tamil Nadu is pattu veshti, pattu sattai, and angavastram for men and silk sarees for women. North Indian clothes like Lehenga Choli and Pyjama kurta have also been accepted and worn by many Tamilians. 

Daily-wear and casual-wear have also seen a hint of western-clothing!