Pakistan is a country which has a very rich and diverse cultural background. We have different religious practices because there are people of different caste and creed living here. People of different cultures dress differently, they have their own different tastes and they all lead a different standard of living. The traditional values are given a lot of emphasis in Pakistan and a lot of people lead their lives accordingly. The national dress of our country is Shalwar Kameez. There are four provinces of Pakistan, Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan and NWFP and people of every province have their own traditional dress. I agree our traditional dress has modernized and every season there are various changes taking place. Fashion has basically added a spice to our traditional dress, there are different cuts and designs which give shalwar kameez a different look every time.
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As far as the dresses of different provinces are concerned, there are not much changes in them. The dresses of every province have their own magnificence which makes them look unique and different from the rest. The people of Sindh and Punjab haven’t maintained their proper dress and they mostly wear shalwar kameez but the Balochis have, and most Balochi women wear their own traditional dress with mirror work on it whereas their men wear shalwar kameez with loose shalwars.
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Now the question comes up, how did shalwar kameez come into being? The words Shalwar and Kameez are originated from the Pahlavi language which is an Iranian language mostly spoken by the Zoroastrians of Iran. Shalwar kameez is an Iranian national dress and the most common examples are the large bronze statue from Shami which is in Western Iran and is found in the Tehran Museum and also the statue of worshipper which is found in Iraq which basically depicts the shalwar and a kameez with a belt fixed. Therefore, shalwar kameez is basically a national Iranian dress and after the Arab invasion in Iran during the 7th century it also became the dress code or a national dress of other countries such as Pakistan. During the early times, both men and women used to wear shalwar kameez at all times but after the spread of the western culture the men also started wearing western outfits like pants/jeans etc. Shalwar Kameez is also known as salwar kameez mainly in Hindi language. Shalwar kameez can be broken down into different categories
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Patiala shalwar kameez
Patiala Shalwar Kameez originated from the state of Punjab in Northern India. It was the royal dress of the king of Patiala. This shalwar kameez has a knee length kameez and shalwar with loose lowers.
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Churidar Shalwar Kameez
A Churidar shalwar kameez gives a nice elegant look to the body and is preferred by a lot of women in both Pakistan and India. This dress has a shalwar which is tightly gripped to the body with a long kameez on top.
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Cotton Shalwar Kameez
Cotton shalwar kameez are considered to be very comfortable, because cotton itself is a nice thin fabric and is found in different textures.
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Designer wear Shalwar kameez
These are basically designed by fashion designers with embroidery and beaded work. They are more smartly designed then the normal shalwar kameez and are found in different cuts and styles.
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Printed Shalwar Kameez
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Punjabi Shalwar Kameez
Punjabi shalwar kameez are mostly found in brightly colored fabrics with a lot of stone and beaded work on them. The shalwar is mostly loose from the top waist till the bottom i.e. till d ankle. These shalwar kameez are worn in Punjab mostly.
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Silk Shalwar Kameez
These are always in style, the shine on the silk fabric adds this richness to the fabric and it can mostly be worn on formal occasions. There are varieties of silk fabric worn such as pure chiffon with a silky look, pure silk, crepe silk, tussar silk, and paper silk.
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Bridal Shalwar Kameez
Bridal shalwar kameez are heavily embroidered and are mostly red or pink in color. They are sometimes worn a day before the main wedding day or a day after the main wedding day, but during early days they were worn on the main day of the wedding
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