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The sharara and the gharara are lower garments that are like flared pants. While a variety of such garments were in use in India in the 18th and 19th century, some of the examples shown here were fairly common wear in the 1940s-50s and often seen in movies that had a North Indian milieu. Now they seem to be part of contemporary wedding ensembles in Pakistan and also seem to be reappearing in India (including in a sari form).

There seems to be a bit of a lively discussion regarding the differences between the two (for the record for my generation the sharara was the bifurcated version that fell straight and looked liked a skirt (as in pic 3 and 5) while the gharara was fitted till somewhere above the knee (or has a band sort of thing) and then flared (pic 2 and 6) :))

Pic 1: The Bahu Begum of Avadh (18th cent.), Pic 2: The actresses of Dard (1947); Pic 3: Nimmi Pic 4: Still from Mere Mehboob (1963) Pic 5: Contemporary Pakistani Wedding Sharara  and Pic 6: Contemporary Tarun Tahiliani Gharara

About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in 18th century, 1940s, 1950s, Costume, Early 20th Century, Islamic Dress, Vintage, Vintage Dress, vintage fashion, Women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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