What Is Kurta?

What Is Kurta?

Explore the diverse styles, fabrics, and occasions suitable for these timeless Indian ethnic wear Kurtas/Kurtis. LEARN MORE!

Reflecting the vibrant culture and rich art & heritage of India, kurta sets have always been one of the most popular clothing choices of all Indian ladies. Initially, this ethnic wear was predominantly worn by ladies of a certain age group but with the evolution of the fashion industry, ladies, from all religions, cultural backgrounds, and age groups, started to don this timeless wear, for both casual and festive events. 

If you are new to Indian clothing, you might have some confusion constantly roaming in your mind such as What exactly is a kurta pajama? Is there any difference between a kurta and a kurti? Or what's the difference between a kameez and a kurta? To know the answers to all such kinds of questions, read the article at the bottom!

What Is A Kurta?

Greatly dominating the ladies' wardrobe, the kurta is an immensely popular ethnic wear that is not only popular in India but all around the globe. It's mainly a shirt-like upper body clothing that falls below or up to the knee length. Adorned with different levels of embroidery and embellishments, the ladie’s kurta is usually loosely fitted across the torso so you can move comfortably wearing it. 

However, since kurta sets are so in demand these days, designers are introducing kurtas in various cuts, fit styles, prints, hues, fabric types, necklines, and lengths so every woman can find something as per her unique fashion taste.

In the earliest days, kurtas were worn with wide-waisted, loose-fitting pants having an elastic or drawstring waistband. These types of pants are called pajamas and are still mostly preferred to wear under kurtas due to being extremely comfortable and versatile. That's the reason why most kurtas are offered, these days, in the form of a proper kurta pajama set. 

But again, creativity doesn't know any limit, and ladies tend to style their kurtas with different kinds of bottom wear including churidar, palazzo, gharara, Capri pants, and even jeans. To complete the ethnic look, the kurta is then complemented with a dupatta which might be simple or heavily loaded with pattern work. 

Even though the market is full of different types of alluring ladies' kurtas but ones that are trending nowadays are as follows; 

  • A-line kurtas

Worn as everyday and festive wear, A-line kurtas are fitted from shoulders to waistline and get flowy & flared below the waist. Resultantly, an A shape originates which looks stunning when paired with churidar, leggings, or straight pants

  • Asymmetrical kurtas

As the name implies, such kurtas feature asymmetrical hemlines. In these types of women's kurtas, the front hem is shorter (knee-length) than the back hem (calf-length). They are mostly paired with straight pants and leggings. 

  • Straight Kurta

A straight kurta is an ankle-length tunic with straight hems which is mostly styled with straight palazzo or wide-legged pants. Such types of kurtas bring an elongating effect, making you look taller and slimmer.

  • Anarkali Kurta

Such kurtas resemble frocks are they are flowy, round, and flared below the waistline with a silhouette fit. To add volume or flare to such kurtas, six to eight panels are stitched together in the form of kalis. Due to standing on a fancier side, these kurtas are mostly preferred to wear at parties, festivals, and weddings. 

  • Angrakha kurta

These Kurtas also come in a frock-like style in which the upper part, covering the chest, consists of two flaps that are laid on each other in a criss-cross manner which are then tied together with strings. Angrakha kurtas are usually styled with churidar, palazzo, and leggings. Based on the degree of embellishments, it can be worn on both formal and casual occasions. 

Are Kurti And Kurta The Same?

Many people think that kurta and kurti are the same thing with two different names but that's not the case. The major difference between these two Indian garments is their length. A ladies' kurta is always long and reaches to the knee or below it whereas a kurti is always short in length and reaches to the waist or hips. 

Also, kurtas are usually made for regular wear and that's why, they are crafted with lightweight, breathable fabrics with minimal pattern work and embroidery. On the other hand, Kurtis are designed for specific occasions like weddings or festivals so that's why, they are made up of fancier fabrics with heavy sequins and embroidery. 

Another difference between a kurta and a kurti is that the former one is loose-fitted whereas a kurti is always tight with no side slits. Furthermore, the kurta is always collarless but the kurti may come with a wide range of collar designs including a Mandarin collar, v-neck, boat neck, keyholes, or off-shoulder. Lastly, kurtas usually have full sleeves or ¾ sleeve length whereas Kurtis are mostly sleeveless or shorter than ¾ length. 


Q1: What is the proper fit for a kurta?
You should pick the appropriate fit as per your body type. For example, if you have a chubby physique that is more on the round side, you better opt for a loose-fit kurta. On the other hand, if you are skinny, get a kurta which is slightly tighter on the shoulders and loose around the torso. Never go for a too-baggy or too-tight fit.  

Q2: What is a Pakistani-style kurta called?
The salwar kameez is the Pakistani version of a kurta pajama which resembles a lot of Indian kurtas with only one exception; the Pakistani salwar is looser from waist to calf but tight around the ankles. 

Q3: Which kurta is best for summer?
Cotton kurtas are generally more preferred for summertime as this fabric is more breathable and holds amazing moisture-wicking properties which in turn keeps you fresh, dry, and cool throughout the day.

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