Traditional Dress of Odisha, What is the Traditional Dress of Odisha

by Surojit Palmal
Traditional Dress of Odisha

One of the most fascinating factors of India is the kind of variations and varieties it has in terms of culture. Each of the Indian states has their distinct ways of dressing up. And obviously the style of dresses reflects the culture of a land. By observing the kind of outfits that are worn by a particular culture you can get an insight about their culture. Odisha is no such exception. Odisha as a land is surrounded by states on all sides. So do they have a distinct style of dressing or do they wear outfits inspired from the neighboring states? If you are wondering what is the traditional dress of Odisha then you need to keep on reading this article. In this article I will mention about the traditional dress of Odisha.

 I am sure you will be intrigued to know so much of the variety of Odisha traditional dresses. Furthermore after reading this article you will also have a better insight about the culture of Odisha. So read up to know about the traditional dress of Odisha male and female.

Traditional Dress of Odisha

Traditional Dress of Odihsha Women

Women in Odisha love their traditional wear and especially sarees. The kind of variety that Odisha has when it comes to sarees is really fascinating. Furthermore the Odisha traditional sarees are popular even outside the state. The visitors visiting Odisha make sure they are grabbing some pieces from there. Let’s discuss the variety of sarees and other outfits that women have in Odisha. After discussing the traditional dress of Odisha women we would discuss men’s outfit too.

Khandua Saree

The khandua saree is a much loved traditional dress of Odisha. What makes this saree so special is that Lord Jagannath is also decorated with this saree. Now you can understand why this saree is such a favourite among the women of Odisha. Like any other state even the women of Odisha wear modern dresses nowadays. And not always you can find them wearing traditional outfits. But during any special occasion or festivals you will find the women wearing the khandua sarees. Furthermore this is an aesthetically pleasing saree with beautiful motifs on it. It looks soothing and is also comfortable to wear.

Sambalpuri Saree
Sambalpuri Saree
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

If you are a saree lover then this name is not new for you for sure. Sambalpuri saree is a very popular traditional dress of Odisha. It is a loved saree not just in Odisha but even outside also. Furthermore this beautiful saree is made of comfortable fabric and is therefore very comfortable. Made of hand woven Ikat, these sarees are found in different materials. Also there can be cheaper versions of this saree as well as really pricey versions as well. The quality of course differs if it is more pricey. In case of the pricier version the saree is more lightweight.

Also what makes it look attractive is the beautiful prints and patterns of these sarees. And not to forget the vibrant colours that are available. If you are ever visiting Odisha make sure to get your hands on a Sambalpuri Saree. And you would exactly understand what the hype is all about. This is a kind of saree that would suit women across ages. So you can even grab one or two as gifts for people back home.

Berhampuri Patta Saree

As the name suggests the origin of this saree is from the Berhampur town in Odisha. It is again a traditional dress of Odisha that is popular and much loved. What makes this saree special is the intricate craftsmanship behind the making of these elegant sarees. Woven using intricate techniques, the saree have a beautiful border. Furthermore these sarees are available in different variants as well. With variations in motifs and prints and contrasting colours they are an example of sheer elegance.

However the technique of bandhakala or tie and die work is the USP of these sarees. Mostly these sarees are lightweight that makes it perfect for regular use. However there are gorgeous versions available as well that are mostly worn during occasions and festivals. Furthermore the cultural depth, the artistic brilliance and the heritage of Odisha is visible from this saree. All of these make this traditional dress of Odisha a timeless classic. For someone who loves wearing saree, you cannot afford to miss out on this one. So next time when you visit Odisha make sure you are grabbing one for you.

Bomkai Saree

A beautiful handloom saree of Odisha the Bomkai Saree is a popular traditional dress of  Odisha. The origin of these sarees can be traced back to a small village in Ganjam district. What makes it even more special is that the Bomkai Saree has an identified Geographical Indications of India. Furthermore this stylish saree is an example of elegance. On these sarees mostly fish motifs are seen majorly. It was believed previously that fish is the indication of affluence and success. Also the beautiful thread work along with the border makes it look gorgeous. Even though it is a lightweight wear suitable for regular use it is worn during special occasions too.

At one point of time mostly the sarees were dyed to get a red, black and white background. But at present they are valuable in many vibrant colours. Materials used to make this saree ranges from cotton to tussar silk, mulberry silk to zari as well.

Pasapalli Saree

This is a traditional dress of Odisha that is woven in Bargah district in Odisha. It is basically an Ikat handloom saree. The name Pasapalli is derived from the chess-like gambling game Pasa. Furthermore the sarees have checkered patterns like how we see on chess boards. It is one of the sophisticated sarees in Odisha. The vibrant shades and patterns makes it stand out from other sarees. It is a lesser known saree outside Odisha but nevertheless it is too beautiful to miss out on. So make sure to check this out when you visit Odisha.


This is basically a dupatta that is used by brides in Odisha. Also it can be carried around the neck as a dupatta. Often used as a shawl they are available in different varieties. Furthermore these are one of the ancient parts of outfits that are still carried forward in Odisha. Uttariyo are also a part of respect for the people of Odisha. Often it is presented to people of high respect. Presenting an uttariyo to someone means paying respect to that person.


Traditional Dress of Odisha for male

After discussing the traditional dress of Odisha women, let’s discuss the traditional outfit of men in Odisha. Mostly the traditional dress of Odisha is worn during festivals or special occasions. Furthermore the outfits worn by Odisha male are quite similar to a lot of outfits seen in different states.


Now Dhoti doesn’t really need an introduction. This is one of the most comfortable traditional dresses of Odisha. It is a single piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist. In different places the type of wearing the Dhoti is also different. People of Odisha mostly prefer wearing Dhoti in white colour. However with fashion popping up, even vibrant coloured dhotis are also worn nowadays.

Sambalpuri Kurta

This is just like any regular kurta. But what is different about this traditional dress of Odisha is the print. Also the length of a Sambalpuri kurta is much shorter than usual kurta. Furthermore the vibrant colour and texture makes this kurta stand out in the crowd. It is like a fashion statement that is even popular outside Odisha as well. With time there had been fusion ways of styling this Kurta. Many men prefer pairing the kurta with jeans nowadays. That itself looks really cool and stylish. So if you are a fashionable person, grab a piece of kurta for yourself. They are available in both multi coloured as well as solid colours. So you can choose one for yourself from the collection available.


This is a regular traditional dress of Odisha. However it is also an extensively worn outfit in Odisha as well. Because of the simplicity, regular people wear kurta on a regular basis. They are mostly simple and available in solid colours. However, even printed kurtas are also available here. Furthermore kurtas are worn by the grooms as well during weddings. Also during any puja or festival it is one of the most worn traditional dresses in Odisha.


Does sherwani even need an introduction? Sherwani is an upper body outfit paired with pyjamas or dhotis in Odisha. It is typically one of the outfits extensively worn during weddings and festivals. Various kinds of designs and styles are available when it comes to Sherwani. It is a much loved and elegant traditional dress in Odisha.


For the ones who find Dhoti to be uncomfortable, pair traditional dresses with a pyjama. It is convenient and comfortable to wear too. Furthermore, pyjamas look great with kurta, sherwani and even with a shirt. You can see the Odisha men wearing pyjamas at home and outside.

Wrapping Up!

On a daily basis you may not notice the people in Odisha wearing the traditional outfits. However for occasions and festivals the traditional dress of Odisha makes an appearance. They are elegant and gorgeous at the same time. These sarees here have a distinct style and hence are quite popular as well. The Ikat, handloom style, prints as well as styles had found a name in the world of fashion. Maybe that is the reason why bigger fashion bands are also incorporating these styles.

What is intriguing is that you can find the traditional dress of Odisha even outside Odisha. That is how they are loved outside the state as well. So if you are someone who still does not have an idea about the dresses in Odisha I hope this article was helpful for you. Also whenever you are visiting Odisha make sure you are grabbing some pieces for you. Let me know when you are planning a visit to Odisha? And are you excited to try any of the traditional dresses of Odisha mentioned here? I would love to know.

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