Friday, April 4, 2008

Get the Right Size Salwar Kameez

The Salwar Kameez is not our typical Western costume, with tight and snug fits meant to accentuate the contours of our bodies. The appeal of Salwar Kameez lies in its comfort achieved through a loose and graceful fitting. The Kameez is the long tunic-like shirt which is worn like a T-shirt and slips down elegantly typically up to our knees. The Salwar is the loose and baggy pants tied at the waist typically using a drawstring. No need to suck in tummies for the hooks to clasp or buttons to go through the button-holes.

Consequently, when purchasing a Salwar Kameez the correct sizing is quite important. Typically, one should purchase the Kameez which is 5 inches more than your actual size at the chest and the hips. The folks at refer to it as the Comfort Margin. Remember, the costume has to be worn loose. So don't be scared about ending up with oversized clothes. Usually good sites have some measurement tips, explaining how to purchase the Salwar Kameez on their sites. What has worked for me is the sizing chart on this link. I usually get many Plus Size Salwar Kameez. Notice on the link page above how the comfort allowance is necessary even for Plus Size Salwar Kameez. The key measurements are Bust and Hip. You may find a sizing link on other sites too like

Once you have added the comfort margin to your actual measurements, you can then purchase the Salwar Kameez in the size format that we are accustomed to - Small, Medium, XL, Plus 1X, etc. Get the right size and enjoy your Salwar Kameez.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shopping for Salwar Kameez - keeping Shipping Costs Low

As shopping dollars continue to shift online, a unique cost of online purchase has assumed greater importance. It often becomes important to note the shipping costs particularly for items like Salwar Kameez that are not so ubiquitously available as a pair of jeans for instance. However, the entire online shipping costs are not additional costs that you can avoid paying if you visit your shopping mall. Remember, when you shop online you save time, avoid transport charges, and also minimize your risk of unforeseen events on you way to or back from the Mall. In addition, one doesn't have to pay taxes for online shopping (as long as the website doesn't have brick-and-mortar stores in that State) at this time.

If you live in the US, sites like and amongst many others, offer Free Shipping beyond a certain price point. There are many sites that offer Free Shipping on all sized purchases. However, one has to make sure there are no difficult conditions to satisfy, and the price of the item is not inflated to begin with. No point purchasing a pencil for $5 even with Free Shipping.

While shopping for Salwar Kameez, I have come across many websites with different kinds of offers. If the items are being shipped from India, it is hard to expect anyone to offer Free Shipping unless it's a major sale. But one may come across a site or two who offer Free Shipping worldwide for Salwar Kameez. I've discovered such sites typically have prices that are markedly higher than other sites for similar kind of fabric items. One such site I've viewed is They offer Free Shipping worldwide, but their prices are not value pricing by any means. At their prices, they can well afford to offer Free Shipping. So beware of not paying too much for the item just to get Free Shipping.

As a rule of thumb, at this time it costs approximately $17 to $18 to send a single Salwar Kameez weighing 500 gm or 1.5 lbs couriers, like DHL, FedEx, from India to a destination in the US. The advantage of the Courier is faster delivery, within 5 to 7 days, and being able to get a bit more detailed tracking status report. Some Salwar Kameez sites may also offer the faster version of Postal services. Such services cost around $14 to $15, but take about 8 to 10 days to deliver and with limited tracking.
This way I try to keep my shipping costs reasonable and fair.

I've tried to find sites with good product selection, where the shipping costs work out to roughly the above numbers. I keep an eye on my favorite sites for shipping promotions. Of course, I make sure that the items are good quality, and well-stitched and the site has good customer service. It takes a few purchases of single or two items at at time to finally find the best sites.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Colors of Holi and the Allure of Salwar Kameez

The festival of Holi was celebrated this weekend in India and around the world where there are large Indian communities. This is a fascinating event and is also referred to as the festival of colors. I find myself in New Delhi during this Holi, and I can tell you first-hand. It's the most colorful event I've seen. It's like a nationwide St. Patrick's Day festival on an unimaginably larger scale with not only green but all bright, vibrant colors. People throw colored water at each other, and smear bright colors on the foreheads and faces of friends and families. In temperatures of around 80F to 90F, the water dunks are not unappealing. The preferred attire for ladies appears to be a white Salwar Kameez. I was told the color white is chosen so that all the colors create their own fascinating painting on the white tapestry of Salwar Kameez. Most of these white Salwar Kameez have graceful thread embroidery. The eyelet embroidery Salwars are fairly popular as well on Holi. Similarly, for men the preferred attire is a long Kurta Pyjama in white color.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How do you write Salwar Kameez in Hindi?

Not all of us Salwar Kameez fans are Indians or South Asians. So how is Salwar Kameez written in Hindi, the language most spoken in India - primarliy amongst people in the Northern region. Well, I asked Aparna, my friend at ShopIndia. She was kind enough to write it down and send it to me. Then she told me about the Transliteration facility available on my blogs, which can allow me to write even in Hindi. Now this transliteration is not translation. So if I write a Hindi word in English, the transliteration feature will look at the phonetics and convert the sound to Hindi characters. I've been having a field day since then. I know some Hindi words used in English, like Salwar Kameez, Namaste, Sari, Khaki, etc., and I have been converting them using this transliteration feature. So here is how Salwar Kameez looks in Hindi 'सलवार कमीज़ .' And here's how Namaste 'नमस्ते,' Saree 'सारी' and Khaki 'खाकी' appear visually.

Well, so much for our Hindi class. Catch you later on a discussion of Salwar Kameez.

Walmart - the giant retailer, to carry Salwar Kameez in its stores

Wal-mart is everywhere. And it carries the whole world within its stores. Well, recognizing the popularity of Salwar Kameez, the giant retailer has plans to stock this South Asian costume in some stores in Canada. The costume line is aptly called 'Bollywood Signature,' after the humongous and flourishing Indian film industry which is referred to as Bollywood, a name coined from our Hollywood.

The initiative of carrying Salwar kameez is part of Wal-Mart Canada's 'Store of the Community' program, which ensures that stores stock merchandise that reflects
the unique characteristics of the local communities and customers they serve. I've often told large and trusted online stores like ShopIndia and IndiePlaza, amongst some others, to have a storefront in some key markets - like California, Texas, Chicago, Michigan, Florida, New York, New Jersey, etc., where there is already a large Indian and South Asian presence, in order to further penetrate the non-Indian market. Hopefully, you will soon see Salwar Kameez in US retail stores too.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Salwar Kameez wins over the Legendary Tennis Queens - The William Sisters

They have won 14 Grand Slam Tennis titles between them. Yes, that's 14. And they're now attending the Bangalore Open Tennis Tournament in the Southern India city of Bangalore. These are the trail blazing US tennis queens - Serena and Venus Williams. They have won hearts in India, not only with their on-court performance. They have won admirers and fans for their off-court interactions as well. The two sisters have embraced India and Indians. Their attitude has been so worthy of champions. No wonder India loves Serena and Venus.

But there is something special that Serena and Williams also love. It's the famous Indian Salwar Kameez costume. While the sisters also seemed to have enjoyed their stint in Sarees, it's the Salwar Kameez that has really caught their fancy. They have talked to friends, how fascinated they were with the Salwar and wanted to go shopping for it. It's the comfort and the mesmerizing range of embroidery on Salwar Kameez that has swept them off their feet. These girls look cool in Indian clothing. Well, I've suggested to my friends at,, and to send a few sizes of their 'cool' salwar kameez to the sister's hotel in Bangalore, India. And they're going to do that today. That will be fun - watching them in a costume that I've been wearing for a long time. Well, the Salwar Kameez has gone truly global.

On the sumptuous Indian food, it's Venus who is very interested in the Indian cuisine and has been sampling the various curry dishes, lentil dishes and Indian desserts. Serena has been mostly caught ordering the Continental dishes.

What a story! Well, good luck to the wonderful sisters. We should thank them for adding their names to the list of aficionados of the Indian Salwar Kameez.

Have a good day! Until next time - G'bye!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The origin and fashion of Salwar Kameez

I wish to dedicate this blog to the worldwide aficionados and fans of Salwar Kameez. After growing up in India, I've spent a great deal of time in the US now. I've observed the Salwar Kameez transcend its original domain in the Indian sub-continent, primarily the Greater India, to countries in Europe and North America. In these non-Indian countries, the primary audience used to be the ethnic Indian community which had emigrated to European countries, primarily UK and Germany, as well as Canada and US. Now the attraction of Salwar Kameez has permeated the non-Indian audience as well and it's no longer a solely ethnic Indian community costume. I've so many friends, who are non-Indians, who wear this costume in the US and UK. The website, that I have used for many years, has told me that their audience is as far as Hong-Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the East, and Austria, Germany, UK, Spain, US, Canada, Brazil and even West Indies in the Western side of the world. That is truly quite global, won't you say?

The Salwar Kameez obviously originated in the Indian sub-continent and is a staple Indian clothing, particularly in North India, as well as neighboring Pakistan. In Pakistan, the Salwar Kameez is referred to as Shalwar Kameez.

The costume has 3 parts - the Salwar or Pants, the Kameez or Shirt, and the Dupatta or Stole.
If you haven't seen one yet, you can visit many websites that offer the costume or simply go here at or and search for Salwar.

In India and neighboring countries, the Salwar Kameez, also referred in short as simply Salwar, is worn by ladies for formal, informal occasions and is a popular office dress. It's simple to wear. Put on the Salwar, which are baggy pajamas with a wide top section, all snugly held on your waist with a drawstring. Then pull over the loose-fitting Kameez or Shirt. Finally, add a Dupatta or Stole to accent and grace the costume. You will probably get the feel by now that this garment is quite a 'loose and baggy' one. Well, that's correct. This costume is all about elegant comfort. It's easy to wear and comfortable to have on. No tight pants and shirts.

I'll put up additional postings further covering the Salwar Fashion, its styles, origins, and good places to buy where I've shopped. So long Ladies! Until next time. G'bye!