Last month, I celebrated my Birthday in Sri Lanka and must say, I was totally smitten by the sheer natural beauty of the place! The bright turquoise blue ocean, the stark shades of green and the bright orange sunset… together, they formed a medley of colours that I’ll never get out of my mind.
I’ve always wondered why people who live along the beaches, have this amazing quality of being so chilled out and laid back…! I found the answer while travelling from Colombo to Unawatuna in the car… when Mr. Wolf, casually looking out the window at the ocean said… “You know why people who live along the beach, don’t take themselves seriously? It’s because they can’t!”
That one line summed it all up for me! When you have someone as daunting as the ocean staring back at you every moment of your life, you realize how little you are in the larger scheme of things… and that’s when you learn to not take yourself seriously but to just be…!
Being an island nation, the ocean flows through their veins. It reflects in their attitude and in their fashion!
I didn’t really visit the northern parts of Sri Lanka hence can’t say much about that… but along the Southern coast, I felt that a lot of motifs, the fashion and the flora & fauna, reminded me of Southern parts of India, though the overall culture, right from the food to the religious practices, and the geography, reminded me more of Bali and Southeast Asia…!
The national dress for women in Sri Lanka is the saree (owing to their Indian ancestry) and the sarong (owing to their bohemian, beachy influence).
I asked a consultant at Barefoot Ceylon, where I bought this lovely outfit from, “How would you define Sri Lankan fashion?” Her simple reply was “Colours. The brighter the colours, the more Sri Lankan it is!” And right she was! Bright, breath-taking colours kinda popped up on everyone around! And that, in contrast with the white sands with the bright blue waters, made the sight even more alluring.
This skirt that I bought from Barefoot in Colombo is a cross between a classic, handmade cotton sarong and a well-constructed, super-chic maxi skirt. The colours on it, for me, are reminders of the sunset on the various, gorgeous beaches lining the streets of Southern Sri Lanka.
I paired it up with two blouses… both from the same store… all in handwoven cotton. One is a bright orange shirt with a flexible tie which you can either knot at the back or in the front.
The other one is a khadi kinda fabric, with a more traditional Sri Lankan border that you commonly see on sarongs that are sold by the beach streets. It sort of reminded me of the borders on Keralite sarees.
Frankly, I loved Barefoot Ceylon. In case you’re visiting Sri Lanka, their store in Colombo is one place I’ll recommend you definitely visit – even if just for a coffee at their lovely lil cafe. Their fabrics, all handmade, natural, sustainable and evergreen are inspired by the geography and the flora and fauna of Sri Lanka and that’s what makes the colours and patterns so unique and alluring.
And it’s not just about the fashion! Their collection of books, home décor, art, hand-woven toys and wellness products are all little nuggets that give you an insight into what Sri Lankan culture is all about!
More pics from this look:
Hope you enjoyed reading this and loved the outfit!