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Shalwar are gathered at the waist and held up by a drawstring or an elastic band. The pants can be wide and baggy or more narrow, and even made of fabric cut on the bias.
The kameez is usually cut straight and flat; older kameez use traditional cuts, as shown in the illustration above. Modern kameez are more likely to have European-inspired set-in sleeves. The tailor`s taste and skill are usually displayed, not in the overall cut, but in the shape of the neckline and the decoration of the kameez. Modern versions of the feminine kameez can be much less modest than traditional versions. The kameez may be cut with a deep neckline, sewn in diaphanous fabrics, or styled in cap-sleeve or sleeveless designs. The kameez side seams may be split up to the thigh or even the waistline, and it may be worn with the salwar slung low on the hips. When a woman wears a semi-transparent kameez (mostly as a party dress), she wears a choli or a cropped camisole underneath it.
When women wear the shalwar kameez, they usually wear a long scarf or shawl called a dupatta around the head or neck. For Muslim women, the dupatta is a less stringent alternative to the chador or burqa (see also hijab and purdah). For Sikh and Hindu women, the dupatta is useful when the head must be covered, as in a Sikh Gurdwara or a Hindu Temple, or the presence of elders. For other women, the dupatta is simply a stylish accessory that can be worn over one shoulder or draped around the chest and over both shoulders.
The garment has seen a transformation in the past few decades, from that of an everyday garment worn by immigrant women from the region of South Asiamostly from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lankato one with mainstream, and even high-fashion, appeal in Britain, Canada, and the U.S.
In India, the garment was a convenient and modest alternative to a sariand is popular across the nation due to its ability to flatter practically any body type. By varying the fabric, color, and the level of embroidery and decoration, the shalwar kameez can be formal, casual, dressy, or plain; and it can also be made to suit practically any climate.

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