The state of Manipur is one of the most diverse, beautiful, and with time has become a highly visited place. There is no dearth of amazing places to visit here or activities that have been offered. Manipur is popular for a lot of things and one of them is the colorful, vibrant, and amazing traditional attire. Be it the women of the state or the men, they have some amazing traditional dresses under their belts to flaunt. People here and other states of the seven sisters of India have been redefining fashion according to their ways.
The dresses of Manipur are not just good looking, but highly comfortable as well. The best of their fashion is that it keeps evolving and becoming better. Apart from all this, the function of a dress precedes everything else, maybe it’s the collaboration of all this that makes Manipuri traditional costumes as one of the best in the entire country. So, let’s have a look at the most popular dresses of Manipur.
Popular traditional costumes of Manipur that you should try once in your lifetime
1. Inaphi- For Women
This is one of the most popular attire worn by Manipuri ladies. It is used to cover the torso by simply wrapping it around oneself. The Inaphi, resembles closely like a shawl and it is worn almost in the similar manner. The Manipuri textile carefully creates these dresses with bold motifs and amazingly done vivid colors. Usually, you will get Inaphi that’s semi-transparent because it’s not this costume that’s worn alone. But the vivid color pattern, finest craftsmanship, and maintenance of the poise makes this attire so beautiful and perfect.
Nowadays, you get a trendier version of this attire in which modern dyes are used, some beadwork is integrated and also the usage of silk threads. All of this is being done to create a better version of this attire to fit the current world.
2. Mayek Naibi- For Women
Mayek Naibi is known to be a different version of Phaneesh and that it is worn on special days; majorly during festivals, fairs, or traditional functions of Manipur. If you look closely, it will be observed that the bottom end of this Manipuri attire is usually adorned with heavy embroidery and embellishment of studs. This gives it a wonderful design and overall look. Earlier, people used tacky colors but now things have changed and you can get better color combinations. One that fits in today’s world without looking too odd.
3. Khamen Chapta- For Men
Okay, this might sound like a fancy attire but it is a different version of Dhoti and pagri that completes an attire of Manipuri men. People here usually wear dhoti and kurta in their day-to-day life, and this pagri is just an addition to complete this traditional dress of Manipur. If you know different dresses of the states of India, you will get to see a huge similarity between the dhotis worn in Manipur and the ones that are done in West Bengal.
There are people who say that Manipuri Dhoti style is inspired from the Bengali style; hence the similarity. And just to bring some difference, people have added headgear to the attire.
4. Potloi- For Women
There are many versions of Potloi and each of them looks significantly beautiful and adorable. Women wear it on special occasions like their wedding and they have a particular set to pair with this attire. If you were to go by the culture of Manipuris; Potloi is worn only by the bride. The entire dress below the torso is created in a cylindrical shape giving it a wonderful overall look. The dress is more stitched on a belt that is simply worn to fit it.
Although the invention of this dress dates back to somewhere around the 1700s, it is still in fashion and brides love wearing it. There is a huge variety in Potloi and you can have a look at the most common ones on the internet.
5. Jacket- For Men
Actually, there is not much for Manipuri Men, when it comes to their traditional dresses. Maybe the men have always kept it simple and generic right from the beginning. Whatever be the case, Manipuri traditional dresses for men also include jacket. This is one thing that men here either pair with Khamen Chopta or wear it solely with pajama or dhoti.
This attire is worn on many occasions but the best part about the jacket is the way it is worn. These jackets are handcrafted with perfection and have buttons, hooks, and even strings to wrap around.
6. Phanek- For women
A Phanek that is worn by Manipuri ladies is similar to a Sarong which is nothing but a piece of cloth wrapped around the body like a skirt. But this one is opaque and beautiful with a lot of unique qualities. Phaneks are handwoven and are made of many different colors and materials. In today’s world, you will get to see Phanek made out of synthetic fabric, silk, and even cotton.
Usually you get to see block prints on this Manipuri traditional costume but now, even the patterns are a bit different. It is paired with a mini blouse and an upper cloth. And the entire attire looks amazing.
7. Lai Phi
Lai Phi is more or less known as the additional extension of Phanek Wear. And Lai Phi is also known as Chin Phi. This Manipuri dress has been recognized by many people and the popularity of this attire increased thereafter. A few recognized people have also worn a similar dress at multiple functions. Actually, Chin Phi is a beautifully crafted blouse that is paired with an embroidered Phanek.
8. Dhoti with Jacket
What makes a wonderful combination for men of Manipur is a Dhoti with a jacket. And yes, it is one of their traditional attire for men. People are usually seen wearing this at a festive or an event. But older men prefer wearing this quite often. And to make it a bit more interesting; a few people pair a turban with it. And that looks really good. Also men from the richer side wear padded and quilted coat in winter.
So what do you think, did we miss out on something? Is there any costume that should have been there on the list but we missed it. Put your comments in the space given below and we will surely work on including your suggestion. Other than that, we also believe if you fall in the category of people who love trying new attire and create a diverse wardrobe, you might have got a lot of options; isn’t it?