In this new age, practically, there are no rules. In fact, challenging the status quo, changing the set norms and breaking the stereotypes have never been more fun than they are now.
When all that we know of is changing so fluidly, why is your Saree style still the same? Have you still been wearing only plainer, simpler handlooms with a pearl string to office, with traditional silk or embroidered drapes, paired with heavy earrings and necklaces reserved for special occasions? Who said you have to have a specific Saree look always? Will wearing a denim crop top with a wedding Sari put you into some sort of spot? Not really!
You can – and must – reinvent your looks. This applies to all you wear – and all aspects of your dressing. From salwar suits, Indian outfits to Indo-Western apparels and, of course, Saris – find ways to experiment and bring in newness to your usual looks. As for the lovely Saree – well, the way ahead is ceaseless. You can do endless variations to your drapes, paired accessories, hair styles and saree fabrics. May we suggest a few easy peasy, quick look changers that will help you get into the groove of style reinvention! Here you go –
- Flowers in Hair –
This age-old hair ostentation is back in fashion like never before. Flowers were used by women, even when no other form of jewelry was available. With their raw, fresh, unmatched appeal, they are just the buzzword for Indian and ethnic fashion, right now.
In parts of India, especially the Southern states, (women) dressing up is never really complete without that unequivocal gajra – a small garland of fresh flowers. As for you – don’t restrict to only a certain color or style. From a single rose perched sweetly on a bun to richly colored marigold strings and dainty jasmine ones – you can try anything.
- New Hair Styles
Your hair really is your crowning glory. Let it do the talking the next time you want to make a statement in a sari. Try out hairstyles, you would skip usually or flaunt your shiny mane in a new color. You can go for gorgeous high and low buns – aka the retro appeal – which are fortunately back in fashion.
Fashionable hair streaks, often a lone streak dyed in an eye-popping color like purple and neon, or stunning striations of something more conventional are also being tried out by many divas. Do not forget to combine some contrasting elements – like a bun with flowers done over a lycra shimmer saree (instead of your South silk one!).
- Traditional Hair Accessories –
This is the age of hair accessories. From maang teekas to bodlas, matha pattis, hair chains, artificial flowers to creative head bands – ethnic jhoomars and statement daminis – there is practically no limit to how you can dress up your hair and crown. Did someone told you that these look wonderful with saris – and they need not always be reserved for functions, parties, shaadis et al?
Well, whatever you pick – choose a hair accessory basis your face shape. And, while you certainly cannot wear a head full of diamante chains (aka South Indian style) to work – you can always try some dainty and chic ones for work looks too. Meanwhile, there’s no need to match your ensemble with the accessory – go ahead and pair jhoomars with sarees, even when convention says that they can be paired with Anarkali Suits, Abaya Suits and Shararars.
- Accessorize the Chic Way
Whatever we say – we surely can’t say a lot about the power of accessories, when it comes to uplifting an entire look. Accessories, when done right, can also make you appear more ‘put together’ and suave. Plus, they are the best way to highlight a color or element – in an ensemble.
While dressing up your Sarees, don’t forget to add some pleasant drama – in form of gorgeous jewels and other accessories. From fringed necklaces, feathered hair clips to tassled earrings – everything works!
- Brazen Blouses
Go bold and brash with your blouses – say the current in-vogue fashion statements. What we say? Choose any style, cut, fabric or unconventional silhouette – but only if, it agrees with your comfort and personal aesthetic. Rest all is open to experimentation – go all out and take your pick from bare backs, cold-shoulders, off-shoulders to coy key-holes, loose crop tops, tubes and halters.
- Embellished/ Embroidered Blouses
One of the most tried and tested ways to add oomph to your drapes – gorgeous ostentation and embroidery will rarely let you down. Thankfully, the concept of unique and heavy blouses, paired with relatively plainer sarees, or saris with borders is back in fashion – like never before. So, next time, when you are feeling spaced out, not knowing what to wear – pick out a lovely plain chiffon and pair with a Lucknawi chikankari embroidery blouse. Or for that cocktail evening – combine a black plain shimmery saree with a light velvet blouse with some stunning metallic embellishments.
- The Fusion Way
Another way you can be super inventive, when it comes to lovely ethnic drapes – is fusing together contrasting design elements. While Indo-Western is one of the most tried and tested methods to create fusion looks, you can also fuse Middle Eastern and other ethnic elements (like Chinese or Japanese) with your Indian garments.
Combine Indian elements with western silhouettes or vice versa. Infuse some Nawabi charm to your regular saree style – and see how you grab eyeballs. How? Simple – wear a long cape or jacket, reserved for wearing with lehenga or palazzos – over your sari. Or, combine a sexy halter top from your western wardrobe with your hand-woven drape.
- Simplicity Rules
Don’t find any other way of prepping up your sari style interesting enough? Well, then borrow a couple of tricks from your mum’s old book of everyday fashion – or have a look at old Bollywood movies – where the naturally beautiful heroines unpretentiously strutted around in simple, printed drapes, doing mundane chores or singing around the trees.
Curate a simple, demure, girl-next-door look for a charm that’s irresistible and classic. And a special tip – this look also makes you appear younger!
- Deck up like a Maharani
The title says it all – bring out your regal side. Dress up like a queen would – or a heir princess would. How is that? Well, for the queen-like look, stick to subtle color combinations – and drapes that are not garish or over-the-top. Stylish silks and swish handlooms are great – but you must style them with retro-blouses like the ones with details like elbow-length sleeves, Begali puff sleeves, long bodices, brocade blouses etc. Pair with accessories in colored stones, pearls, stud earrings et al.
For the princessy-look, choose lighter saris in georgettes, chiffons or light-based silk-cottons or even muslins. Jamdanis and other transparent drapes look quite majestic too. Keep your head held high, your hair tamed and your posture perfect – they all contribute to making you appear like a Maharani.
- Sizzlin’ & Sultry
Raw, sensuous, bold – bring out the woman in you – in all her glory. Saree is said to be one of the most sensuous garments – and with this look, you can be sure of staying true to this adage. Remember, though, this look won’t work for office set-ups and also for formal and traditional events. However, casual evenings, dates and when there’s no specific agenda – go ahead and indulge in some luscious, seductive draping. Stick to lighter, sheer sarees, bold eyes and tousled hair!
- Beckon your Inner Girl
Are sarees only for grown women? Are your supposed to behave all ‘prim and propah’, when draped demurely in a sari? Well, no! Remember there are no rules. Bring out that little girl –and dress (and behave) all young and girly. Choose floral sarees – and prints with a mind of their own. Abstract prints, block prints, ethnic prints all look girly and youthful. Pastels, lighter color bases, indigos are great choices too.