Back to the roots: Kurtas for women

By Drishti Vij

26th December 2020

This age-old style is the most comfortable, trans-seasonal silhouette

If there are two things that the kurta encapsulates seamlessly: it’s simplicity and being the epitome of beauty in modesty. Kurtas, for both men and women, have an enduring legacy—and have time and again, inspired countless derivatives and homages from various brands all over the world.



While kurtas have been perceived as the garment of convenience, it has also stood for elegance and grace. This tunic-like shirt, that often has two slits on the sides, goes right back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Harappan and Vedic era have also chronicled this garment and was given different names depending on the style. However, it was during the Mughal era that kurtas became a common attire. And much like language, they have their iterations for different geographical areas.

What’s interesting about the kurta is that the straight-cut traditional kurta is known as a panjabi in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Assam. The traditional Punjabi kurta of the Punjab region is wide and falls to the knees and is cut straight. Today, the kurta has become somewhat of a pop-cultural phenomenon. Keanu Reeves wore a kurta when his band, Dogstar, won an Indian television award.


 Kurtas are perhaps one of the oldest androgynous garment known to man—they can be worn by both men and women. They are great for any season. You can wear them in summers in cotton or linen and expect a lot of ventilation and you can wear one in silk or pashmina during winters to stay warm.

 In the west, kurtas were first popularised by British indie rock band The Beatles. In late 1960s, photographer Paul Saltzman travelled to an ashram in Rishikesh, where he found the Fab Four (and Mia Farrow) finding “revelatory answers to the major questions of life and death.” The band wore kurtas, and the photographer did too.

 At The Burnt Soul, we give precedence to comfort over everything else. This is the reason why the kurta—a fundamental component of contemporary wardrobes—has become our raison d'etre. Each season, we reinvent the kurta for women and give it this ubiquitous style a new lease of life. What you will often find on The Burnt Soul are cotton kurtas for women that can go from work to dinner and silk kurtas for the times when you have an impending festive occasion over your head. 

 The greatest thing about the kurta is that it’s a blank canvas of sorts—you can give it freshness each time you choose to wear it. So, what’s stopping you?