This post is all about reinventing and reinterpreting the most traditionally gorgeous attire in Indian history – the Saree!
Most people feel that traditions restrict and bind you! I, however, believe that traditions, are actually created in a way that they’re supposed to be reinterpreted…! They’re actually meant to liberate you, but without letting you forget – not the positives nor the negatives of what has been!
In today’s day and age, especially for the youth, the number of fashion and clothing options have increased so drastically (from Indian to western… from branded to DIY), that the ‘saree’, which is supposed to be India’s national attire, has become a very small part of the modern-day Indian woman’s wardrobe!
And one of the main reasons stopping her from dawning this gorgeous attire is the hassle that typically comes with it! – get a matching petticoat, get a blouse stitched, get the ‘fall’ done…! That’s too much effort on a single attire. Which is the reason why, sarees have become relegated to occasional, in fact, ‘special’ occasion wear!
This post is me, trying to bring the saree back and reinterpret it to become effortless and easy to wear almost every day!
The key to it is to remove all the ‘taam jhaam’ that comes with it! So I’ve created 4 different looks here, wearing the saree with whatever it is that I could pull out of my closet without any special effort!
Look 1: The Shirt
There are very few things that a classic white shirt doesn’t go well with! A lovely traditional Bandhani saree, is definitely not one of them!
This look is great and can be worn to work even on a regular day! (PS: If you have a fitted white shirt or a tuck-in leotard shirt, then that’d look even better!)
Wearing this with silver metallic footwear from New Look and a nose pin from Tijori to add that final finishing touch.
Look 2: The classic black cold-shoulder top
This black cut-out shoulder top from Abercrombie & Fitch is probably the exact opposite of everything that my pristine handwoven Bhagalpuri Silk saree stands for!
And yet, the two together created one of my all-time favorite saree looks ever!
I’m wearing the saree like an unkempt dhoti with a pair of leggings but it looks gorgeous even if worn like a traditional drape.
Frankly, leggings are a fantastic substitute for the underskirt (petticoat) and a good pair of leggings with a good elastic, saves you from the discomfort and the tie-marks on your belly that the draw-string of the petticoat (naada) creates!
I wanted to keep it really casual so I paired it with a pair of ankle length loots and a statement coin necklace that I picked up at an exhibition in Mumbai.
You could wear this to work or simply for a dinner out to someone’s place!
Look 3: The Crop Top
Crop top with a saree isn’t much of a surprise! It’s something that’s become quite common and is very very do-able, given that almost every single urban Indian woman, irrespective of the age, now definitely owns a crop top!
This one from Desi Weaves matched my stunning maroon tussar silk saree, perfectly!
What I love about this look is the fact that you can wear it on an everyday basis… it doesn’t need an occasion! And what’s even better is that because it’s a crop top you’re wearing, you don’t have to care about where your pallu falls and what it reveals! Which means you can experiment with your drape a lot more!
For this look, since the saree itself is pretty stand-out(ish), I kept the accessories limited to just these tribal, shoulder length earrings from Paarisha and added a bindi and red lips to complete the look.
Look 4: The Blazer
If a blazer and jeans is what you end up pulling out for the day, then a saree would look great on that too! In fact, it’d make an even bigger statement at that meeting you’re headed to!
It looks funky, fabulous and is the easiest to wear saree-drape, EVER! And what’s even better is that if you want to change out of the saree after a point, you just have to unwrap the saree and you’re sorted… you don’t even need a change! OR you could just get rid of the jacket and head to an after-work party looking all sexy in your racer-back and scree!
I’m wearing this lovely Bengal cotton spree that I grabbed off my mum’s closet with a pair of jeans from Levis, a regular black racer-back top and a black blazer from United colors of Benetton! Oh, and that necklace is one of my favorite pieces from Haji Lane in Singapore.
Frankly, if you decide to bend the rules and innovate, the sari is one of the most versatile of outfits ever! And these days, no one really needs to stick to traditional drapes either… When you wear a saree, you shouldn’t worry about what’s right or wrong! You can simply create your own drape 🙂
Hope you liked my spin on a saree and I truly hope that it encourages you to wear this gorgeous Indian national dress, more often 🙂
Do leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
Lots of love
PS: All photographs by Sonalee Das