The 'melmundu' is an upper garment similar to the '[neriyathu]' that is worn by women; 'mundu' and 'melmundu' are part of the traditional Malayali costume worn by men.Despite considerable influence of western dressing forms in South Indian culture, Hindu traditional ceremonies of Kerala (some Hindu castes in other south Indian states) it is mandatory for the men to wear the Mundu.

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Traditionally women in Kerala used to wear a two piece cloth named ‘settu mundu’, also known as ‘mundum neriyathum’ with natural body color and golden or numerous other shades in border, which when worn, exactly look like a saree (upper left pic).

The modified version is the Kerala Saree which comes in a large variety of designs, embellished with thread work, stones or sequins, fabric painting and golden with contrasting colors as borders…

The kara generally appears on the right hand side of the person, though styles with the kara on the left side are prevalent.

Unspoken rules of etiquette govern the way the mundu is worn.

The colour is dependent on whether the cotton is bleached or unbleached. A single mundu is draped once around the waist, while the double is folded in half before draping. A mundu usually has a line of comparatively thicker cloth woven into it near the border called the kara.

The kara can be coloured and comes in various sizes.

The elegant Kerala Sarees, which are off -white in color with golden border is unique for their natural colour, texture and golden border.

Every Malayali woman possesses at least one Kerala saree in her wardrobe and it is a must have for women especially during festivals like Onam which is celebrated by all irrespective of Religion.

In Kerala a veshti is a small piece of cloth (generally put on the shoulders) along with a mundu, for formal occasions.