Where Does the Sari Come From?
As our fashion industry grows and expands, trends and signature pieces are bound to evolve. Saris are becoming more and more recognized as intricate, versatile pieces that are worn to make a statement. They are a bold expression of color, intricacy, and elegance. Native to the Indian subcontinent, saris were initially worn for free movement. They were used to accentuate the woman’s body in the most elegant way possible. However, once the British colonized India, saris began to reflect Western fashion ideals. In turn, they became a popularized statement for both the wealthy and the fashionable.
Everything You Need to Know About Saris
The sari is comprised of three essential pieces: first, the sari blouse which covers the woman’s chest (the amount that it covers, however, is relative to what the woman chooses to reveal); secondly, the petti coat which is a plain skirt worn underneath the sari; and thirdly, the sari itself, which is simply six to nine yards of fabric. For a less traditional look, some women pair the sai with a simple black blouse, as opposed to getting custom blouses made for each individual sari. The idea of a black blouse being worn with a patterned cotton sari makes for a perfect balance between stylish, exotic, and tasteful.
How to Wear a Sari
There are numerous ways to wrap a sari; three popular ways being Nivi, Gujarati and Kodagu. The most common form of wrapping, which you’re probably familiar with, is Nivi. The Nivi style of wrap is where the pleats of the sari are tucked at the front, and the pallu of the sari (the end which is embroidered) is brought around the waist, under the arm, falling on the left shoulder. The Nivi way of wrapping a sari is standard, and significantly less complex than other popular forms.
Where to Find the Perfect Sari For Any Occasion
If you’re under the impression that saris are confined to Indian culture, which many people are, you’re completely mistaken. Saris are unique and creative statements to be worn by all groups of people and cultures; they pose no restrictions. That being said, there are numerous places that saris can be worn. Aside from a common traditional event, such as religious ceremonies (at a mosque, for instance), saris can be worn to modern day, high-class functions. It’s simple – where you would typically wear a floor length gown, it is appropriate to wear a sari.
Wedding receptions of all cultures, formal parties, galas, and carpeted events are all examples of places where the sari can be worn. The only catch is how much skin you choose to reveal, as many events call for more modesty than others, in which case I would suggest a thicker, opaque sari fabric. You may think that this notion is completely out of the ordinary, but it isn’t. Many esteemed individuals in Hollywood have worn saris on numerous occasions to red-carpeted and charity events, fundraisers, and photo-shoots.
So, where can you find the perfect sari? There are boutiques almost everywhere; with a quick search, you’ll be bombarded with stores selling an array of saris. I would strongly recommend against shopping online, as the quality of the material, the richness of the colour, and the intricacy of weaving are never guaranteed. If it means spending a little bit more time and energy to go to an actual store, it is definitely worth your while. Better yet, when looking, focus on printed cottons, embroidered chiffon, and silk, as opposed to net, polyester, and artificial fibers.
A Sui Generis Investment
Similar to any other fashion statement, the sari is definitely an element worth investing in. As with any other versatile piece, there is a huge variety; thus, a wide range in costs. Assuming we’re talking about purchasing in North America where one has a premade blouse and petticoat (which together doesn’t cost more than fifty dollars), saris themselves, depending on the quality, can be purchased for as low as $30 and as high as $2,000.
Keeping the popularity of the sari in mind, internationally there are numerous designer saris that arguably cost a tad more than one would typically like to spend. Satya Paul, one of the top designers in the world, has created saris that are embroidered with Swarovski crystals and some that are made of gold embellished silk. It’s obvious that these saris are going to be unreasonably priced for the average person. You can get away with an exquisite sari for around $200. Make sure to pay attention to the vividness of colour and the quality of the fabric, as opposed to the brand of the sari itself. Two hundred dollars isn’t a high price to pay for a statement that will literally never go out of style.
Take a Risk with the Sari
As in every other realm of society, we are working toward developing a unified, collective, global fashion trend where we can universally partake in the same fashion couture, simultaneously. So far, risk taking has involved expansion within the boundaries of Western culture – we are confined by a singular view of fashion.
Instead, let us be bold by incorporating different cultural views of fashion into our own. Integrating exotic and ethnic fashion into our own Western vogue will allow us to fuse two extreme realms of fashion together. In turn, we’d be creating a bold new meaning of glamour, couture, and elegance. Indians invented the concept of luxury, where the sari truly embodies a sense of high-quality. Now, it’s time you should as well.