Pakistan’s national attire is Shalwar Kameez; for men and women both, and women usually wear a dupatta along with Shalwar Kameez. The dress consists of a knee-long shirt and a pair of trousers. The length of the kameez can vary according to the customer's needs and wants. However, females have an extra addition to the attire, and that is a Dupatta. It is a long piece of cloth that is usually used to cover up a female. Dupatta plays an essential role in South Asian and Arabic countries. It is said a dupatta completes a female’s wardrobe. This single scarf look-alike cloth symbolizes modesty and enhances the overall look. For many years women in Arab and Asian countries have worn dupatta to signify their respect and status in society. With the passing time, the attire has evolved too, but the dupatta remained as significant as it was before. Various styles and designs of dupatta are available in Pakistan, and these are available by brands and local retailers on stores, outlets, and shops.

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Dupatta Style

Women all across the globe carry their attire differently. For example, women in Pakistan mainly use a dupatta as a means to cover their heads and bodies while in western countries like America, women would use it only to tie it around their neck or use it as a scarf just to complete the look. The styling methods and techniques hence vary globally and have changed drastically with the period of time.

It’s not just geographically wise, but dupatta styling varies according to the occasion and event. Dupatta style for the party will be completely different than a dupatta style for a religious activity. For example, in a mehndi function of a desi wedding, girls would drape the dupatta on the waist while the same girl, when offering prayer, would drape the dupatta on the head to cover it.

Dupattas in Pakistan

The fashion industry in Pakistan is restricted to the dupatta style only but has brought up many variations in its design. Dupatta designs are one whole division in the industry. Designers compete every year to launch the trendiest and classiest designs than ever seen before. From daily wear to formal dresses, each type consists of different varieties in dupatta too. The material used in the making of it, the embellishments, the texture, and comfortability are taken care of when making a dupatta. And after assessing all the tiny details, the designers also have to make sure the dupatta looks pleasing and appealing enough to grab the customer's attention.

Types of Dupattas

With the evolution of humankind, humans have learned new ways to generate money too. Dupattas hence has been a significant source of income for the designers as well. Though the designers teach and provide new fashion knowledge to every ordinary man, in some way or another, the designers have exploited the poor civilians too by charging an enormous amount of money for the designer wear. A single dupatta nearly cost around PKR: 2500. And it's just the starting. Designers have produced countless types and forms of dupattas. Here are a few examples:

  • Mehndi dupatta
  • Phulkari Dupatta
  • Chunri dupatta
  • Net dupatta
  • Gota dupatta
  • Chiffon dupatta
  • Fancy dupatta
  • Garhi dupatta

In some way, the fashion industry of Pakistan is capitalizing on public funds. Charging fifteen thousand to twenty thousand rupees for a phulkari dupatta with plain suits is highly unacceptable and unreasonable at the same time.

Instead of spending so much on a single dress, getting a plain fabric, getting it stitched, and pairing it with a fancy dupatta and voila, the look is complete and so inexpensive. Hacks like these are used by women very commonly worldwide, and it is a good way to save some pennies.

Bridal dupatta

Next comes the bridal wear. Bridal dresses and bridal dupattas in Pakistan has a vast market of its own. It targets people from all classes and statuses. A wedding is the most celebrated event in Pakistan, and thus it requires a big budget to carry out the extravagant expenses. The most predominant feature of the whole event is the bride’s lehnga (a fully embroidered long skirt) and the show stopper THE BRIDE’S DUPATTA. It’s the talk of the town.

Every girl wants to reach out to the best seller and designer out there. From different retailers to sellers, the search to find the perfect bridal dupatta continues. After hours and hours of scrolling on the internet, and numerous outlet visits, the search for the dupatta finally ends, but that's not where it stops. The next step is the dupatta setting. Red is the color eastern brides usually prefer. The dupatta is full of embroidery and heavy work and is a task to carry it gracefully.

Hence draping the dupatta is the foremost essential thing. In Pakistan, the brides majorly drape it on the head and keep it intact with the help of bobby pins. Since a wedding is a never-ending business, and that's why everything has to be perfect. The dupatta cannot fall or even slide a little from the head, but there is a very much high risk involved that it might happen so, and this is because the dupatta's weight is so heavy that it requires lots of patience and balance to maintain it on the head. So it is very crucial to pick an expert when it comes to dupatta setting.

Availability in Pakistan

The beauty of a dupatta is that it is readily accessible and available at almost every clothing shop in Pakistan. The country has a huge textile industry; hence there is always something new in the market for everyone. Dupatta Gali in Tariq Road, Karachi, and Dupatta Gali in Liberty Market, Lahore, are famous for their ranges and designs in dupattas. The entire street is named after dupattas for a reason, the reason being that those few shops have everything you need in or for a dupatta.

Be it finding a contrasting lace for the dupatta, getting the peekoo done, or dying the plain white dupatta into the desired shade, or even getting a perfect matching dupatta for the outfit; you name it, they got it all covered. The online availability of these dupattas is also available. With the growing technology, customers can now place the orders through online websites, and if the sites aren't available, local retailers have provided their loyal customers with the WhatsApp number. 

The availability of this facility has eased down a lot of work for both buyer and seller. Buyers do not have to visit those busy and overly crowded streets in the scorching sunlight, and sellers do not have to entertain the customers face to face.

Availability Globally

Dupattas of Pakistan is not only famous on the national level but internationally as well. The popularity of Pakistani dupattas has increased with time, and that is because of the emerging technology, internet. Due to the availability of online shopping websites, Pakistani dupattas also recognized and sold globally.

The finished material is exported and shipped internationally and brings back home money (dollars), which has proven to be economically beneficial to the country. As a result, this has helped promote a good healthy image of Pakistan's fashion industry in the world. And because of such major success, the industry is growing and improving furthermore. A rapid increase in sales has been recorded in the past few years.

Dupatta designs

Dupattas are offered individually by the brands and also with two-piece or three-piece ensembles that are available at stores and online. Though online websites are available and are functioning all the time, people are not spending much on clothes.

On occasions like Eid and Weddings, sellers used to run out of stock because the demand was so much, but because of the online availability of these items, some sellers have started copying the original designs. As a result, this has led the sellers to deceive the customers by first showing them the picture of the original item and later delivering a low quality good. Many customers have hence stopped buying products online.

Pakistan has dupattas in abundant supply with high demand. If the market in the future starts to flourish at any point, then Pakistan’s dupatta industry would emerge very soon. The country is blessed with very fine quality material and talented and creative designers. The new fashion designers in the market are even making the most attractive dupattas, which makes the whole dress exquisite and catches everyone’s attention.

Online availability of dupattas

There are now multiple accessories present in the market to be paired with dupattas. The very famous and in fashion these days are a belt. Wear the belt around the waist over the dupatta and give the dress a new uber-chic look. All these are available online and at stores.

Another option is to tie both the ends of the dupatta with an elastic band and use it as a shrug. Or style it using some fancy lace or use it as a bandana. Hundreds of looks can be created; you just have to think out of the box.  All fancy and embroidered dupatta with accessories are available online, and the branded ones are available at the brand's official websites. 

Fashion lovers can visit Fashionista by shoppingum and get their desirable dupatta for their big day, event, or any party because this platform has all the Pakistani brands integrated on a single platform online.