"I will wear nine different dresses during the next ten days. I have come to make a selection for that purpose so that judges look at me and elect me the prince during the festive dance," said Malai Kotak, a child. A good costume, chaniya-choli for women and kedia-salwar for men, costs more than Rs 500. Interestingly, Gujaratis are no more interested in buying these costumes rather they are content with hiring these dresses as it suits the pocket. One can hire the same for a meager Rs 75 to Rs 100.
"It's not that one who dances well during the Garba get selected as princess alone. Those who wear good dresses too receive attention of the judges. I should win the award for most well-dressed person at least once in nine days," said Komal, a woman.
These costumes are popular because of the enormous varieties available. This season, silk and polyester clothes are out of the fashion. The enthusiasts have been making advance payments to book the desired dress.
"This year, the chaniya choli with a width between 9-16 m (a kind of Gujarati dress worn by women during festivals) is greatly in demand. Chaniya with heavy embroidery work are also wanted. As far as jewellery is concerned, people prefer the one similar to the Jodha Akbar film in the golden colour. The oxidized version of that is also in demand," said Monik Gokani, a shopkeeper.
Worn by women, chaniya cholis are hand embroidered and embedded with mirrors, shells and anything that goes with it. Kedia (a high waist top) is worn by men. By Suresh Soni