Plausibly, the first question that would come to most people’s mind would be, ‘what exactly is a pheran?’ It is a long cloak-like tunic that is traditionally worn in Kashmir, in keeping with the spirit of winter and the subsequent provision of warmth.
These tunics are normally knee-length and worn by both men and women, however, the ones for women often have more handiwork, particularly around the neck, the cuffs, and the hemline. Traditionally, these garments are made of wool or tweed, but are now even stitched from cotton for warmer months. There is also a luxurious variant which had gold or silver embroidery (tilla) on it, and works especially well for the darker hours in the day.
However, warmth is not the only purpose it serves. Pherans have come up as a trendy, modernised version of their erstwhile self, and could be styled in multiple ways depending on the occasion. They could be especially useful for DU students in these winter months, because they are both stylish, and practical.
How to style it:
- Worn with jeans: A simple pheran in colours like navy blue, black or brown would go wonderfully with a pair of jeans. If it is getting too cold, a sweater could be worn inside it.
- With boots: Brighter colours like deep reds, or whites could be worn with woolen leggings over moto or ankle boots. The outfit looks very put-together and chic.
- Styled with scarves: Scarves, especially bulkier ones, are great accessories for pherans. Experiment with colours which are outrageously contrasting with your pheran.
- Hooded pherans: A close western substitute would be the hooded cape worn by Little Red Riding Hood. Hooded pherans might be difficult to find in Delhi, but, that by no means, should stop you from going to your tailors and asking for a custom-made pheran.
Where to shop:
- Dilli haat: Dilli Haat has a good collection of pherans, with locals from Kashmir selling them. However, be sure to bargain with them.
- Connaught Place: There are more than a few stores in CP which deal in Kashmiri Handicrafts, and have, among other things, Kashmiri pherans in stock this winter.
- Online: Websites like kashmirkit.com have an abundant selection of pherans to choose from. Besides, there are third-party websites which also stock these garments.
Although some of these tend to be a little on the pricier side, but a pheran is a just investment, and will stay good as new for years.
Image credits: Mamanushka blog