Churidars, also churidar pyjamas, are tightly fitting trousers worn by both men and women in the Indian subcontinent.[1] Churidars are a variant of the common shalwar pants. Shalwars are cut wide at the top and narrow at the ankle. Churidars narrow more quickly so that contours of the legs are revealed. They are usually cut on the bias, making them naturally stretchy, which is important when pants are closefitting. They are also longer than the leg and sometimes finish with a tightly fitting buttoned cuff at the ankle. The excess length falls into folds and appears like a set of bangles resting on the ankle (hence 'churidar'; 'churi': bangle, 'dar': like). When the wearer is sitting, the extra material is the "ease" that makes it possible to bend the legs and sit comfortably. The word churidar is from Hindi and made its way into English only in the 20th century.[2] Earlier, tight-fitting churidar-like pants worn in India were referred to by the British as Moghul breeches, long-drawers, or mosquito drawers.[3]

Churidars are usually worn with a kameez (tunic) by women or a kurta (a loose overshirt) by men, or they can form part of a bodice and skirt ensemble.


See also


  1. ^ "churidar". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. June 2018 [2015]. Tight trousers ... traditionally worn by people from South Asia. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  2. ^ Hawkins, R. E. 1984. Common Indian words in English. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
  3. ^ Yule, Henry and A. C. Burnell. 1903. Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive. London: John Murray. 1021 pages.