A gentleman's guide to Bengal kurtas

Kurtas for men

A pair of kurta-pajama forms the quintessential traditional wear for men from most parts of India. Bengal too, has its own version of this favourite ethnic attire. Interestingly, Bengalis refer to a kurta as ‘Panjabi’, possibly after the men from Punjab from whom they borrowed this outfit!  

Traditional kurtas from Bengal come in a variety of fabrics – cotton, silk-cotton, pure silk and tussar silk. They range from simple, plain or printed kurtas to more decorative ones with embroidered patterns. At Parinita, we offer a wide range of embroidered kurtas. The simplest ones have light, elegant embroidery around the neck and buttonholes while the more gorgeous ones have ornate patterns covering the front of the kurta. The kurtas come in 5 sizes: S/M/L/XL/XXL. Check the size specifications provided with each kurta to select the one that's right for you.

Cotton Kurtas: They are light, comfortable and good for casual and semi-formal wear. They come in a variety of colours and embroidered patterns. 

Silk-Cotton Kurtas: They are heavier than the cotton kurtas and have a rich, glossy finish with elaborate embroidered patterns. They are suitable for wearing to formal parties and social functions. A special variety of silk-cotton kurtas have hand-embroidered kantha patterns. The kantha work in these kurtas is done by rural craftswomen from Bolpur (in West Bengal). Another special variety of silk-cotton kurtas are the zamindar-styled kurtas. Instead of buttons in front, these kurtas have a side-opening to be fastened with strings, giving them a grand, zamindar-type look. 

Pure Silk Kurtas: They are made of soft, mulberry silk and are very light and comfortable. They are quite gorgeous, and are available in a range of colours from light and elegant to bright and flashy. Intricately embroidered patterns add to the brilliance of these silk kurtas. They are suitable for wearing to festivities and celebratory events. 

Tussar Silk Kurtas: The tussar silk kurtas come in natural shades of beige, cream, honey and tawny and have a golden sheen. The fabric of these kurtas is very fine with a paper-like texture. They are usually adorned with embroidered patterns ranging from light designs only around the neck, to heavy, ornate ones decorating the entire front of the kurta. These kurtas are apt for wearing to religious and social functions, such as pujas and weddings. A tussar silk kurta and dhoti is the conventional attire for a Bengali groom at his wedding.

Traditionally, kurtas were worn over pajamas or dhotis. Today, they are often paired with trousers or even a pair of jeans, giving a contemporary look to this traditional men's attire.

Cotton kurtas for men

Pure silk Men's kurtas from Bengal

Tussar silk men's kurtas from Bengal

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