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Long ago when there were no shoulder pads or structure in the way people dressed the outfit of choice in the Asian region was the Angarkha. Different versions for different states and different regions. A complex version of a Kurta, the Angarkha was the matriarch of the wardrobe.
Achkan also known as Baghal bandi is a knee length jacket worn by men in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and in Pakistan much like the Angarkha and Sherwani.
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In order to maneuver the best of fashion in all its glory you need to get to those styles that are always close to the fashion world, and one such style is Achkan sherwani. It stands as one of the most popular form of sherwani that anyone would love to wear on their wedding day to make it a happening one.
The achkan originated in India as early as 2nd century B.C as court dress for nobles and royals and was worn as every day wear until late 20th century by general population and also by the princely states of the Indian subcontinent. It can be distinguished from the Sherwani through various aspects, particularly the front opening. Achkan traditionally has side-opening tied with strings, this style of opening is known as baghal bandi but frontal opening were not uncommon, similar to Angarkha. While sherwani always has straight frontal opening, due to its function as outer-coat. Achkan, like Angarkha was traditionally worn with sash known as patka, kamarband or dora wrapped around the waist to keep the entire costume in place. While sherwani was traditionally worn as decorative outer-coat for special occasions during medieval times. Achkan is always worn with either dhoti or churidar. Achkan is made from various fabrics for both formal and informal occasions, it features traditional embroidery like gota and badla. Today, achkan is commonly worn by the grooms during wedding ceremonies or other formal festive occasions in the Indian subcontinent.
There are various regional variations of achkan worn throughout the Indian subcontinent, and are known by regional names such as Daura in Nepal and Northeast India, Angi in Southern India and Chola or Cholu in Indian Himalayas.
Achkan, all time attire
Long ago when there were no shoulder pads or structure in the way people dressed the outfit of choice in the Asian region was the Angarkha. Different versions for different states and different regions. A complex version of a Kurta, the Angarkha was the matriarch of the wardrobe. With the British invasion is an influence came the tailoring techniques that were re-adapted in India to suit the newly inculcated western minds. About the same time the camera had been invented and portraiture was the best place to make a personal expression. Personal tailoring and heirloom jewellery were accessories to this fancy upper-class fad. As personal tailors adapted the ancient Angarkha in different avatars, the Angarkha started to evolve in to two directions.
The northern states that had fought the Moghul invasions chose to go with the formal & tapered version the Achkan. The states that leaned towards the Moghul ethos, refrained from this adaptation and embraced a modified version, namely the Sherwani. Hence the two looks, the Achkan & Sherwani became part of the two separate universes, visually and culturally, segregating the two philosophies, for ever.