Photo taken November 2001- India. Click to see larger size.
Pavada Davani dress of South India:

This dress is called a PAVADA DAVANI. It is three pieces- a long skirt, a choli blouse and a long 'dupetta' scarf, called a half- sari. Some just call this dress as half-sari. Usually this dress is actually four pieces, as it is modest and proper to wear an underskirt underneath the outer drawstring skirt.

This dress is usually worn in villages in Tamil Nadu, as young girls in cities prefer to wear either Salvaar Kamiz or western clothes. This dress takes an art to wear, like the sari, as the 'dupetta' tied like the top of a sari should not expose the chest from top or bottom. It is customary for girls from age of 13-19 to wear this. I was obviously 'too' old, but I wanted to try it out! I prefer sari over all!

Usually the skirt and choli blouse (also called as 'sari jacket' in Madras) is tailor made. The fabrics, as with salvaar kamiz, are sold in sets for the matching top and bottom. Luckily, my friend and are are the same size, so I could wear her choli! Cholis are tailored to the specific measurements of the girl's chest- almost like a bra. It takes time to get used for us westerners to wear this choli as it feels very tight at first, since it is made from unstretchale cotton, but it grows on us. By the way, the choli's attach (snap or hook) in the front! ;)

Another note- this dress is in North India, but it is known as lengha. There are slight differences, but basically the same dress.
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