Many ensembles of contemporary Indian dress combine draped garments of uncut cloth with tailored clothing. Typical in this respect is the widely popular salwar kamiz and dupatta, the ghaghra and backless blouse or bodice (kapadu, kanchali), and odhani, and of course, the sari and choli (short blouse). Men's dhoti and lungi are commonly worn with tailored smocks (kediyun, pl. kediya), tunics (lcamiz or kurta)and coats (angarkha and sherwani). Many of the tailored garments for the upper and lower body worn in Gujarat allude to broader regional customs, and are common to other parts of India and South Asia, notably Pakistan. Some of these generic styles are rendered specific to a Gujarati community, or area of the state, by the use of particular fabrics, colours and styles of decoration, and in the case of the sari, by distinctive ways of pleating and draping.
Western style became part of the mix during the colonial period, although there was no compulsion for Indians to adopt it; indeed, the British actively discouraged imitation. Nonetheless, some Indian men did, combining Indian and Western clothing styles, or wearing garments that fused elements of both. The response to Western styles varied and, in part, reflected the degree of contact with Europeans; where it was minimal, Western clothes were little in evidence. A further crucial consideration for understanding Indian responses to European clothes, as Emma Tarlo suggests, was that, 'Western clothes did not fit into the existing classifications of appropriate caste, regional and religious style'. In the post-colonial period the adoption of Western fashions by men and women has become widespread, although they by no means dominate the sartorial scene and their styling has a local inflection. Western-style trousers and shirts worn by men throughout India are a good example.
In Western countries these are sold as separate items, off-the-peg. In Gujarat, as in other parts of India, they are often consolidated into a single item referred to as 'shirt-pants', and sold as a set. This can be in the form of either readymade clothing, or more commonly—much clothing is still made to order by local tailors—as two pieces of co-ordinating fabric. This is comparable with the production of other sets of clothing such as salwar kamiz and kurta pyjama. The cut and shape of 'shirt- pants' differs from contemporary European styles. The emphasis is on modesty; the garments should cover but not emphasise the shape of the body. Shirts tend to be cut long and although shaped are rarely tight-fitting. They are often worn loose over trousers (cooler in a hot climate) and are usually open-necked; ties are very little in evidence. 'Pants' tend to be fairly loose-fitting with a high set waistband, front pleats and wide legs.