The History of Female Pakistani Clothing

Pakistani Clothing History

The term Pakistani clothing refers to the ethnic clothing that is typically worn by individuals in the country of Pakistan and by the People of Pakistani descent. Pakistani clothes express the Culture of Pakistan, the Demographics of Pakistan and regional Cultures which include Punjabi culture, Sindhi culture, Balochi culture, Pashtun culture and Kashmiri culture. Dresses in each regional culture reflect weather conditions, the way of living and the distinctive style which gives it a unique identity across all cultures.

Pakistani dressing has similarities with Indian dressing because of pre-partition culture which was shared by these nations for thousands of years. Traditional Pakistani dressing also shares similarities between the ethnic groups of central Asia and ethnicities of the Iranian plateau such as the Turkic ethnic groups (i.e. Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmens) and Iranian ethnic groups (Tajiks, Khorasani Persians and Pashtoons), that have been separate from the cultures of modern day Pakistan during the Durand agreement between Afghanistan and the British raj. With the passage of time Pakistanis are adapting modern dress and cultural clothing, especially in big countries.

The shalwar kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is worn by men and women in all four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA in the country and in Azad Kashmir. Each province has its own style of wearing the Shalwar Qameez. Pakistanis wear various clothing depending on the colors and the type of fabric (silk, chiffon, cotton, etc.).

Men across Pakistan prefer shalwar kameez with some additional accessories which include Pakistani Waistcoat, Achkan and Sherwani with the shalwar kameez or with Churidar Pajama. Jinnah Cap also called Karakul, Fez also called Rumi Topi and Taqiyah (cap) is used with Shalwar Kameez. Khussa is a popular foot wear with shalwar kameez. Men like to wear traditional shawls made of Pashmina or other warm materials, especially in Northern part of the country.

With regional clothing, Balochi women wear heavy embroidered Shalwar Kameez and Dupatta depending on the weather conditions. They wear Kameez full of heavy Embroided Shisha work. Sindhi costumes have different styles of embroidery and some women use Ajrak as Dupatta. these women also wear bangles in their traditional way. Punjabi women prefer light embroidery on simple Shalwar Kameez or Kurta. Traditional Lacha and Bangles are also used. Paranda is the traditional, colorful and unique Punjabi item which is used to tie hair. Pathan women wear embroided Kameez with a farak with a heavy Dupatta. Kashmiri phiran style kameez has heavy embroidery on the front neck of the kameez and is often made of wool.

Women Dresses

With women's religious clothing, it’s aimed to cover all their body parts except face and hands when going outside from their home. Most women will cover their heads with Dupatta or Chadar when outside, but religious women prefer to wear a Scarf, Burqa or Hijab with long full sleeve shirts.

With the passage of time Pakistani women have started to adapt new styles some of which are the combination of Pakistani and Western clothing. Like women wear Embroided Kurta with Jeans and Trousers. Tight half sleeve and sleeveless shirts with Capri Trousers have also been adopted.


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