Try the dhoti!
No, it’s not old-fashioned or Indian; the traditional dhoti has evolved into a global style statement, albeit in a new avatar.
Known as the panche in Kannada, mundu in Malayalam and veshti in Tamil, the humble dhoti has evolved into haute couture in leg wear.
A trend now, dhoti pants are loose at the thighs and gradually taper till the ankles whereas harem pants are baggy throughout, except at the hemline.
Across the world
International brands like Yves Identify, Ralph Lauren, DKNY and Jasmine Di Milo have showcased the dhoti pants on the runway.
“The dhoti pants are an Indo-Western wear, popularly known as ‘Zouave pants’ or ‘drop crotch pants’ in the west, says Aneesh, who runs Aneesh E.P Design Concepts.
Zouave pants derived their name and style from the French Army’s zouave uniform.
It was worn in the 1830s, and included short open-fronted jackets, baggy trousers and often sashes and oriental headgear.
Drop crotch pants, on the other hand, first appeared in the 19th century when Indian men wore light airy cotton pants.
Yul Brynner brought them to the silver screen in the “The King and I” in 1956, but they didn’t appear on the fashion scene until Yves Saint Laurent resurrected them in the 1970s.
They were later renamed as ‘Hammer pants’, when American rapper and actor MC Hammer wore them in the late 1980s.
Why what wear
Play around with this style. Wear it with high heels or wedges and combine with a cashmere silk blend cardigan and cotton puff sleeve top.
Petite women may appear smaller in voluminous dhoti pants. Wear very controlled volume and avoid all mid-calf styles. An ankle length pant my help you appear taller.
Plus size women may wear a dark solid coloured dhoti pant with controlled volume for a slimmer look.
Plain dhoti pants with colourful short kurtas are city favourites — they are traditional and chic, perfect for college wear.
Accessorise with belts that define the waist or pair with gladiators for a retro-chic look. In Indian markets, dhoti pants begin from Rs. 250 to Rs. 350 at local stores and go higher in designer wear malls.
The dhoti trend is a comfy unisex apparel best worn for evening outings.