Oct 7, 2012

Veshti - A Unique Garment

Nothing can match the elegance of a man in a spotless white veshti and angavastram. He may wear it ironed, let it rumple or fold it above his knees, but a man always takes pride in his veshti. This unstitched traditional garment is something men still love to wear. 

“It is the traditional attire of South Indians, especially Tamilians and Keralites. Care and effort have to be taken to preserve the traditional garment, but equal efforts have to be made to keep the veshti from falling from the hips,” said Muralidharan (53), a marketing manager. He added that he continued to wear the veshti because he found it airy and convenient.

Not just older men, but even today’s youngsters like the veshti for its multifaceted nature.
Balasubramaniyan (24), a student, felt that the veshti was the most comfortable garment for men.  “It has many uses. Sometimes when I have to walk in slush, I fold it up to my knees and ensure that it doesn’t get soiled. When I feel cold at night, I use my veshti as a porvai (blanket) too,” he added.

The Veshti

Veshti wearers are not restricted to the South alone. Called the Dhoti in North India, this garment has a lot of takers even there. From Manoj Kumar in Devdaas to Hrithik Roshan in Krrish, a lot of Bollywood actors have worn the dhoti in their films. In the course of acting, they fall in love with the garment and end up wearing it off-screen.

Amitabh Bachchan was seen sporting the dhoti on a recent visit to Kerala. “The dhoti in all its pristine glamour, is tied up around the waist by sheer will power and some dexterous use of the stomach muscle, else it slips down and opens up! It is just a piece of cloth, no buttons, no belts, no clips, nothing,” he confirmed.

There are many regional variations in the way the veshti is worn in India and each style has its own meaning. For example, if a man wears the veshti folded at the thighs, it means that he is geared up for a fight. If a man wears a belt to keep the veshti in place, he is not considered manly enough to hold it on his waist.

Nowadays, the dhoti is no longer considered to be an exclusive male garment. Women have embraced the dhoti into their wardrobe but with a twist. Dhoti pants are all the rage among the fashion conscious. These pants are loose at the upper leg and start tapering gradually after. College students prefer dhoti pants because they are versatile and can be teamed with a short karat or a long shirt and look trendy yet feel comfortable.

Dhoti pants- trendy attire for women
The dhoti has evolved from a traditional garment into a contemporary one. Fashion designers have played around with the garment and added various embellishments and made it uber cool. Trends may come and go, but the unique garment called the dhoti is here to stay.

Note: Image courtesy Google

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