Pakistani clothing

Pakistani clothing

The term Pakistani clothing refers to the ethnic clothing that is typically worn by people in the country of Pakistan and by the people of Pakistani origin. Pakistani clothes express the culture of Pakistan, the demographics of Pakistan and cultures from the Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Pashtun and Kashmir regions of the country. Dress in each regional culture reflect weather conditions, way of living and distinctive style which gives it a unique identity among all cultures. Originally from Afghanistan


  • 1 Pakistani national dress
  • 2 Men’s clothing
    • 2.1 Regional clothing
      • 2.1.1 Balochistan
      • 2.1.2 Sindh
      • 2.1.3 Punjab
      • 2.1.4 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
      • 2.1.5 Azad Kashmir
  • 3 Women’s clothing
    • 3.1 Shalwar kameez
    • 3.2 Dupatta
    • 3.3 Other traditional dresses
    • 3.4 Regional clothing
      • 3.4.1 Balochistan
      • 3.4.2 Sindh
      • 3.4.3 Punjab
      • 3.4.4 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
      • 3.4.5 Azad Kashmir
  • 4 Religious clothing
  • 5 Wedding dresses
  • 6 Pakistani clothing companies and brands
  • 7 Pakistani fashion
    • 7.1 Pakistani fashion industry
      • 7.1.1 Pakistani fashion designers
      • 7.1.2 Pakistani fashion models
        • Male models
        • Female models
      • 7.1.3 Pakistani fashion photographers
      • 7.1.4 Pakistani fashion stylists
      • 7.1.5 Pakistani fashion events
      • 7.1.6 Pakistani fashion awards
      • 7.1.7 Pakistani fashion schools
      • 7.1.8 Pakistani fashion media
      • 7.1.9 See also
  • 8 References

Pakistani national dress[edit]

Main article: Salwar kameez

Dress is the identity of any nation. It is the thing which tells you the nationality of a person without even asking. Every country has its own traditional dress. So is the case with Pakistan. Our traditional dress is the shalwar kameez. This is good for all men, women and children of Pakistan. It is worn and is equally popular in all the provinces, cities and villages of Pakistan. The shalwar kameez holds equal importance in both ceremonial wear and casual wear. Pakistani women like to dress up in shalwar kameez most of the time and also during different ceremonies. Same holds true for men and children of the country.[1]
The salwar kameez is the national dress of Pakistan[2][3] and is worn by men and women in all four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the country and in Azad Kashmir. Salwar refers to loose trousers and kameez refers to shirts. Since 1982, all officials working in the secretariat are required to wear the national dress.[4]

Each province has its own style of wearing the salwar kameez such as Sindhi shalwar kameez, Punjabi shalwar[5] kameez, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shalwar kameez and Balochi shalwar kameez. Pakistanis wear clothes ranging from exquisite colours and designs to various types of fabric such as silk, chiffon, cotton, etc.[6]

  • Traditional Khet partug. (Traditional loose shalwar worn in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (1842)

  • Girl from Karachi, Sind, in narrow Sindhi suthan and cholo. c. 1870.

  • Balochi traditional dress

  • Balochi male shalwar kameez.Quetta.1867

  • Pakistani dress

Men’s clothing[edit]

Men wear salwar kameez, kurta, Pakistani Waistcoat, achkan and sherwani, churidar or pajama. Other items of clothing include the jama and the angarkha. Headgear includes the Jinnah Cap also called Karakul, Fez also called Rumi Topi and Taqiyah (cap). Khussa is popular foot wear. Other items include traditional shawls made of Pashmina or other warm materials especially in the Northern regions of the country.

Regional clothing[edit]

Main article: Clothing of Balochistan, Pakistan

A Baloch wears a long jama (robe) like a smock-frock down to the heels, loose shalwar, a long chadar or scarf, a pagri of cotton cloth, and mostly shoes that nanow at the toe.[7]
The material is thick cloth with very wide shalwar to protect against the hot wind of the dry Sulaiman Range and Kharan Desert.

  • Elders of Kirani Quetta in turbans and hats

  • Pakistani Baloch

  • Traditional Balochi suits

Main article: Sindhi dress

Sindhi people wear a version of the shalwar called a suthan[8][9] with a kameez called cholo.[10] Other traditional clothing includes the Sindhi cap and Ajrak of beautiful designs which are made locally. Men also traditionally wear the dhoti and the long angerkho.

  • Sindhi Ajrak

  • Sindhi cap

  • Man in Sindhi long angerkho(1845)

  • Sindhi-Balochi man in Sindhi traditional pantaloon style shalwar. Top is the Baloch front opened robe.[11] 1845

Main articles: Punjabi clothing and Saraiki shalwar suits

Punjabi men wear the straight cut Punjabi shalwar kameez, kurta and shalwar, dhoti, lungi[12] or tehmat[13][14] and kurta. Other Punjabi shalwar styles include the Pothohari shalwar,[15] Multani shalwar, Dhoti shalwar and the Bahawalpuri shalwar which is very wide and baggy[16] with many folds. Turban of a thin cloth is also worn especially in rural areas of Punjab where it is called pagri. Footwear include the khussa.

  • Punjabi kurta and tehmat

  • Shalwar kameez

  • Saraiki Turban

  • Bhangra Dance performers in Punjab wearing Kurta and Tehmat.

  • Saraiki Kurta

  • Saraiki Singer Patka & Cholistani Saraiki chola

  • Saraiki Tehreek

  • Prince Suba Sadiq Abbasi, Bahawalpur in Bahawalpuri shalwar

  • Men in Attock in shalwar kameez

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[edit]
Main article: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clothing

In Pashtun dress, people wear traditional Peshawari chappal[17] as footwear. The traditional male Pashtun dress includes the Khet partug,[18] Peshawari shalwar and the Perahan wa tunban. Males usually wear kufi, Peshawari cap, turban, sindhi cap or pakul as traditional headgear.

  • Clothing worn by most Pashtun males in Afghanistan and Pakistan

  • Amir Chand Bombwal, Peshwar editor wearing a Peshawari Turban

  • Man wearing pakol

Azad Kashmir[edit]

The clothing of Azad Kashmir includes various styles of the shalwar kameez.

Women’s clothing[edit]

Shalwar kameez[edit]

Pakistani women wear the shalwar kameez which is worn in different styles, colors and designs which can be decorated with different styles and designs of embroidery. The kameez can be of varying sleeve length, shirt length, necklines. The drawers can be the straight-cut shalwar, patiala salwar, churidar, cigarette pajama, tulip trouser or simple trouser.


The Dupatta is an essential part of shalwar kameez ensemble and is considered a symbol of a woman’s respect. Essentially, the dupatta is often treated as an accessory in current urban fashion. Most of women who carry it nowadays, wear it just as a decorative accessory; wrapping around the neck or hanging down the shoulder. Most of the young generation in urban areas do not carry it at all. Dupatta is also used by some women when entering a mosque, dargah, church, gurdwara or mandir, it is the habit in the Indian subcontinent for women to cover their head with a dupatta. It is also widely worn by women in wedding and other parties out of choice. On such occasions it is wrapped round the waist, neck or just put on a shoulder. It is used with different embroidery designs of Kamdani and Gota.

Other traditional dresses[edit]

Pakistani women have a variety of traditional dresses in addition to the shalwar kameez but they mostly wear them on special occasions such as on weddings, engagements, mehndi and other traditional ceremonies.

The dresses include the ghagra choli and saris which are very popular and its each design and color seems unique from the other e.g. lehenga style sari. The lehenga is another popular dress which resembles a skirt but is traditional dress. The gharara and sharara are two similar dresses which are often worn on ceremonial occasions. Farshi Pajama is an old traditional dress which is worn occasionally. Laacha is worn in the Punjab,[19] the lower part of which resembles the dhoti.

Regional clothing[edit]

Main article: Clothing of Balochistan, Pakistan

A typical dress of a Baloch woman consists of a long frock and shalwar with a headscarf.[20] Balochi women wear heavy embroidered shalwar kameez and dupatta with the embroidery utilising Shisha work.[21]

  • Pakistani Baloch Lady

  • Traditional Balochi dresses

  • Children in Quetta wearing local embroidery designs

  • Malookan, Pakistani Baloch embroidery artist

Main article: Sindhi dress

In addition to wearing the suthan and cholo, Sindhi women wear the lehenga and choli known as the gaji which is a pullover shirt worn in the mountain areas of Sindh. The gaji is composed of small, square panels, embroidered on silk and sequins. The neck line of the gaji is cut high, and round on one side, with a slit opening extending the other. Unmarried girls wear the opening to the back and married women, to the front.[22] Sindhi clothing displays embroidery using mirrors.[21]

  • Portrait of a girl from Sindh, (1870s)

  • Sindhi lehenga, choli and Sindhi traditional pantaloon shalwar

  • Sindhi girl

  • Ralli material of Sindh

  • Ralli

Main articles: Punjabi clothing and Saraiki shalwar suits

Punjabi women wear the straight cut Punjabi shalwar kameez,[23] originally a purely Punjabi dress, which is most frequently worn, and is the uniform of the women’s National Guard of Pakistan, the women’s naval reserve, the Pakistan Girl Guides Association, Pakistani nurses[24] and forms part of national dress.[25] Punjabi women, in villages, also wear the Pothohari shalwar, the Patiala shalwar, the laacha (tehmat),[26] kurti,[27] ghagra,[28] lehenga and phulkari.

  • Phulkari

  • Saraiki Tradition women wearing ghagra

  • Phulkari kurta

  • Cultural dress

  • Bahawalpur kameez

  • Pakistani Punjabis at a wedding

  • Kuaar Saraiki Fashion 2012

  • Saraiki Tradition

  • Saraiki fashion

  • Saraiki fashion

  • Rohi woman’s dress

  • Lehenga with Gota Embroidery

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[edit]
Main article: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clothing

Women of the kalash region wear long dresses colourfully embroidered. In other areas, women wear the shalwar kameez[29] known as the firaq partug which is also worn in neighbouring Afghanistan.

  • Kalash women traditional clothing

  • Kalash valley

  • Kalash girl

  • Afghan girls in Khost

  • Wedding dress (jumlo), Indus Kohistan, Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan, view 1, mid 20th century, cotton, metal and glass beads, plastic buttons – Textile Museum of Canada – DSC00930

  • Child of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 1920 approx.

Azad Kashmir[edit]

  • Traditional Dresses of Kashmir

Religious clothing[edit]

By women’s religious clothing we mean the dressing in which they try to cover all their body parts except face and hands while going outside from their home.Mostly women fully or partially cover their heads with Dupatta or Chadar in outdoors but religious women prefer to wear Scarf, Burqa or Hijab and wear lose, long full and half sleeve shirts. Religious men wear long tunics.

  • Sufi singer, Sain-Zahoor

Wedding dresses[edit]

In Pakistan the traditional wedding ceremony is celebrated by wearing different clothes in each wedding event. In the Rasm-e-Heena (Mendhi) function, men wear an embroidered kurta in glittering colours with simple shalwar, patiala shalwar and a colorful shawl which they put on their shoulders and sometimes round the neck. In some weddings, dress code is decided before the ceremony and all men wear the same color. Up to the wedding day, the bride may wear a yellow[30] or orange kameez, with a simple shalwar, patiala shalwar,[31] yellow dupatta and yellow paranda.

During baraat and walima functions, the groom usually wears kurta shalwar or kurta churidar with special sherwani and khussa. During the event of baraat, grooms also wear traditional sehra on their head. In new trend in Pakistan, mostly groom wear sherwani with tight jeans which is look like a churidaar pajama. Brides normally wear an expensive lehenga or gharara[32] preferably in red, maroon and pink colors with heavy jewellery.

  • Wedding in Punjab

  • Embroidered dress, view 2, Kohistan, Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan, early 20th century, cotton, silk, glass, plastic, silver, brass – Fernbank Museum of Natural History – DSC00131

  • Little Pakistani girl in traditional formal ghagra dress

  • Pakistani Bazaar

  • A bride in Punjab

Pakistani clothing companies and brands[edit]

The following is a list of notable Pakistani clothing companies and brands.

  • Sapphire Retail
  • Alkaram Studio
  • NishatLinen
  • Khaadi
  • Shamrafs
  • Bareeze
  • HSY Studio
  • ChenOne
  • Gul Ahmed
  • Genius JADOO
  • Junaid Jamshed
  • Bonanza Satrangi
  • Umyas Pk

Pakistani fashion[edit]

Pakistani fashion has flourished well in the changing environment of fashion world. Since Pakistan came into being its fashion has been historically evolved from different phases and made its unique identity. At this time, Pakistani fashion is a combination of traditional and modern dresses and it has become the cultural identification of Pakistan. Despite of all modern trends, the regional and traditional dresses have developed their own significance as a symbol of native tradition. This regional fashion is not static but evolving into more modern and pure forms.

Pakistan Fashion Design Council based in Lahore organizes Fashion Week and Fashion Pakistan based in Karachi organizes fashion shows in that city. Credit goes to Ayesha Tammy Haq, a British-trained lawyer and chief executive of Fashion Pakistan, who came up with the idea for Pakistan’s first fashion week, held in November 2009.[33]

Pakistani fashion industry[edit]

Zainab Chottani with her show stoppers

Pakistani fashion industry is introducing Pakistani traditional dresses all over the world as cultural representatives and becoming a reason to introduce international trends in Pakistan. Pakistani media, Film Industry and Internet has the biggest role in promoting fashion in Pakistan. There are a lot of TV Channels, Magazines, Portals[34] and websites which are working only for fashion industry. Despite the religious boundaries Pakistani Fashion Industry has become recognized all over the world through its models, designers, stylists and fashion shows.[citation needed]

Pakistani fashion designers[edit]

  • kuli jumé
  • Faraz Manan
  • M Ahsan
  • Maheen Khan
  • Sadaf Malaterre
  • Mehmood Bhatti
  • Deepak Perwani
  • Kamiar Rokni
  • Hassan Sheheryar Yasin
  • Amir Adnan
  • Junaid Jamshed
  • Natasha Kamal
  • Muneeb Nawaz
  • Alia Zaib

Pakistani fashion models[edit]

The following is a list of Pakistani models.[35]

Male models[edit]

  • Ali Zafar
  • M Ahsan
  • Ahmed Butt
  • Ameer Zeb Khan
  • Aijaz Aslam
  • Fawad Afzal Khan
  • Fahad Mustafa
  • Azfar Rehman
  • Mikaal Zulfiqar

Female models[edit]

  • kuli jumé
  • Amina Haq
  • Ayesha Gilani
  • Ayesha Omar
  • Ayyan Ali
  • Iman Ali
  • Juggan Kazim
  • Iffat Rahim
  • Mariyah Moten
  • Meera
  • Mehreen Raheel
  • Nargis Fakhri
  • Noor
  • Reema Khan
  • Rabia Butt
  • Rubya Chaudhry
  • Saba Qamar
  • Sadia Imam
  • Sana (Lollywood)
  • Sunita Marshall
  • Tooba Siddiqui
  • Vaneeza Ahmad
  • Veena Malik
  • Yasmeen Ghauri
  • Zara Sheikh
  • Zainab Qayyum

Pakistani fashion photographers[edit]

Like other fields of fashion, Pakistani fashion photographers have made their way in the industry. These Fashion Photographers are the eyes of the fashion industry through which they observe and present beauty to the people.

Pakistani fashion stylists[edit]

Pakistani stylists have also a major contribution in giving the celebrities a new look. Their work is also appreciated within and outside of Pakistan.
Here is a list of Pakistani Fashion stylists[36]

  • Tariq Amin
  • Anusheh Asad
  • kuli jumé

Pakistani fashion events[edit]

Extensive fashion activities are shown in Pakistani Fashion Events held in different parts of the country as well as abroad in which versatile approaches towards new trends always amuse the spectators. The famous Pakistani Fashion Events are as follows[citation needed]

  • Lahore Fashion Week
  • Karachi Fashion Week
  • Peshawar Fashion Week
  • Miss Pakistan World
  • Mrs. Pakistan World

Pakistani fashion awards[edit]

  • Hum Awards
  • Lux Style Awards is the biggest award till now and the industry have plans to start new awards as well.

Pakistani fashion schools[edit]

Here is a list of Pakistani fashion institutes.

  • Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design
  • National College of Arts
  • Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture
  • National Textile University
  • University Of Sialkot
  • asian institue of fashion design -AIFD -IQRA UNIVERSITY

Pakistani fashion media[edit]

Here is a list of Pakistani fashion media.

  • Fashion Central
  • Style 360
  • Fashion TV Pakistan

See also[edit]

  • 1950s in Pakistani fashion
  • 1970s in Pakistani fashion
  • 2000s in Pakistani fashion
  • 2010s in Pakistani fashion


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