Dhoti Pants !

‘The National Attire of the deep south’, said a friend from Obama land nonchalantly nestling a glass of beer, ‘is wraparounds’ !

Well. He couldn’t be faulted to the full distance. ‘Well, yes, sort of. But no. Don’t call it wrap around’ was a response that quite quite get past his left ear lobe. The pitchers of beer were at work.

Lets set the record straight.

The dhoti ( called ‘Veshti’ ) is the sort of thing that gives a certain impeccable identity to the average man on the South Indian street.

A pointed mention to all North Indian friends here ( and as an average tamil from the deep south will define, ‘north India’ means ‘north of Chennai’ ), the dhoti is principally a different garment from the ‘Lungi ‘

The ‘Lungi’ is akin to pajama wear. Dotted, coloured, checks, stripes etc. Worn to bed. Worn at home. Period.

Multitudes of authentic dhoti wearers have cringed as they enter weddings and such other social events in the ‘North’ only to be complimented with ‘thats a nice lungi’ ! Well, to give it some perspective, imagine going to a wedding in a Armani bespoke suit, to hear compliments : ‘thats a nice pajama’ !

The Dhoti is regal apparel. ( Except seeing ‘dhotis folded at the knee or thereabouts and bristling with striped knee length underwear as seen in tamil movies). Its supposed to give the average male some spirit in his step. Its airy, lose and fastened at the hip by ingenious folding of the garment.

Modern city bred males however require belts and such else as insurance against wardrobe malfunction.

Any visit down south, gives an opportunity to wear the dhoti, brave the heat and walk about with this sense of new found freedom ! At least the proverbial ‘pajama question’ that would reach the ear, when the same is done in any other part of the country, is absent.

It is another matter though, that the dhoti is not part of accepted corporate attire.

Quite obviously seeing this in a big city mall in Mumbai created some flutter in the heart. Like the flutter actors and actresses are shown to have when they find true love, or the brother that they were separated from in the village fair. A combination of a ‘Dhoti’ and a ‘pant’ seemed to be a super deal.

Only to find in a short while later that a ‘Dhoti Pant’ is women’s wear. Some thing that loosely balloons from the hit only to taper at the feet. And could make the wearer look like she is floating on a helium balloon across the road. To a casual bystander.

More authentic explanation is in this link here.

What particularly catches the eye is this statement from a fashion designer : “To get the funky look, a body hugging T-shirt and dhoti pants would make a great combo. To complete the look, illustrative danglers and funky belts would look great.”

Illustrative danglers and funky belts for ‘completion of look’ is an awesome amount of elastic stretch to the simple elegant dhoti !!

Whatsay ?