Are you curious about the difference between a kurta and a kurti? Well, let us tell you that it's rather basic- it's all about the length!
A kurta is a traditional garment worn by both men and women in India. It typically falls below the knee and is often paired with loose-fitting pants called salwar or churidar. Kurta for men usually has a straight cut, while women's kurtas can have a more fitted silhouette.
On the other hand, a kurti is a shorter version of the kurta, usually reaching above the knee or mid-thigh. It's a popular choice for women and is often paired with leggings or skinny jeans for a more modern look. Another difference between the two is that kurtis tend to have more feminine detailing, such as embroidery, prints, and embellishments, while kurtas are generally more simple and understated.
History of kurtis
Kurtis have a long and fascinating history that can be traced back to ancient India. The word ‘kurti’ itself is derived from the Sanskrit word 'kuratu', which means a collarless shirt. The earliest references to this garment can be found in the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 2500 BC. The kurti, which is a longer version of the kurta, was traditionally worn by men, while the kurti was worn by women. However, over time, the kurti has evolved to become a unisex garment that is now widely worn by both men and women in India and around the world, and especially favoured by ladies.
Kurtis were originally made from cotton and silk and were typically adorned with intricate embroidery and mirrorwork. They were often worn with a dupatta, which is a long scarf draped over the head and shoulders. Today, kurtis are available in a wide range of styles, colours, and fabrics, from casual cotton kurtis to dressy silk kurtis adorned with sequins and beads. They are versatile garments that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, making them a popular choice for women of all ages and backgrounds.
Bollywood's airport look connection
Kurtis have become synonymous with Bollywood airport looks in recent years. Bollywood celebrities are often spotted wearing stylish and comfortable kurtis while travelling. This trend has caught on with the masses and has become a fashion statement that goes beyond tradition.
The reason for this trend, we believe, is that kurtis are comfortable yet stylish, making them a perfect choice for travel. They are also easy to pair with different types of bottoms, making them a versatile option for airport looks. The loose-fitting design of kurtis also makes them ideal for long flights, allowing for ease of movement and comfort.
Furthermore, Bollywood celebrities have a significant influence on fashion trends in India, and their airport looks are closely watched by fans and fashion enthusiasts alike. As a result, when they wear kurtis, it immediately becomes a trend, and people start following it.
Where can you wear these kurti looks?
Whether you prefer the traditional look or a trendy style of a kurti, there's an ideal option for every occasion as this is undoubtedly one of the most adaptable and cosy clothing items that should be a staple in any wardrobe. Kurtis are perfect for any occasion, be it formal, casual or festive. They can be styled in various ways, making them suitable for any body type and age group. However, sometimes one can feel stuck with the same boring combinations and unsure of how to switch things up.
That's where we come in! We have compiled a list of fun and unique ways to style your kurti and add some spice to your wardrobe. From pairing it with straight pants for a classic look to wearing it as a dress for a more modern look, there are numerous answers on how to style a kurti.
Fun fact: Even though technically the kurti is a shorter garment, Indians often use the word interchangeably with the kurta, which is the longer version. In local markets, you will often find vendors and shopkeepers calling both styles the same. To them, and to the customers, the subtle nuance (read the differentiation of length) is immaterial. Don't be surprised if you hear someone looking for kurtis but also wanting a longer version (or looking for kurtas and wanting shorter options).
Confusing, right? Not really, as long as you know this little fun fact we mentioned above and remember that both words are sometimes used in the same context.
Now there are many kurti-wearing styles to suit any occasion, and experimenting with different styles can help bring out a new and exciting side to your fashion sense. The possibilities are endless, and with the right accessories, you can take your kurti from day to night effortlessly with little tweaks and we are here to help you with just that!
How to style kurtis in 12 fresh and fun ways
1. With straight pants
If you are thinking about how to look classy in a kurti, this is it! Be it a formal occasion or a casual day out, pair your kurti with straight pants for a classic and comfortable look. Choose a printed kurti and solid-coloured pants for a pop of colour, or vice versa.
2. With a sharara
Shararas are a dramatic match for casual and simple kurti designs. This traditional outfit is comfortable and stylish, making it perfect for weddings and other formal events. Pair a heavily embellished kurti with a simple sharara for a balanced look.
3. With a skirt
For a feminine touch, pair your kurti with a long skirt. This combination looks great for both casual and formal events. Choose a flowy skirt for a bohemian vibe or a fitted skirt for a chic look.
4. With a dhoti
Dhoti pants are a trendy and comfortable choice to pair with your kurti. Choose a bright-coloured kurti with neutral-coloured dhoti pants for a balanced look. Throw on some kundan jewellery for some bling.
5. With a dupatta
Adding a dupatta to your kurti can instantly elevate your outfit. Choose a contrasting colour or pattern to add some fun to your outfit. If you choose a long kurta or an anarkali style, you can even let go off wearing pants or a churidar underneath. In this case, a dupatta will really help elevate the look.
6. With a jacket
For a stylish and modern look, pair your kurti with a jacket. Choose a denim jacket for a casual vibe or a silk jacket for a formal look. This combination is perfect for a night out or a dinner party.
7. As a dress
How to look stylish in a kurti? Ditch the pants and wear your kurti as a dress! This works best for short kurtis that hit above the knee for a casual vibe and go all the way to the ankles for a dressy look. Throw on some bold baubles and you have yourself a head-turner girl.
8. With a tiered skirt
For a bohemian vibe, pair your kurti with a tiered skirt. Choose a flowy fabric for a breezy look. Wondering where you can wear this? The beach or anywhere with an indie vibe would be the right place to rock this boho chic look.
9. With a salwar
For a traditional look, pair your casual and simple kurti design with a salwar. This combination is perfect for weddings and other formal events. Choose a heavily embellished kurti and a simple salwar for a balanced look.
10. With sheer pants
Wondering how to make a simple kurti look stylish? Sheer pants are a bold and trendy choice to pair with your kurti. Choose a solid-coloured kurti and sheer pants with a printed pattern for a balanced look.
11. With scalloped pants
Scalloped pants are a stylish and unique choice to pair with your kurti. Choose a one with a subtle pattern and scalloped pants in a contrasting colour for a chic look.
12. The classic kurti set
One of the timeless and classic kurti-wearing styles: a kurti set. This combination is perfect for formal events and weddings. Add some gold jewellery and a dupatta to complete the look.
Kurtis are undoubtedly among the most versatile garments, and there are many ways to style these beauties to suit your preference. At some point, you might have tried to style your long kurtis with jeans. We hope our styling tips will inspire you to experiment and bring out the best in your looks.
Pro tip: Searching for the perfect footwear for kurtis? Mojris, kolhapuris and strappy slip-ons are all you need to match your kurtis for every occasion. You can also check out how Bollywood actresses style their kurtis.