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Youth Corner: Fashion In India

Manasi Singhal

Every time that I go back to India, I am struck by how much more I can relate to the people my age there.  They, much like we here, strive to find a balance between their Indian roots and the western culture that dominates the world.  It has come to the point where many of the youth in India consider themselves “hybrid,” enjoying wearing the Indian clothes of their country as well as a pair of jeans, the staple clothing of the western world.  They have picked up on the great interest the western world has suddenly started taking in all things Indian and are proud to be so.  They are also joining the rest of Generation Y in becoming technologically savvy and moving towards careers in the high-tech industry and marketing and away from the paths of engineering and medicine that were popular years before. 

            In terms of specific fashion trends that have arose among Indian youth, the biggest one right now is the recumbence of the faded grunge look of the early 90s.  The classy grunge look, as it is being called, features jeans with strategically faded spots including the thighs, knees, and back, as well as frayed edges and even hip pockets that open out a bit.  This worldwide fashion has finally caught on in India and many of these types of jeans are available over the counter now.  The most prominent brand is Wrangler’s 10-year-old, used-look denims and it is joined by such companies as Levis, Jealous, Spykar, Metal, Diesel, and Charlie.

Generally, if you look at youth in the more urban areas, young people dress much the same as they do here, with a few minor exceptions.  Girls, if they are not wearing salwar suits, usually wear jeans, pants, or even some capris with small tops much like we do here.  The one notable difference I saw was that they didn’t wear shorts, short skirts, or spaghetti-strapped tank tops, though they did wear sleeveless shirts.  I asked my cousin, who is going into her second year of college there, and she said that people at her school wear shorts, shirts, and pretty much exactly the same things that we do here.

The general trend for males is somewhat different there than here.  As my brother paid more attention to this, I asked for his input.  He observed that the males usually wear collared, button-down long-sleeved shirts in solid colors, though I did see quite a few wearing short t-shirts as well.  As for the pants, they usually wear either khakis or jeans, and these, though not tight, are nowhere near the baggy style that is largely popular here.  I was also surprised to see next to no males wearing shorts, despite the hot weather. 

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1. April 30, 2011sara 

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