Since centuries, the Salwar Kameez has been regarded as a cornerstone of South Asian traditional clothing. The versatile nature of this garment has enabled it to adapt and evolve, reflecting changing fashion trends and cultural influences. Let us journey through the decades to explore how the salwar style has evolved from the classic salwar kameez to the modern and stylish designer suit.

Classic Salwar Kameez (1950s-1960s):

bollywood salwar kameez

Salwar Kameez, consisting of loose-fitting pants (salwar) and a long tunic (kameez), has been a fashion staple for decades. The 1950s and 1960s were characterized by simplicity and modesty. Undoubtedly, the classic Salwar Kameez embodied grace and tradition, often in solid colors or simple prints. During this period, women preferred a comfortable and practical dress code, which reflected the cultural norms of the time.

Sharara Suits (1970s-1980s):

sharara suit

During the 1970s and 1980s, the fashion world witnessed a shift towards more extravagant and glamorous styles. It became popular to wear the Sharara Suit, which is characterized by wide-legged, flared trousers. A style such as this added a touch of drama and flair to traditional attire, making it a favorite choice for special occasions and celebrations. Traditional and contemporary elements were often combined in the creation of the Sharara Suits, which were often adorned with intricate embroidery and embellishments.

Palazzo Suits (1990s-2000s):

palazzo dress for ladies

Modernization and experimentation marked the 1990s and 2000s. Palazzo suits were introduced as an attractive alternative to the traditional Salwar Kameez. The wide-legged, flowing trousers (palazzo pants) added a contemporary twist to the traditional attire. This change in aesthetic preferences resulted in a trend toward pastel hues and floral prints, which became popular choices at the time.

Anarkali Suits (2010s):

anarkali suits

The Anarkali Suits, inspired by the timeless elegance of Mughal-era fashion, gained popularity throughout the 2010s. Named after the legendary dancer Anarkali, this style features a long, flowing kameez paired with fitted leggings or churidar pants. Those seeking a perfect blend of tradition and modernity favored Anarkali Suits, often embellished with intricate embroidery, sequins, and lace. This style was a great choice for those seeking grace and sophistication.

Pant Salwar Suits (2010s-2020s):

ethnic suits

Pant Salwar Suits became increasingly popular during the same period for individuals seeking a more tailored and structured appearance. The straight-cut pants replaced the traditional flared or tapered salwar, offering a contemporary silhouette. Pant Salwar Suits were often paired with long and short kameez, providing versatility for various occasions. Women seeking a blend of modern aesthetics and comfort found comfort in this style.

Straight Suits (2020s):

designer suits

Straight suits have gained popularity as we head into the 2020s, emphasizing clean lines and a streamlined silhouette. This style comprises straight-cut trousers paired with a kameez that follows the same design. The minimalist approach and emphasis on simplicity have become key features of Straight Suits, reflecting the contemporary fashion sensibilities of the current era.

Designer Suits (Throughout the Decades):

The influence of fashion designers has contributed significantly to shaping the evolution of salwar styles throughout the decades. Designer suits have consistently pushed boundaries by introducing innovative cuts, fabrics, and embellishments. A number of designers have been instrumental in redefining traditional attire, turning it into a canvas for artistic expression and individual style, including Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra.


Ethnic Plus offers a collection of salwar styles that have evolved over the years as a result of changing fashion trends as well as a changing cultural landscape. It has proven to be versatile and timeless from the 1950s to the modern elegance of the 2020s. It does not matter whether it is the regal Anarkali Suits or the contemporary Straight Suits; each style represents a unique combination of cultural fusion and fashion evolution, continuing to make Salwar Kameez a long-time favorite of women.