Kurta Pyjama for Diwali© Getty Images

Your Guide To The Perfect Kurta For The Festive Season

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

The festive season is upon us and in no time you will be inundated with invites for weddings by the dozen. Aside from a healthy appetite and a comfortable pair of dancing shoes, you need to stock up on ethnic wear too because, as much as you want, you can’t show up to your family’s Diwalipooja in your favourite band’s T-shirt and ripped denim jeans.

If you’re someone who doesn’t know their Pathani kurtas from their bandhgalas, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to break down everything you need to know before going kurta pyjama shopping this Diwali and wedding season and have you look stylish and feel comfortable in the outfit you pick.

Ranbir Kapoor in Kurta Pyjama©Getty Images

Typical Features of a Kurta

So before we get into picking the perfect kurta design for you, here are a few basics you need to be acquainted with before you set out to buy yourself one.

  • Kurtas are a traditional South Asian garment worn on the upper body that can vary in style, length, and designs.
  • Typically, men’s kurta designs are straight cut, with a symmetrical hemline, and come with full sleeves. However, you can play around with the design depending on your preferences.
  • Men’s kurtas usually come with a variety of accessories like contrasting waistcoat-style jackets, pocket chains, decorative buttons, different types of bottoms to pair it with.

Different Types of Kurtas for Men

Riteish Deshmukh in Kurta Pajama©Getty Images

A kurta is the most versatile item in any man’s wardrobe. It can be paired with a number of bottom wear options for a different look each time. Depending on the kurta design you pick, you can make it work for a number of different occasions, be it work, a wedding, or even lounging about the house.

The length of the kurta can vary depending on your preference and the occasion. You can even go for different variations in the prints or embroidery work done on the kurta. The possibilities are endless and so much fun. Here’s a quick breakdown of all the different types of kurtas you can pick from:

Cotton Kurtas with Salwar

When in doubt, go the OG way! A basic cotton kurta and salwar set can make you look ready for any event, be it a Diwali party or a wedding sangeet. The fabric is comfortable enough for you to not feel hot and bothered on the inevitable stint on the dance floor and it also makes you look well out together.

Pathani Kurta

Salman Khan in Pathani Kurta Pajama©Pintrest

Two of the major characteristic differences between a regular kurta and a Pathani suit are the fact that these are one solid colour (for both the top and the bottom) and the kurtas end just at the knees. These kurtas often come with shoulder straps that set them apart from other types of kurta designs.

Bandhgala Kurtas

Virat Kohli in Bandhgala Kurtas©Manyavar

Bandhgalas are usually three-piece kurta sets, comprising of a simple kurta and salwar along with a bandhgala jacket. The jacket has a mandarin collar and can be of a contrasting colour to the kurta and salwar, or feature heavy embellishments. It depends on how you want to style it or the occasion.

Asymmetrical Kurtas

One of the more recent innovations in kurta designs for men is the asymmetrical kurtas. True to their name, these kurtas feature hemlines that are not, well, symmetrical. This is a perfect blend of traditional and modern design, giving you ample room to style it in a way that reflects your personality and taste best. The statement kurta also ensures that you don’t need any more accessories to stand out from the crowd.

Churidaar Kurta Pyjama

While the actual kurta can be the regular kind, the churidaar kurta comes with a tapered pyjama that is always a little longer than your actual length. This extra length is then gathered above the ankles, giving the bottom the characteristic bangle-like appearance. A churidaar kurta is best for formal occasions and can be worn with a jacket to enhance the structural aspect of the design.

Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Kurta

Kurta Pajama for Men©Getty Images


It should go without saying, but before settling on a kurta design, make sure you keep the occasion it’s for in mind. Traditional kurta designs and prints can work best for weddings and other formal occasions. For a semi-formal event, you can experiment with colours and silhouettes. You can even opt for fusion designs for less formal events. If it’s just for lounging around the house, then you can go for basic kurta designs too.

Kurta Material

Depending on the occasion and the weather, you should be careful of the material you pick for the kurta. Silk and khadi fabrics work best for occasions like weddings and other formal events as they give a more luxurious look and are difficult to maintain, therefore should be worn occasionally. A cotton blend can work well for semi-formal events like house parties or pre-wedding festivities.

Kurta Accessories

Kurta Accessories©Pinterest

There are a number of accessories that you can go for when wearing a kurta this festive season. These include jackets, shawls, juttis, statement chains, watches, pocket squares, or sunglasses. Make sure to keep a balance between the number of accessories you’re picking and the kurta design. It’s always good practice to pare it down to one statement accessory that makes the look complete.

Kurta Fitting

One of the most important things to consider before buying yourself a kurta set is the fitting. An ill-fitted kurta will make you look sloppy and underdressed. The ideal fit of a kurta is one that is comfortable. Too big or too tight kurtas can make you feel uncomfortable, in turn making you look shabby. If you have the time and budget, go for custom-made tailored kurta sets for the best fit. If not, then make sure you know your measurements well and try the kurta once before buying it.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2014©GettyImages

If you’re not someone who wears and buys kurtas on a regular basis, it’s easy to make some common mistakes. Fret not, we’ve got your back. Here are some basic mistakes to avoid while buying a kurta this festive season.

Right Kurta Material

As mentioned earlier, the right material can make or break your look. Keep in mind the occasion and the weather before settling on a kurta. Heavy silks, wool, or even some cotton blends will not work for humid or hot weather. Make sure the material you pick is comfortable and lasts for a long time. If you’re buying online, make sure the brand has a return policy if the material doesn’t feel right when it reaches your hands.

Kurta Finishing

Before buying a kurta, check it thoroughly for any loose stitches or missing buttons. If it’s a colourful or printed kurta, make sure to check whether the colour is fast or not. If not, then it will start fading after a few uses and washes and could be a waste of money.

Kurta Trends

While it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends in kurta designs for men, it’s also important to buy something that you feel comfortable wearing, especially if it’s an expensive one. If you’re investing in a designer kurta, then it should be timeless and should be able to be worn multiple times in the future without any worries of it being out of style.

How to Style Your Kurta

The importance of the right fit for your kurta cannot be overstated. Once you have that sorted, you can play around with the accessories for your fit. Here are a few quick styling tips to help you out in a pinch…

  • If you’re going for a more casual and laidback look, pair the kurta with blue denim jeans for an effortlessly stylish look. A churidar pyjama or salwar can make your kurta look more formal for an occasion like Diwali or a wedding function.
  • Add a contrasting-coloured jacket or a printed one over a solid-coloured kurta set to make the look appear more put together instantly. You can experiment with the style and cut of the jacket according to your preference.
  • Keep the accessories to minimal. Going overboard with your accessories can make your look appear too busy, and it’s best to practice constraint when picking out the right accompaniment for your look. Go for a statement chain or a pocket watch with your kurta and jacket combo, or stick to a nice pair of juttis to complete your look.

Celebrity Inspiration for Kurta Designs for Diwali

Fawad Khan in Kurta Pajama©Getty Images

Now that you’ve read through our meticulous guide to picking out the best kurta, we’re sure you’re raring to go out and buy yourself the perfect one for this Diwali. Before you set out on a shopping spree, take a look at some of these celebrities and their kurta picks for inspiration to pick your own style and design. Here are a few of our favourite celeb-inspired kurta designs for your consideration…

Varun Dhawan

The JugJugg Jeeyo actor is not afraid to experiment with his style, as evidenced by this one-toned kurta set he picked out recently. The actor has paired a short-length kurta with dhoti-style bottoms and a textured jacket, showing how much you can do with just playing around with the lengths and textures.

Shahid Kapoor

The actor’s embroidered kurta and tapered straight-legged bottoms are perfect for you if you’re not someone who is used to wearing kurtas for formal events. It’s easy to carry, looks great, and is perfect for both formal and informal events.

Ranbir Kapoor

Take cues from the Shamshera actor and experiment with the kind of fabric you want to go for with your kurta design this season. You can ditch the traditional silks and cotton in favour of an unconventional material like velvet. Just make sure it suits the weather you’re in currently!

Saif Ali Khan

The nawab of Pataudi is often spotted wearing different iterations of the kurta during his onscreen and offscreen appearances. Take inspiration from the actor and go for a classic khadi pathani suit for a semi-formal look that is stylish and comfortable at the same time.