I hail from a city called Madurai (otherwise called the Temple City), located in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. It is a very busy city with industries, shops, temples, and lush green paddy fields surround it.
“Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous.”
I want to take you on a journey of the various clothing worn by the girls of this famous ‘Temple City’.
During festivals, temple functions, and marriages, young girls wear traditional attires like half saree, or pattu paavadai (long skirt and tops) adorned with beautiful jhumkas, chains, and bangles or bracelets, rings, and anklets. The hair is usually plaited in a single braid, and the famous Madurai jasmine flower is adorned in the braid.
The paavadai or skirt is plain or comes with a border or with stone works, and a matching colored blouse is worn along with a pallu in the case of a half saree. In the case of pattu paavadai, the same kind of long skirt is worn with a mid-long top. Girls look so homely and beautiful in these attires that it is just difficult to keep your eyes off them.
The most hilarious (sometimes annoying) moment occurs when parents dress up their daughters in a very traditional manner and bring them to marriage functions thinking that people will notice their daughters and realize that they have a ready marriage girl.
Apart from traditional outfits, fashionable attires are slowly making their way into the Temple City. Many branded showrooms have sprouted in the city like mushrooms that didn’t exist in the city a few years ago. Many famous entrepreneurs, such as Ms. Meena Bindra, who launched the BIBA line of clothing, had recently opened a showroom in Madurai. Many expo-cum-sales of various clothes and jewelry by designers like ‘Silk Threads’ are organized at galleries. The latest trend is to wear plain tops with pipelining, printed Patiala pants, and dupatta along with sandals.
Wearing Kurtis with matching leggings or jeans is becoming the hottest trend in this city. Three-fourths pants with fluorescent color tops like yellow, pink, green, etc., are also the latest trend.
Wearing a shrug with Kurtis or short tops is fast gaining popularity. The shrug is either worn long or short. On the other hand, denim coats, pleated skirts, and boots are yet to gain popularity.
Though Madurai is experiencing a change in its clothing trends, married women in some households are still not allowed to wear a western outfit which is a very prejudiced aspect. It is a shame that people here still hold on to stereotypes that say that society will not respect such women. This aspect or thought process has to be changed, especially by the mothers-in-law.
I hope in the coming years, Madurai will see more fashionistas. And I really hope that the city will soon emerge with its own designers along with their fashionable clothing line and accessories, who can design clothes for celebrities and become famous worldwide.