The unstitched 5 yards of cloth is known by different names Laacha in Punjabi, dhuti in Bangla, panche in Kannada, mundu in Malayalam whereas lungi is informal, dhotar in Marathi, and pancha in Telugu etc. There can be different styles of draping a dhoti but normally it is shorter in length than a saree and tied around the waist and extends to cover most of the legs. The cotton unstitched cloth can be put in place with a belt. The style of wrapping it around the waist also varies from region to region and can be pant style or skirt style. Stitched dhotis are also a rage and now the dhoti Kurta has gone unisex with women also donning the attire.
Kurta is the absolute match for the dhoti and is a popular in northern areas of India. These kurtas can be embroidered for special occasions like wedding or plain white or colored as the occasion demands. The look can range from daily comfort to a little bling for a special day.
Kurta worn with angavastram an unstitched piece of cloth in South completes the look. It is not over the top neither it is subtle. It is classy and unassuming.
Kurta dhoti are considered to be a culture icon with the wearer being considered creative and extremely smart. Musicians, painters, dancers, poets also prefer for their versatility.
Religion has over the period of time, made it their dress code. Long single cloth is worn by the priests of temples, astrologers and the ones connected to the world of philosophy and writing too.
Bengalis, Rajput’s, the rich and the landed gentry all prefer this as a symbol of class and achievement.
The kurta and the dhoti can be off white or cream color or the kurta can be of any color matched with a white dhoti in cotton or silk. The kurta can have embroidery as seen in Bengal, a gold border as seen in South.
With time and western influence, the dhoti Kurta have become a status symbol and an occasion wear and a traditional wear.
All season wear is both a rural and urban dress code. Dhoti Kurta has influenced the world of fashion with the global culture lapping it up and foreigners also wearing the traditional dhoti kurta in the pant style. Old or the reinvented version, this dress will last till eternity undergoing changes with each generation. However, what will not diminish is the charm and the sophisticated look that it brings to the wearer. Dhoti is the formal ethnic dress and can be a bridge between ancient wisdom laden traditional and the ultra-sleek modern.