Dhoti kurta is the traditional Indian clothing of men. Unlike other dresses, it is an unstitched piece of cloth usually 5 yards long that is tied around the waist and legs. The knot is tied at the waist. Dhoti is known by different names at different places such as Laacha in Punjabi, dhuti in Bangla, veshti in Tamil, panche in Kannada, mundu or veshti in Malayalam, dhotar in Marathi, and pancha in Telugu etc. In Northern parts of India, dhoti is worn along with Kurta and together the attire is called "Dhoti Kurta".
In South India, men wear it with an "angavastram", which is
also an unstitched piece of cloth that is draped over the shoulders.
Sometimes, it is worn along with a shirt known as "chokka". In
certain parts of the country, men wear Lungi, which is a similar piece
of unstitched cloth, which is draped in the same manner as Dhoti. It is
mostly worn on the informal occasions. However, Dhoti is concerned to be
a formal ethnic dress in India. More often, men prefer wearing dhoti on
the traditional family occasions. Even in the posh colonies, men wear
their traditional dress dhoti.
The cultural icons such as the classical musicians, dancers and poets
can be quite often seen clad in dhoti kurta. They derive pride in
exhibiting the rich culture of their country. In South India, men dress
up in dhoti on almost every cultural occasion. Infact, in the South
Indian weddings, almost all the males wear their traditional pancha at
the time of customary ceremonies. In a few parts of Southern India, it
is expected that men should be wearing veshti and angavastram at the
time of entering into the precincts of the temple.
The strong believers and supporters of the Hare Krishna movement have
made dhoti their dress code. The practitioners wear saffron and white
color clothing, draped in the traditional style. Mahatma Gandhi used to
wear the ethnic dress pancha on the public functions. Even the Bengalis
wear dhoti kurta on the festivity celebrations of Durga puja. Rajputs as
in "Thakurs" are quite particular about wearing dhoti.
However, since the past few decades, western dressing style has been
gaining momentum. Men now prefer wearing suits at work. Traditional
clothing is preferred only on the family functions. Youngsters consider
dhoti as an outdated unfashionable garment that is associated with a
rustic look. Thus, its fashion has somewhat faded and now it is worn by
men at home primarily due to its comfort. There can be different styles
of draping a dhoti; however, the common style that is adopted for tying
dhoti by Indian men is as follows:
How to Wear a Dhoti