The popularity of the salwar kameez among young Indian women is linked to societal changes. Traditionally, Indian girls would switch to wearing the sari when they got married, which was usually soon after puberty. But as women in India began to marry later, they faced a new dilemma of what type of dress to wear while they were still single adults. They could no longer wear the attire of their childhood but did not feel quite ready yet to wear the sari. Thus, they turned to the salwar kameez, which was seen as a suitable outfit that met their modesty requirements.
For many Indian women today, the salwar kameez is regarded as a functional outfit that suits their modern lifestyle needs better than the traditional Sari. Unlike the sari, the salwar kameez does not have strong associations with tradition nor does it evoke anxieties of learning how to properly wrap and drape the outfit. In addition, its ease of wear allows women to move about more freely at the workplace.
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