Pakistani clothing

Pakistani clothing

The term Pakistani clothes refers to the ethnic clothing that is typically worn by individuals in the country of Pakistan and by the People of Pakistani descent. Pakistani clothes express the Culture of Pakistan, the Demographics of Pakistan and regional Cultures which include Punjabi Culture, Sindhi Culture, Balochi Culture, Pashtun Culture and Kashmiri Culture. Dresses in each regional culture reflect weather conditions, way of living and distinctive style which gives it a unique identity among all cultures.

Pakistani dressing has similarities with Indian dressing because of pre-partition culture which was shared by these nations for thousand years but the religious factor was always there which makes a difference. Pakistani dressing and culture is a part of Islamic Culture which is reflected in the dresses of Pakistani men and women.With the passage of time Pakistanis are adapting modern dresses and cultural clothing, especially in big cities.

Pakistani young girls in colorful dresses on the occasion of Pakistan Day


Pakistani National Dress

Pakistani boy and a child wearing Shalwar Kameez

The Shalwar Kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is worn by men and women in all four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA in the country and in Azad Kashmir. Each province has its own style of wearing the Shalwar Qameez.Pakistanis wairclothes range from exquisite colors and designs to the type of fabric (silk, chiffon, cotton, etc.).

Men's Clothing

Men all over Pakistan prefer Shalwar Kameez with some additional accessories which include Pakistani Waistcoat with Shalwar Kameez, Achkan and Sherwani with Shalwar Kameez or with Churidar Pajama. Jinnah Cap also called Karakul, Fez also called Rumi Topi and Taqiyah (cap) is used with Shalwar Kameez. Khussa is a popular foot wear with shalwar kameez. Men like to wear traditional shawls made of Pashmina or other warm materials especially in Northern part of the country.

Regional Clothing

In regional clothing, Balochi People wear Shalwar Kameez of thick cloth with very wide Shalwar to prevent themselves from the hot wind of dry Sulaiman Range and Kharan Desert. They wear Balochi Turban made of a very long cloth, often in white color to prevent their head from sun rays.Sindhi people wear Shalwar Kameez with traditional Sindhi Cap and Ajrak of beautiful designs which are made locally.Punjabi men wear simple Shalwar Kameez, Kurta Shalwar and Dhoti kurta according to Punjabi climate. Turban of a thin cloth is also used with Shalwar Kameez especially in rural areas of Punjab where it is called Pagri. Khussa is also used with Dhoti Kurta. In Pashton Dressing, people wear traditional Peshawari Chappal[1] in feet and Pakul with Shalwar kameez. Kashmiri people use Pheran[2], Shahmina, Shahtoosh and Jamavar which makes them warm in the cold climate of Kashmir.

Women's Clothing

Pakistani Model displaying Traditional Dress in a Fashion Show

Shalwar Kameez

The most favorite dressing among Pakistani women is Shalwar Kameez which is worn in different styles, colors and designs especially the front part of Kameez is decorated with different styles and designs of embroidery. It is worn with different sleeve length, shirt length, necklines and different types of Shalwars like Patiala Shalwar, Churidar Pajama and simple trouser. Kurta is also worn by women in latest designs. Dupatta is an essential part of Shalwar Kameez and considered a symbol of woman's respect.It is used with different embroidery designs of Kamdani[3] and Gota.

Other Traditional Dresses

Pakistani women have variety of traditional dresses other than Shalwar Kameez but they mostly wear them in special occasions like Wedding, Engagement, Mehndi and other traditional ceremonies. Among these dresses Sari very popular and its each design and color seems unique from the other e.g. Lehenga Style Sari. Lehenga is another popular dress which resembles with skirt but a typical traditional dress. Gharara and Sharara are two resembling dresses which are often used in ceremonies. Farshi Pajama is an old traditional dress which is worn occasionally. Laacha is worn in Eastern part of the country, its a dress which resembles with Dhoti from its lower part.

Regional Clothing

In regional clothing, Balochi women wear heavy embroided Shalwar Kameez and Dupatta according to the weather conditions. They wear Kameez full of heavy Embroided Shisha work. Sindhi costumes have different styles of embroidery and some women use Ajrak as Dupatta. these women also wear bangles in their traditional way. Punjabi women prefer lite embroidery on simple Shalwar Kameez or Kurta. Traditional Lacha and Bangles are also used. Paranda is the special traditional, colorful and unique Punjabi item which is used to tie the hair. Pathan women wear embroided Kameez with a farak with a heavy Dupatta. They also wear specific type of Burqa while going out of home.

Religious Clothing

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 cover their heads with Dupatta or Chadar in outdoors but religious women prefer to wear Scarf, Burqa or Hijab and wear lose, long and full sleeve shirts.

New Trends

With the passage of time Pakistani women has started to adapt new styles some of which are the combination of Pakistani and Western clothing. Like women wear Embroided Kurta with Jeans and Trousers. Tight half sleeve and sleeveless shirts with Capri trousers have also being adopted.

Pakistani child girl in Mehndi Function wearing traditional Pakistani dress

Wedding Dresses

In Pakistan the traditional wedding ceremony is celebrated by wearing different clothes in each wedding event. In Mehndi function, Men wear Embroided Kurta in glittering colors with simple Shalwar, Patiala Shalwar or Patiala Dhoti 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. women usually wear yellow or orange Shalwar Kameez with simple Shalwar, Patiala Shalwar or Dhoti Shalwar[4]. Yellow Dupatta and Yellow Paranda is also preferred with it.

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. Brides normally wear expensive Lehnga preferably in red, maroon and pink colors with heavy Jewellery.

Pakistani Clothing Companies and Brands

Here is a list of Pakistani Clothing Companies and Brands.

Pakistani Fashion

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 apart from Indian Fashion and culture. 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.


Make-up is considered an essential part of Fashion and Dressing in Pakistan.Some people in Pakistan and many south Asian countries think as white or pale skin beautiful. In the US it is the opposite.In Pakistan, make-up plays a big part for weddings. There is an odd part of the culture saying that a bride must be lighter than her husband. This is when skin lightening is used.

Pakistani Fashion Industry

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[5] and websites which are working only for fashion industry. Despite of the religious boundaries Pakistani Fashion Industry has become recognized all over the world through its models, designers, stylists and fashion shows.

A Group Photo of Pakistani Fashion Industry's Designers, Models and Stylists.

Pakistani Fashion Designers

Pakistani Fashion designers are very creative. They have deep insight of Pakistani and international fashion. They are well-known all over the world and won many International awards. Here is a list of Pakistani Fashion Designers[6].

Pakistani Fashion Models

Here is the list of Pakistani Models[7].

Male Models
  • Ali Zafar
  • Ahmed Butt
  • Ameer Zeb Khan
  • Aijaz Aslam
  • Bilal Khan
  • Fawad Afzal Khan
  • Fahad Mustafa
  • Azfar Rehman
  • Babrik Shah
  • Mikaal Zulfiqar
Female Models

Pakistani Fashion Photographers

Like other fields of fashion, Pakistani Fashion Photographers have made their way in the industry. These Fashion Photographers are the eyes of fashion industry through which they observe and present beauty to the people. Here is a list of Pakistani Fashion Photographers[8]

Pakistani Fashion Stylists

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[9]

  • Tariq Amin
  • Anusheh Asad
Models in a Pakistani Fashion Event

Pakistani Fashion Events

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[10] are as follows.

Pakistani Fashion Awards

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

Pakistani Fashion Schools

Here is a list of Pakistani Fashion Institutes.

  • Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design

Pakistani Fashion Media

Here is a list of Pakistani Fashion Media.


Fashion Boutiques in India and Pakistan

External links

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