Maharashtra Traditional Dress – Cultural Clothes of Maharashtra

Maharashtra traditional dress

Maharashtra, located in western India is known for its rich cultural roots. Maharashtra’s vibrancy is not limited by its geographical area, it can be seen in the beautiful melodies of Marathi folk music, the rhythmic beats of Lezim dance, the variety of its food, and the excitement of festivals. Whenever we discuss this state of India and its people, it’s common for us to imagine local Maharashtrians dressed in traditional dress. Maharashtra dressing style blends tradition with modern style to represent the state’s different cultural diversity. Traditional dresses of Maharashtra represent the deep traditions and values that have been established in the state over many generations. 

In Maharashtra, most people work in agriculture. Fishing is the primary occupation of residents living on the Konkan Coast, known as Konkanis. Such occupations need a lot of physical labour. Workers travel between areas and work under the sun for long hours. Therefore, they dress in a way that facilitates this. From the busy streets of Mumbai to the calm villages of Konkan, Maharashtra’s traditional dresses convey the spirit of the place. Let’s take a look at Traditional Dresses of Maharashtra for men and women. 

Maharashtra Traditional Dress for Women

1. Marathi Dress- Saree

The famous dress of Maharashtra for women is the saree, which is valued for both its cultural significance and versatility. The Lugade saree is unique to the other types of saree due to its nine-yard length and tuck that resembles a dhoti in the middle. It is easy to move around because of this unique draping design. Women wear sarees in various styles, such as knee-length styles and skirt-like drapes without the central tuck. On the other hand, women wrap their upper body with a pallu. However, the Maharashtra traditional dress for females is the 9-yard saree. 

2. Nauvari Lehenga

Maharashtra dress, the Nauvari Lehenga, is a fusion of traditional Maharashtrian attire with modern details. This combination, which combines aspects of the traditional Nauvari saree and the modern lehenga, is shorter in length but retains the Nauvari saree’s characteristic draping. 

3. Choli

A blouse or bodice with beautiful embroidered or mirror work that is worn with sarees or lehengas. Underneath their saree, Maharashtrian women wear blouse or choli. Women cover their upper torso by wearing a top, or shirt. Most of the torso is covered by the choli. The women may wear the blouses more easily because they are half-sleeved or short and feature hooks in the front. Women’s clothes are also made from cotton, occasionally silk. The most popular colours for Maharashtrian sarees are green, red, and occasionally even Kesari, or yellow.

4. Headwear

Maharashtrian women’s traditional headwear comes in a variety of styles, like the Mundavalya, a colourful string worn over the forehead during weddings and auspicious rituals, and the Pheta, a turban-like headpiece worn by both men and women for special occasions.

5. Maharashtra’s Footwear

Traditionally, women of this state of India choose to walk barefoot, believing it to be a natural choice, although they occasionally wore sandals for special occasions. Maharashtra’s footwear is renowned for its longevity and durability.

Maharashtrians handcraft Kolhapuri chappals are known for their lovely style, which includes open-toed sandals with a unique t-strap shape. These types of sandals are made of leather and treated with vegetable dyes, showing a dedication to traditional workmanship and ecologically friendly procedures. Originating in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur District, Kolhapuri Chappal is renowned globally for its flexibility and durability. 

When it comes to travelling, attending weddings, or just relaxing, Maharashtrians always seem to dress in the same way. The material is the sole difference. While silk is more expensive and is used to make clothing for weddings, festivals, and other special occasions, cotton is more affordable and is used to make clothes for any occasion.

Maharashtra Traditional Dress for Men

6. Kurta

Men’s Maharashtra costumes often include the fine kurta, a long shirt that is usually worn with dhoti or pyjamas. Marathi men typically wear cotton kurta. As Maharashtra is a hot state, the kurta is composed of cotton to allow for sweating absorption. Usually white in colour, these kurtas are loose and thin.

7. Dhoti

In the list of Marathi traditional dress, dhoti is the traditional Maharashtra dress. In this state, men usually wear dhotis. A dhoti is just one piece of fabric that is wrapped around the waist and extends down the leg to the ankle. Five tucks are made on each side of dhotis to bind them, and the unfastened ends are tucked in at the back. Dhotis are usually coloured white, cream, or saffron. As dhotis are unstitched Maharashtra clothes, one can adjust their desired fit to be either tight or loose. So proper sizes are not necessary.

Maharashtrians typically dress in the same way for social occasions and work. Because of this, their attire is designed to be comfortable and useful in various settings. The dhotis of Nagpur are too popular.

8. Bandi Jacket

Sometimes, the Maharashtrian men wear waistcoats known as Bandi jackets. A sleeveless coat or jacket is called a Bandi. This Marathi traditional dress is worn over the shirt or kurta. Bandi gave Maharashtra clothes a more refined, official look. In view of Maharashtra’s extreme heat, which prevented men from wearing overcoats or regular coats, Bandi is more practical.

9. Pheta

Maharashtra’s dressing style is incomplete without the Pheta. This is one of the most popular and traditional headwear for men. Pheta is known as the Maharashtrian cap, a cotton-based headwear. Pheta, sometimes referred to as pagri, is a small Maharashtra topi designed to shield wearers’ heads from the sun’s direct rays. This is commonly worn by travellers and those who work under the sun. By shielding themselves from direct sunlight, individuals can avoid feeling fatigued too easily or quickly.

10. Footwear

Usually, men dress in simple yet reliable leather footwear. Their sandals are open, which makes them comfy to wear. Made from leather, the sandals are durable.

Maharashtra’s Traditional Accessories

11. Mundavalya

The first unique aspect that makes Marathi brides unique is their Mundavalya. Mundavalya are two vertical threads that hang down from either side of a pearl-studded string adornment that is tied horizontally across the brow. The jewellery piece is quite striking and nicely shapes the face of a Marathi bride. Flower-themed mundavalyas are also a popular choice for weddings.

12. Nath

The nath is another piece of jewellery that gives Marathi brides a very traditional look. While nath is a popular ornament worn by people of many Indian cultures, Marathi brides wear Brahmani nath, which is adorned with valuable stones and weaved with pearls in a paisley pattern.

13. Kolhapuri Saaj

As the name implies, this jewellery comes from Kolhapur. This traditional necklace is similar to a mangal sutra as it represents the marital status of a Marathi woman.

14. Green Bangles

As green bangles are a symbol of prosperity and good fortune they are an important component of woman Maharashtra’s traditional dress. Every bride in Maharashtra understands the importance of the chooda. It consists of the striking bright green glass bangles worn by newlywed women to complete the Marathi dress up. The glass bangles are combined with heavy gold bangles for a festive look on the wedding day.

15. Thushi

It’s a traditional Marathi neck ornament made of heavy chains of gold beads connected by an adjustable thread. Thushi is made of pure gold and may be identified by the elaborate gold beads that are adjacent to it.

Well! We’ve discussed the detailed list of Traditional Dresses of Maharashtra. Nowadays, most Maharashtrians are inspired by Western styles of clothing, even sometimes combining Western and Indian styles. However, older people still like to dress traditionally.

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