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Dupatta: the Indian Stole or Shawl worn as a Wrap or Head Scarf
The word Dupatta is made of two roots - Du meaning twined and patta meaning piece of cloth. It is a word from Northern India - which is given to a garment separate that’s used to cover shoulders, bosom or head - generally by the women. Also called as Odhani or Chunni or Chunar - in other Indian regional dialects/ languages - dupatta is often an integral component of Indian ethnic wear outfits like salwar suits and lehenga cholis.
The use of dupattas dates back to the Indus Valley civilization, when men and women used to drape a piece of fabric over their shoulders and torso - even head, at times. At that time - probably this unstitched piece of fabric had a more utilitarian purpose. Most believe that as per the norms of the Indian culture, a dupatta is worn as an add-on to protect the modesty of women, while in some communities it is compulsory for women to cover their head with a dupatta, as a gesture of respect to their elders. However, guarding head or torso against harsh sunlight or cold winds - or symbolising a certain class - like a Panchayat Head (Sarpanch), an emperor - were initially other reasons to sport dupatta - also known as safa, pagadi, gamcha etc. specifically for men.
While Dupattas are worn in umpteen ways and designs with many Indian outfits, including many Indo-Western and Pakistani silhouettes, it still remains a must-wear in many parts of India. Rajasthan is quite famous for its Bandhani and Leheriya odhanis - and they are a must-wear for women - after they cross puberty or are married. Many Indian apparels also tend to have a bare waist - like a lehenga and choli - so longer dupattas are also worn with them as cover up.
Dupatta - A Style Add-on Today
With time, draping a dupatta has also become a fashion statement. Dupatta is like a fancier or ornate accessory to an outfit. Plain salwar suits and monotone lehenga cholis, paired with designer dupattas are trending silhouettes these days - popular among young girls and the ones inclined towards elegance. The dimensions of this piece of fabric have also overall been shortened and the smaller versions are sometimes referred to as a ‘stole’. Adding a statement odhani or chunari is the easiest way of styling a garment upwards. Dupattas are available in a maddening variety and range. From simple plain dupattas that are dyed on order to match the salwar kameez - a trend that’s popular in Punjab and Haryana - to printed and woven dupattas - and also ornate, embroidered ones - made regionally as well as with designer ensembles. At Saree.com, you can buy a variety of pocket friendly dupattas to go with yoru Kurtis and Suits. Some of them are so smart that they can also be worn with short Kurtis or Boho Skirts - for a lovely fusion look. These dupattas are available at attractive prices online at saree.com
Which type of designer dupattas should you buy?
Women usually look for matching dupattas for their outfits however it’s the era of style experiments! You can mix-and-match your wardrobe components to make exclusive ensembles. A pink velvet crop-top paired with a plain beige skirt and yellow sunflower printed designer dupatta is a pretty outfit for a daytime occasion. Adding a plain dupatta with heavy lace border to a plain silk anarkali suit will make a dressy yet elegant ensemble for a formal party like wedding reception. If you’re looking for readymade designer dupattas, it would be a smart move to stock up on a few heavy brocade dupattas and multi-coloured ones with digital prints- for these can be paired with multiple outfits and can instantly uplift your overall look. Saree.com has a lovely range of designer dupattas with gorgeous colour palettes, prints and other details- add-ons that have a ‘wow’ factor!