Difference Between Kurta and Kurti

Key Difference – Kurta vs Kurti

A kurta is an upper garment worn by both men and women. This garment originates from the Indian subcontinent and is worn in countries such as India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The word kurta originates from Urdu and refers to a collarless shirt. Although the word kurta refers to a garment worn by men and women, traditionally it referred to a garment worn by men; a kurta worn by females is called a kurti. This is the key difference between kurta and kurti.

What is a Kurta?

A kurta is an upper garment worn traditionally by men. This is also similar to a tunic. However, in modern fashion, kurta is worn by both men and women. Men usually wear straight cut kurta, which is a loose shirt that falls somewhere close to the knees of the wearer. This style is also worn by women.

Kurtas are traditionally worn with pajamas, shalwars, churidars, or dhotis, but nowadays they are also worn with jeans. Kurtas can be worn both as casual everyday wear and as formal wear.

Kurtas usually don’t have collars although some modern kurtas tend to use mandarin collars (stand up collars).  Kurtas often have an opening in the front, buttoned at the top.

Kurtas can be made from a variety of materials such as silk and cotton. There are different styles of kurtas in the market: printed, embroidered, plain, embellished, long, short, etc.Key Difference - Kurta vs Kurti

What is a Kurti?

Traditionally, the term kurti referred to jackets, blouses, and waistcoats. However, in modern usage, a short kurta worn by women is called a kurti. Kurtis are also more fine fitting than kurtas. This is a very versatile piece of clothing that can be worn for any season or occasion. Kurtis are preferred by many women because of this flexibility and comfort. Kurtis too are worn traditionally with a churidar or salwar, but they are also worn with jeans or leggings.Difference Between Kurta and Kurti

What is the difference between Kurta and Kurti?


Kurtas are worn by both men and women.

Kurtis are only worn by women.

Traditional Meaning:

Kurtas traditionally referred to an upper garment worn by men.

Kurtis traditionally referred to jackets, blouses, and waistcoats worn by women.


Kurtas fall somewhere below the knee.

Kurtis are tighter and shorter than kurtas.

In the contemporary fashion world, the difference between kurta and kurti seem to be blurred as most shops and online shopping websites sell both under the same name.

Image Courtesy:
“Kurta traditional front sandalwood buttons” – The original uploader was Fowler&fowler at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by NuclearWarfare using CommonsHelper (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 
“Indian kurti” By Anica.seo1 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia