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Couple in traditional attire

The Kerala dressing style includes a long piece of white cloth called ‘mundu’ for both males and females. The traditional dressing style of Kerala is quite suitable for the weather here and the physical features of the people, especially males.

Usually a man’s attire is the white ‘mundu’, sometimes accompanied by a comparatively short piece of cloth called neriyathu, by which the upper part of the body is covered. The male costume of Kerala is perhaps the simplest style of dressing in the world.

A woman wears ‘set mundu’ which is in the form a lower mundu and upper neriyathu with a blouse. Other items include the wearing of jasmine garlands on their long hair.

Both of these dresses are made of cotton with edges decorated by brocade called ‘kasavu’. Usually, the mundu with ‘kasavu’ used to be worn by people on ceremonial occasions. Otherwise, people prefer to wear ‘mundu’ without ‘kasavu’. These are comparatively cheaper.

These days the wearing of such traditional dresses are limited to certain occasions like ‘keralappiravi’, (the birthday of the state) (November 1st), Hindu marriage functions and celebrations related to new year etc. Interestingly people now prefer to wear casual wears like ‘churidar’ and ‘shirts and pants’ on most of the occasions, which allows easy handling and free movement of the limbs.