Patiala salwar

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School girls wearing Patiala Salwar

A Patiala salwar (also called a pattian walee salwar) (also pronounced as Shalwar in Urdu) is a type of female trousers which has its roots in Patiala City in the Northern region of Punjab state in India. The King of Patiala in earlier times had its Royal dress as Patiala Salwar. The Patiala Salwar has a close resemblance to the pathani Suit which has similar loose lowers as salwars and long knee-length top known as Kameez. Over the decades the dress now is not worn by men but has classically transformed itself with new cuts and styling into women's Patiala Salwar.

The reason the patiala dress is preferred by most of the women of Punjab and other regions of Northern India is its comfort and durability in summers. Since the patiala salwar is very loose and stitched with pleats it is a very comfortable outfit to wear. Its distinguishing characteristic is folds of cloth stitched together that meet at the bottom. Patiala salwars require double the length of material to get stitched, which is generally four meters in length. The fall of the pleats of the Patiala Salwar is such that it gives a beautiful draping effect. The pleats are stitched on the top to a belt.

Patiala salwar with lots of pleats is also referred to as Patiala "Shahi" salwar since it was worn by the shahi (royal) people of Patiala city in state of Punjab. The Patiala salwar is worn as an alternative to the traditional Punjabi Salwar Suit.

Tops With Patiala Salwar[edit]

Patiala Salwar can be worn with different types of shirts (Kameez), like short shirt, long shirt and nowadays some girls even wear a T-shirt to give a mixed Asian and Western look; however, the most popular and traditional top used is short kameez.

In popular culture[edit]

In Bunty Aur Babli (2005), a new look to Patiala salwars and kurtis, were worn by film's lead Rani Mukherjee, designed by Aki Narula.[1]

Actress Kareena Kapoor was also responsible for a new look in the film Jab We Met wearing a patiala shalwar & a short shirt. Other celebrities to wear patiala shalwar include Sonakshi Sinha, Amrita Rao, Sonam Kapoor, Preity Zinta and many more.


  1. ^ "FASHION: How to Dress a Rockstar". Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 39. Oct 1, 2011.