Salwar kameez (also spelled shalwar kameez or shalwar qameez) is a traditional dress worn by both women and men in Southern Asia. Salvars or shalvars are loose pajama-like trousers. The legs are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. The kameez is a long shirt or tunic. The side seams (known as the chaak) are left open below the waist-line, which gives the wearer greater freedom of movement. It is the most common dress for men in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Salwar Kameez is worn by many pakistani girls and women today all over the country. However, this apparel belonged to North India and has been designed to cover complete body.
Kamee: Technically it means a shirt. However, ladies style this in different ways. This one starts from the shoulders can can end anywhere in mid-thighs or extend till the knees. It depends on current fashion. There are several different cuts used. The tighter ones need minute cutting where as the loose ones are easier. The neck border can be decided on. There are several patterns available. A kameej can be simple cotton or can be made out of more expensive materials like the silk. Women love embroideries and Jardosi (glittering intricate embroidery) made by the experts.
Salwar: This is the bottom. It starts at the navel and makes a very comfortable wear. It is either loose on the thighs and remains so only to become a little narrow so it can stay on the ankle. The salwar always matches the Kameej fabric. It can be either the same fabric or use a matching one. There are different types of salwars. The fittings ones are more like leggings and the loose ones are traditional.
A salwar kameej is generally accompanied by a dupatta or a 2 mtr. long fabric. This ones matches or compliments the salwar kameej. Since the fabric is long, this one is most designed one. Most expensive salwar kameej have dupattas that are full with designer embroidery and cut work. Cost of these varies widely.A dupatta is traditionally worn across both shoulders. However, the dupatta can be worn like a cape around the entire torso. The material for the dupatta varies according to the suit: cotton, Georgette, silk, chiffon, and more.
There are various modes of wearing an unsewn dupatta. When not draped over the head in the traditional style, it is usually worn with the middle portion of the dupatta resting on the chest like a garland with the ends thrown over each shoulder. When the dupatta is worn with the salwar-kameez it is casually allowed to flow down the front and back.
The primary use of a dupatta is to cover the head and/or any inadvertent cleavage and the contour of the bosom. However, the use of the dupatta has undergone a metamorphosis over time. In current fashions, the dupatta is frequently draped over one shoulder and even over just the arms. Another recent trend is the short dupatta, which is more a scarf or a stole, often worn with kurtas and Indo-Western clothing. Essentially, the dupatta is often treated as an accessory in current urban fashion.
When entering a church, gurdwara, mandir, or mosque, it is the habit in the Indian subcontinent for women to cover their head with a dupatta.