The Mughal dynasty has left a rich legacy behind. In terms of ethnic and traditional attire we have a wide range of fabric and designs that owe their credit to the Mughals. The craftsmanship and the artistic skills of those days are in practice even today. Chipkan (also spelt as Chapkan) reminds us of the royal style that the Mughal kings once followed. ChipkanAshutosh Gowariker's directed Jodha Akbar featured Hrithik Roshan (playing Mughal king Akbar) in a heavily embroidered Mughal styled Chipkan. Those who have watched the Bollywood movie would surely know what a Chapkan looks like.
The Mughal-era attire Chapkan has a distinct look compared to other Sherwani styles. The upper half of this Sherwani fits closely to the body. While the remaining portion or the lower part has the shape of a frock with a large circumference. While most of the other Sherwanis are uniform in shape, a Chapkan has an entirely different look, yet all the more elegant. The lenght of the Chapkan is usually 2-2.5 inches above the knee, unlike other knee-length or below the knee size Sherwanis. A Chapkan is made from a wide range of fabric including Banarasi fabric, Matka silk, Patola silk, Tussore silk and pure silk among others.
An important feature of the Chapkan is the sleeveless jacket. The jacket adds much to the overall look of this type of Sherwani. Around 3 inches longer than the inner, the jacket features dense embroidery work, termed as Mughali handwork. The dense Jardozi work on the jacket imparts elegance to the attire and makes it look royal. The heavy Mughlai embroidery on the jacket is done by expert craftsmen, who have been doing this for years. The design pattern and the handwork on the jacket is available in a wide range and you can select an embroidery pattern that goes with your mood and sense of style.
The Chapkan comes along with a churidar pajama. A light shade churidar goes quite well with the design of the Sherwani. It is due to the frock shaped lower half of the Chapkan that a churidar always matches best. The churidar pajama also comes in printed fabric. But it will always depend upon your preference whether you want to wear a plain churidar or one with printed designs on it. When the churidar has multiple folds at the bottom, it looks even more impressive and adds much to your appearance.
An exclusive pair of shoes is worn with a Chapkan, known as 'Saleem Shahi' juti. You must have notice this special kind of jutis in Hindi movies depicting Mughal history and their lifestyle. Turned inside (in the shape of a snail) in the front, the history of these shoes dates back to the Mughal period. You can easily notice unique craftsmanship even on these Juties. Usually, the embellishments on the Saleem Shahi juti include 'tille' and thread work in a variety of shades.