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How to wear Salwaar Kameez

The salwar kameez is a traditional dress style popular in Southeast Asia, but the term is very broad and actually applies to a wide range of varying clothing styles from multiple countries. A salwar kameez can be quite simple and comfortable or very intricate and decorative, making different styles suitable for anything from work and everyday life to formal events and weddings. The two major components of any salwar kameez are the tapered pants (the salwar) and the long tunic or shirt (the kameez), but many women also wear a dupatta (a scarf) as well. While wearing a salwar kameez is quite simple and very comfortable, selecting the right one based on material, color, and occasion can be slightly more difficult.




1. Put on your regular undergarments. This could include panties, a bra, a camisole, and any other apparel you normally like wearing under your clothing. If your salwar kameez is transparent, you may want to wear a camisole or tank top underneath.
  • If you don’t have a tank top that matches or compliments the color of your kameez, a white one will do

2. Put on the pants. The salwar will generally have either a drawstring or elastic waist. If the pants have a drawstring, it goes to the front. You can also use pockets to determine front from back, as your hands should be able to slide into the pockets easily and naturally when the pants are on the right way.
  • Put the pants on as you would any other pants, with one leg through each pant hole.
  • Position the waistband at your waist (just above your belly button). Pull the drawstring tighter to keep the pants in place, then tie the string into a bow.
  • If the pants are tapered at the bottom, position them so your pant legs aren't twisted.

3. Pull on the tunic. The second part of the outfit is the shirt, and it’s always easier to put this on after you have the pants on. Depending on the style, you may have to pull the shirt over your head, you may slip it on and button it down the front, or the shirt may come together in the back with loops.
  • When pulling on the shirt, be sure that you don’t catch any beads, hooks, or special designs on your hair or other garments.
4. Put on your shoes. Sandals and heels are the most common shoes worn with the salwar kameez, so your shoes may just slip on. However, if you're wearing sandals, be sure to tighten and attach straps properly so that they don’t slip off when your walking.




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