Most women wear a saris (a straight piece of cloth draped around the body as a long dress) and short blouses. They place its loose end over the head or shoulder. Wealthy women may wear saris made of silk, with borders of gold thread. Many of the women in urban areas wear pyjamas (full trousers) with a long blouse and a veil. Western style of clothing, like jeans and T-shirts are gaining popularity. Like other Indian women, women in Kerala also wear jewellery, especially earrings and bracelets. Many women also wear a kumkum (round dot) in the middle of the forehead. The kumkum, which is usually prepared from a red or black powder, is considered a mark of beauty.
It is during the festivals, especially Onam and Vishu, that one can see the typical Kerala dressing when the women in 'Set Saris' (white saris with borders of gold thread (Kasavu)) and blouse matching the sari border colour could be seen
with men, who prefer white dhoti with 'kasavu' borders for such occasions. Young girls wear long skirts and blouses of various colours.
Most rural people, especially females, do not wear shoes and, when footwear is necessary, prefer sandals.
Throughout Kerala, however, Western dress is increasingly in vogue, especially among urban and educated males, and Western-style school uniforms are worn by both sexes in many schools, even in rural areas of Kerala.
Don't Know How to Wear a Saree? Click here for Step by Step instruction with illustration to learn how to wear a saree.