Indian fashion is in an exciting phase where the trend is to reconnect with ancient roots while simultaneously bringing traditional garments into the modern world. One of the best examples of the melding of Indian and western styles and traditional and contemporary fashions is the short kurta or kurtis for women.
A trendy type of Indian tunic, this item is much loved by women across India, especially young girls and working women. The shape and style of the ladies’ kurta has a certain versatility which has made it a hit item even with international customers.
The ladies’ kurta design is derived from ancient Indian and Mughal garments and in fact the classic kurta is quite long, loose and flowing. However the ultra-trendy variety that has taken the ethnic fashion world by storm are the short kurtas for women. These end much above the knee, typically about mid-length, though sometimes they can go even shorter than that.
Different from long kurtas
They also have a tighter fit than the conventional kurta, with many interesting variations in neck line and sleeves. From classic round neck, v-neck and square neck to the stylish deep neck, key hole neck, sweet heart neck and collar neck styles, one can find it all. Even in terms of sleeves there are daring designs like sleeve less and spaghetti straps as well as the classic full sleeve, three fourth sleeve and half-sleeve.
Occasionally, one can even find placket neck kurtis (similar to the men’s style) with a column of buttons and/or Nehru collar. The cut can also vary from a straight loose-fitting cut to the tight-fitting style that cinches at the waist. The anarkali silhouette can be adapted on to kurtas as well, with a corset like fit till the waist from where it will flare out.
Apart from these variations in cut and patterns, one can find a tremendous variety in fabrics, designs, colors and motifs as well. While the traditional choice for a girl’s kurta is cotton, many other fabrics like silk, rayon, georgette, chiffon, crepe, crushed crepe, cotton knit, tissue and even net are being used of late to create more exclusive ladies kurta designs. Even faux fabrics like faux georgette, art silk and faux chiffon are used, especially to create low-cost kurtis for special occasions.
However, cotton remains the most popular fabric, not just because of how comfortable but it is, but also because of its versatility and adaptability. Cotton can easily be dyed into different colors and takes on prints remarkably well. This is a crucial factor for kurtas as they are primarily meant to be fun, casual ethnic wear for young women. Moreover in Indian fashion, bright colors are the most preferred.
This is why you’ll find a lot of bold shades like scarlet, saffron, emerald, turquoise, mustard, indigo, pink and orange. Of course, softer shades like cream, white, baby blue and pastel green can also be found, but these are less common. In recent years multihued or neon colored kurtis have become very fashionable.
The importance of embroidery in Indian ethnic fashion cannot be denied and thankfully, this is one of the key elements in fusion fashion as well. An Indian kurta for girls can, of course, be plain, but even then it will have some form of decoration either in the border or neckline area, or subtly scattered across the fabric.
Sometimes embroidered fabrics like Chikankari are used, so that the designs are present throughout, while at other times Resham, zari and patch border work is done. This is typically centered at the borders, near the neckline and sleeve ends. Slightly more dressy embellishments like sequins, stones, appliqué and aari can also be used at times especially in short kurta designs meant for parties. Alternatively, kurtis can be printed all over with various Indian, indo western and western motifs ranging from Batik, mangoes and peacocks to stripes, dots and lines.
Currently, the trendiest patterns in the short kurta for ladies are halter necks, net sleeves, puff sleeves and collar necks. A stylish look, popularized by Bollywood movies likeJab We Met and Bunty Aur Babli is the Patiala and short kurta combination. This can be easily achieved in day to day life by combining tight fitting kurtis in bright colors with printed patialas or plain salwars. The final touch would be some funky oxidized jewelry and Indian jutis along with a jhola or Indian shoulder bag.
On the other hand, short kurtas for women can be paired up with jeans and flat slippers for a more low-key and laid-back daily wear look. For a semi-formal office look, they can be paired with jeans or trousers and a simple silver pendant necklace, and will work just as well as tunics.