Okay, so Julie wanted me to write something about the clothes here. Here you go Julie, this is for you:
One thing I have truly enjoyed about India is the shopping. I spend a lot of money on clothes as it is, but that money can get me so much more here! There are three styles that you will often see in India:
Salwar Kameez- The Salwar Kameez is a three-piece set. There is a salwar, baggy, loose-fitting pants. On top we wear a kurta, which is a tunic that usually goes down to mid-thigh or even the tops of your knees. The third piece is a dupatta, or a long scarf which is draped either on one shoulder or (more often) around your neck so the ends are trailing behind you. I think the dupatta is needed to complete the outfit, but they are usually a big pain in the butt. They tend to fall off or end up dragging on the floor.
Churidar Set- The Churidar set is just like a Salwar-Kameez, except instead of the salwar, you wear a churidar. Churidars are pants that bunch up at the ankles. Most look like ridiculously long leggings. They are tight everywhere and scrunched up at the bottom. Some are loose-fitting on top until just above the knee, when it gets tighter. Those are not very flattering. They tend to be too loose and the stitching is very odd and unflattering. It feels more like wearing long underwear.
Sari/Saree- The style of clothing that most foreigners think of when they think of India is the Sari (or Saree). The Sari is a long piece of cloth, usually about nine yards. It is wrapped around your waist a few times, bunched into a cute little fan shape that is tucked in front, and then thrown over your shoulder. Usually the sari is wrapped so the pallu (the decorative end which is meant to be seen) is behind you. It can also be worn in front, or even as a head covering. Underneath the sari there is an underskirt and a choli, which is a midriff-baring, short-sleeved blouse .
All three styles come in a variety of fabrics and styles. Usually the Salwar-kameez and the churidar sets are cotton and the saris are usually cotton or silk. They can range from incredibly plain, to the most exquisite, intricate craftsmanship you have ever seen. India is known for their textiles and there is a reason for that: they are amazing.
Thanks to Kelsey for the wonderful pictures.