In Maharashtra, men wear dhoti and shirt with a headdress known as the "Pheta", and women wear sari with a short-sleeved 'Choli' (blouse). The sari is 9m long and is worn tucked between the legs.
The dhoti is a fine cotton cloth of about two and half to
three metres long, with or without borders on both the sides. The
headdress is a folded cap of cotton, silk or woolen fabric, or a freshly
folded turban known as 'Rumal', 'Patka' or 'Pheta'. The pre-formed turban
known as "Pagadi" is now rarely to be seen. Sometimes a
waistcoat or jacket known as "Bandi" is also worn over a shirt.
The Maratha Brahmans are very particular about the securing of their dhoti, which always had to have five tucks, three into the waistband at the two sides and in front, while the loose end is tucked in front and behind. Once Nagpur hand-made dhotis were famous for their durability.
Among the urbanite young men the use of dhoti is practically getting extinct; it is in some evidence among the middle-aged. The 'Sendhi' or scalplock is long discarded and they cut their hair short in imitation of the European.
Maharashtrian women wear the Maratha 'Sadi' (saree) of nine
yards and a short-sleeved 'Choli' (blouse) covering only about half the
length of the back. The nine yards Sadi is generally worn by elderly
ladies and is known as "Lugade" or Sadi in Marathi.
It is forty-five to forty-two inches in width and it has two lengthwise borders 'Kanth' or 'Kinar', and also two 'Breadthwise' borders, 'Padar', at the two ends, of which one is more decorated than the other. The mode of wearing the Lugade by Maratha Brahmans and other classes is with the hind pleats tucked into the waist at the back-centre and the decorated end (padar) thrown over the left shoulder. Maratha ladies allow it to hang form the waist down straight and round like a skirt and draw its end, which covers the bosom and back over the head.
Sadis of five or six yards in length have now become fashionable among young ladies in the urban centres. These are worn cylindrically over a "Parkar" or "Ghagara" also called petticoat. The old fashioned Choli is also discarded by them, and the use of blouses, polkas, and jumpers has become quite common. A reversion to new type of Cholis in the form of blouses with low cut necks and close-fitting sleeves up to the elbow is noticed now a days.
Women living in cities have become more westernised and working women these days wear 'Chudidars', pants, and skirts, which are more comfortable. With Bollywood in Mumbai, the city is the center of fashion and one can find the latest designs over here.
Though there is no special holiday dress on festivals or on
days of family rejoicing, all who can afford it put on richer and better
clothes than those ordinarily worn. For ceremonial occasions men prefer to
dress after Indian style in a spacious looking long coat, called "Ackan",
and "Chudidar Pyjama" or "Survar" slightly gathered at
the ankles-end with bracelet-like horizontal folds. A folded woolen or a
silk cap and "Cadhav" or pump-shoes perfects the ensemble.
Shoes are usually worn in the heat and cotton-growing areas, but are less common in the rice area, where they would continually stick in the mud in the field. Women go bare-footed, but sometimes have sandals.
In towns and cities boots and shoes made in the European fashion have now been generally adopted and with these socks are worn, but their use is confined to small number of highly paid government servants, pleaders, young merchants etc. For the use of the common people sandals and "Chappals" of various patterns are used, and the Kolhapuri Chappals manufactured in Kolhapur and its surrounding towns and villages are famous worldwide.
Maharashtrian women wear traditional jewellery patterns of the Marathas and Peshwas. The Kolhapuri 'Saaj', a special type of necklace is very popular with Maharashtrian Women. The saaj is designed in all over Maharashtra but the Kolhapuri Saaj is famous.
'Patlya' (two broad bangles), 'Bangdya' (four simple bangles) and 'Tode' (two finely carved thick bangles) are the typical jewellery on the hands of women from this western state. The Maharashtrians are fond of pearls too. 'Chinchpeti' (choker), 'Tanmani' (short necklace) and 'Nath' (nose ring) are a combination of pearls and red and white stones. The 'Bajuband' (the amulet) is also a favourite. Flower-shaped earrings are a clear preference with the people here.