#Men in #Dhoti; Is it not a #menswear? why #shorts?

images (95)Why men/boys prefer to wear Shorts (pants)? Any reasons?

I was little bit taken aback when i saw most of the young newly married couples coming to the city for honeymoon and wear such cloths which they could never dare to wear back at their homes? Idea is solely to couple-wedding-honeymoon-shoot-mauritius-india-indian-hotel-mauritius-best-photographer-7.jpgcompare Indian Vs West?


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He definitely looks like a casual tourist, wearing casuals as he would say? 20171125_160550-1.jpgbut then he is wearing this short pant just with a presumed perception of being upmarket? belonging to  Nouveau riche group of middle upper class?

There is also a trend among the newly educated lot or high flying group that wearing this type of casual cloths is symbol of status?    




I mean very idea of wearing such types of cloth i don’t like.

When i see women kept fully covered and men standing with them are in shorts? i thought why this discrimination? why these women are burdened to save the honour? of family? izzat? Men can wear any kind of cloths but women are supposed to wear traditional dress only?


I have seen men wearing Pant/jeans shirts (to me it looks as imitating the British Raj?) but women standing with them wear saree (sari)? that is a traditional wear of India?

Why women are not supposed to wear those frocks and gowns, as British ladies wore of that time? Men conveniently copied the shirt and pants? but ladies who are supposed to keep the family honour are never allowed to wear western outfits? This is evident in most of the Indian Marriages.


Indian wedding are famous for splendour of colors, lights, festivities. Clothing is the most important aspect. Everyone seems to be wearing best attire of their collection, (often just to show off, why not such occasions were meant for this purpose only)

while choosing dresses for grooms and brides, people tend to choose traditional dresses for brides, Sari, Lehnga etc. Whereas grooms choose most awkward dress such as coat, pants etc.  It is also a form of gender discrimination.


NJ DC Wedding Photographer | Mohaimen Kazi Photography  indian-wedding-reception-outfits


Ideally both groom and bride must wear our traditional dresses. I liked this photograph(below)3860795ca60e8ed1b58457d07afe9497--punjabi-suits-indian-suits

When both man and woman wear that kind of cloths, then only it looks nice. Equal treatment should be given to both gender. Or


There should be an opportunity of right of choice. Girls are mentally / culturally pressurized to wear the outfits in garb of custom and culture? most of the time they succumb to that mental or emotional pressure.

As a child i might have seen this photograph(below) somewhere and few others, where a hero wearing a dhoti is hugging the heroine. There was one film produced in association of Russia. In that the actor hugged heroine while wearing Dhoti. That image lingered on me and still is in my mind.

14071 - Siddhartha

More angry i got seeing few images where men wearing couple-wedding-honeymoon-shoot-mauritius-india-indian-hotel-mauritius-best-photographer-7-e1513770257388.jpgjeans/pants but ladies wore half leg dress? that is also not justifiable? But it is matter of choice they say.


As i said in most of weddings traditional dresses are given to women and brides. Why families or society has accepted this type of dressing code?

British left but likening or copying dress continues? (most people think English speaking is something to do with status?) even after independence we as a society never discarded British dress mentality.


Does this couple not look beautifull? given that we belong to India?

Keeping up with our traditions and family values they should adopt traditions followed in the family.

Otherwise what they will teach their wards (next generations) about their traditions?

Will they not be blamed for imposing their choices on their wards? some one asked?







Idea here is only to compare Western and Indian dress?couple-wedding-honeymoon-shoot-mauritius-india-indian-hotel-mauritius-best-photographer-4


Why this garment is called Dhoti? wikipedia has something on this subject also. People always search wiki for everything. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhoti Is there anything similar search engine in our India?

I was amazed to see that dhoti is linked to religion?  on this link at oxford dictionary https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/dhoti  it is written as a garment worn by male Hindus ?? no one questioned.  The mention of dhoti as a Hindu dress is totally wrong. dhoti oxford

Similarly another link on Britanica https://www.britannica.com/topic/dhoti says similar thing.

dhoti britanica

I thought the word Loin Cloth is used for Langot? I didn’t know that Dhoti is a long loincloth?  Then down on page it is written that it was called a Paridhana? To me Paridhan means cloths/dress we wear.  So there are lots of confusing information for my ears and eyes on internet.

images (104)Mahatma Gandhi ji wore Dhoti (of course after his return from South Africa and when one of our great leader advised him to travel & see around our real India. He then took to travelling to different parts of India. In the film GANDHI by Richard Attenborough Gandhi ji on river of Ganga at Allahabad saw that girl who was struggling to cover her body and seeing that Gandhi ji left a piece of cloth in running water, it went down stream and that girl caught that cloth. Whole scene is an eye opener. poetically the situation was picturized to depict the pathetic condition and poverty. That lady emoted very well, if you see that scene then only you can understand.

He was of also of the view to discard  foreign cloths. He encouraged self weaving with Charkha. Through that he meant our society should be self sufficient, Self supporting, Self dependent even in cloth making. We know it by name of Khadi. Khadi symbolizes Independence, Self Respect, Self dependence.

I like the idea where men and women have equal opportunity to choose their cloths?


Many years back(1989?) i tried to participate in a dress designing competition organised by YSL? I did try few designs for dhoti? in various ways? In 1983 NID the premier institute for Design in Ahmedabad advertised for admissions in design courses for +2 students. Back home i could not dare to apply for admission? thinking/presuming of family reaction?  Back then in age of Black and white Doordarshan, we had TV only for any kind of visual entertainment. News print was main source of information, giving an idea of what is happening in world? so I knew Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, there was another Rina i think? a duo designer singh? Later in time i came to know about one designer Rodriguez from Goa. In photo he looked dashing?

In between during 1985 or so i saw and read about Smt Sarbari Dutta?  20dattaThe good thing was that she was designing men’s wear. She had saree(sari) with Kantha also. I was ill-famous for wearing dhoti kurta among my peers. All my classmates and other imitated the western cloths- pant and shirt.  I was ridiculed for wearing dhoti.

I felt sad to see some traces of  Un-acceptableness in eyes of my Father? Because due to me he might have got feedback of different nature from his peer group? After many years, once on an occasion of a wedding of relative his anger came out? I had chosen to wear coat, long full shirt and Dhoti for that wedding. I was the only one in whole crowd wearing that kind of funky outfit??

My father had custom made most expensive triple suit for my wedding?  Most expensive means it was beyond normal expenses our family could bear? But he made it clear I am going to wear that British dress, which I termed as “Gulam-dress” a symbol of slavery? my papa ji always got furious on hearing that. But I got chance to wear my choice of cloths at the time of reception at home. I had bought a Dhoti Kurta from Kolkatta, Of course not from Sarbari’s collection?  But i did make attempts to see few showrooms in Kolkatta, Wedding dress on display in those showrooms were beyond my pocket.

Dhoti is a fantastic wear for men. The term Dhoti is common to both gender. Or a word is there that can be used : UNISEX !!. But the dhoti that men wear is called mardani dhoti. In some community a cloth men wear is called as Lungi, Tahmad.  Below is a glimpse of few versions of Dhoti.

Priest saluting the sun in the Ganges, Varanasi Benares India
priest saluting the sun in the Ganges, Varanasi Benares India


Model wearing creation of Sarbari Dutta

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models wearing sarbari’s creations.



I don’t know why this image was created? instead of being creative, creator seemed to make joke? or fun. I doubt whether they were serious to bring forward our mens wear.

1b3ca97f59da74b8ce621bae23e33761--pretty-men-beautiful-men there are many versions to tie this cloth called Dhoti.12818963_222051778145519_25854311_n1e952153465024263bb98aee75be0cbf-how-to-wear-different-styles.jpg

festive-kurta-with-dhoti-pants 1-nZ45fQ5-iBXItqDNsJKEsw    3.jpg


In Bollywood or any film attire is chosen as per the role or story requirement. not for promoting any dress. But yes many times style statements are made by the actors but those remain withing the boundaries of characters they played.

Encyclopedia Britanica shows this pic, men wearing Dhoti
Rajasthani Life, India
Indian men wearing traditional clothing and Rajasthani turbans in village of Nimaj, Rajasthan, Northern India


Dhoti is so easy to wear, Dhoti is a long unstiched piece of byomkesh-bakshy_145310027.jpgcloth.

People have to tie a knot around waist and drape it. few tricks are required to do the plaits and tuck it back.



Even wild version is there no requirement of a long cloth. few naughty people tie just a small cloth.

 c463f2b708442f4b3ddfc5db1f99d416chufaylw8aayzmb.jpgcream_dhoti_with_zari_border_kr85cenx85z.jpg dh1   dh2 Lungi is not Dhoti


Our Leaders also had liking for dhoti, that was the Indian dress. No South North divide was there? can you figure out in this picture abe? any difference?

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Men in dhoti: Manipur

kiqplebhibgsi.jpglong-lungiSouth Indian styleMen_1


Mahatma Gandhi ji popularised this type of Dhoti.












Leaders, freedom fighters never had problem wearing Dhoti?
Nawalargh, Lloyd 017
i kept this pic for design of Door: tradition and Art


One incident happened with me when i was entering the Red fort in Delhi. I was wearing dhoti kurta which i thought to be a normal dress. But at the entrance gate one guard stopped me and started inquiring.  I said why u stopped me, as i felt bad being singled out in that crowd. I said you stopped me only thinking that i am a poor village person and cant give you reply. Call your officer. Few more guards came then i told them in English, that i am such and such person and i live inside RedFort. I am going home? Can i go? they started talking themselves. I said you should not think so low about dhoti kurta.  People think so low about dhoti kurta. they have their own perception about this Indian dress. perceived notions.


But when i see people in shorts, or pants i think sad, as how our traditional life style had been taken over by the west.  Traditions also had gone extinct.

People in general do not think wearing dhoti as good thing? i mean not many give a thought to wear dhoti? If they see some one wearing dhoti,  immediately their thought process signals that dhoti wearing person is backward? That’s called Gulam Mansikta? Legacy of Raj? Thinking like a slave. We have lost respect for our own traditions.

Earlier on Black and white Doordarshan we used to get glimpses of few fashion icons. Now this internet has come up with vast opportunity to see the world at our own desktop?  it is now called as Palm top or Palm held devices?

11502189227928-sojanya-since-1958-stitched-gold-mens-dhoti-3781502189227679-1_mini.jpg571b5544b4569d8c62152ae724f5dee0-indian-groom-indian-suits.jpgimages-63.jpgaz49Dhoti is so versatile, as is the sari/saree. Indian traditional attire has vast scope. there are regional variations as well.

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6281c985647f2f3038f43f4c78e90d6d-sexy-indian-men-indian-suits.jpg4bf6d91c29f67a5d3d42209fb939b0a3--greek-men-male-cosplay   images (62) images (61)

can it be called dhoti: but since a one piece cloth tied thus a form of dhoti?

 this is not exactly a dhoti but a small piece of dhoti? but picture is pleasant to look at.


He is UmaShankar in a TV serial(pic above). But he is wearing a ready made dhoti, stitched for ease. But the picture exudes warmth and sensuous appeal. so I included here. But it tells that nowdays people have forgotten how to wear the dhoti, and thus created this new instant dhoti, ready to wear. Just like fast food or instant noddles? how lifestyle has changed our ways.

b2e4cc4ee39e80656ed74c151698c6b6This is a studio click i think. dhoti in this pic is for special occasions. But in ancient or recent past warriors used to wear such type of dhoti. Often on days when durbar or courts used to held.

Sangeet samrat: Alladiya Khan, Emperor of Music wearing traditional dress, Dhoti
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan

Sangeet Samrat most respected doyen of Hindustani Music Alladiya Khan saheb ji in this pic is shown wearing the traditional dress of India. Dhoti and Turban are prominent here. Also on left is great Ustad Abdul Karim Khan saheb wearing a Safa, traditional Turban.

And many more stalwarts great artist of our India always wore Indian dress with much pride and felt Proud.

I don’t know when we will try to love our Indian dress. And stop imitating west?download-9.jpga11.jpgimages (89)download (10)

There are few links available in YouTube on How to wear Dhoti?

I just think of some days when we will start respecting our own traditions.