The History of the Kurta

a selection of ddoo collective kurta dresses

One of the lesser-known garments in our luxury travel clothing collections is the kurta. This item of clothing has long been a part of traditional wear and has made its way into mainstream fashion for both casual and formal events.In this piece, we’ll be exploring the history of the kurta and how it came to be the much-loved garment it is today.

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What is a kurta?

A kurta is a long collarless shirt-dress, which was once worn by men, but has now being adopted by both men and women. A variation of the kurta is a shorter version, preferred by women, named a kurti. These garments come in a wide range of colours, patterns and materials, including our luxury silk kurta dresses. They are characteristically straight cut and loose, with sleeves that range from ¾ length to full length. There are several more defined styles of kurta, each with their own individual name and include details such as a tie around the waist or buttons along the collar.


Where did the kurta originate?

The word ‘kurta’ originated from the Persian word for a ‘collarless shirt’. These are traditionally worn in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, paired with a pair of simple trousers such as a dhoti, pajjama, shalwar or a pair of jeans for more casual occasions. Kurta for formal occasions would often be highly embellished and delicately designed, whilst plainer styles and simple tie-dye patterns were utilised for everyday wear. Their comfort and elegance mean that they are incredibly versatile items that can be adapted to almost any occasion.

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How is a kurta worn in today’s culture?

The hippie movement of the 60s and 70 greatly contributed to the rise in popularity of this garment, with a loose shape that reflected the laidback attitude of the time. They then fell out of fashion somewhat in the 80s and 90s, before returning to popular culture in the early 2000s. The kurta today is particularly popular in modern fashion during the summer months and is commonly made from thin silk fabrics or cotton. These are often worn on their own as a beach cover-up, with heels for an evening occasion, or with jeans or leggings during the colder months. Their simple shapes and comfort mean that they can create an effortless outfit that looks elegant and creates a beautiful silhouette.

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How do you wear a kurta?

A kurta is one of the simplest items to wear and can be mixed and matched with a wide range of garments and accessories, as well as being worn alone. A kurta dress is the perfect attire for a beautiful beach wedding, paired with a simple pair of sandals, sheltering you from the sun and keeping you cool. During the winter, a kurta can be worn with leggings, jeans or smart trousers for warmth, along with a cardigan for a chic day look. The sheer versatility of this garment makes it a wardrobe must-have, and our luxury silk kurta dresses are the perfect garment all year around!

How do you wear your luxury silk kurta? We’d love to see your styling images!

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