We Indian women, share an immense fascination for the Sari. And yet, we make a big fuss about this humble attire! It breaks my heart to see how some cruel ironies ail our Sari. For example, we have come to restrict it for special occasions only – weddings, festivals, functions, gatherings and that’s about it! Then, in the ‘occasional’ chance that we do drape it, we become so obsessed, consumed and conscious of how the pleats have taken shape, whether or not the pallu is in place, the look and fall of the sari, the hemline and the much dreaded ‘…what if I step on the pleats and the sari falls apart?!’. As a result of this, an average girl finds wearing a sari a royal pain in the neck. We feel that it is too daunting an endeavor and distracts us from the work or occasion we dressed up for in the first place! Yet others feel, ‘Oh bother! Why bother?’. Some even feel they are ‘too short’ or ‘not slim enough’ to do justice to the Sari!
So, is the sari really as daunting and complicated as we have made it out to be? Well, the answer to that is: No. It is not. The Sari is a gorgeous and effortless proposition. My friends often lament that they have so many saris in their closet and yet, nowhere they could wear them to! They fear that they might end up looking incongruous or even worse, making a spectacle of themselves! The fact is that the sari is a simple and comfortable attire meant to be worn as often, as well, as many times and as anywhere, as you would wear your trousers, salwar kameez, dress or those denims. And yes – without looking like an Avengers or DC Comics character that suddenly surfaced amongst humans! You could comfortably wear a sari to work, to the shopping mall, to the museum, when you go see a friend over brunch or coffee, when you have a friend over for tea, to your children’s school, to the cinema, even when you are taking a flight. It is cool, chic, functional and makes you feel like a prima donna with no effort!
Just to give you a perspective, persuade you to give the Sari a chance and don it with effortless élan, let me share my relationship with the Sari, with you. I absolutely love the Sari. As much of an oxymoron as it may sound to you, I am sold to the sari for its comfort and ‘wearability’! I wear it almost two-three times a week. I wear it to work and to everywhere else I would wear other outfits and be just as comfortable. I am in love with its simplicity, versatility and how it changes the paradigm of ‘dressing up’ so effortlessly. Yes, effortlessly!
Having trouble digesting this? I would challenge you to try a linen or a kanchi cotton sari once! It’ll beat your dress or denim jeans hands down – both in comfort and style! Given a choice between denims and a linen sari, I would choose the latter, pair it with a fuss-free blouse or a fitted tee, a pair of loafers or pumps (hate to compromise the strength and integrity of my spine in favor those ubiquitous heels!) and am ready to go!
My sari collection is one hundred percent hand spun, hand woven, handloom and I take pride in their look and feel. I love linen, cotton, silk, khadi (these fabrics are all so well behaved, hassle and maintenance free!), and am so proud of the variety of works that I own from across the country – Ikkats – Sampalpuri, telia rumal, kalamkari, jamdani, taant, ajrakh, daabu, paras anchhu, kantha, Madhubani, Banarasi, to name a few,.
I love my saris unstarched, unclipped, unpinned (love them too much to poke them with safety pins all over!), with the pallu just thrown around with ease. I love ‘matching’ my saris with mismatch blouses (even fitted tees and shirts) in contrast hues and fabrics. It looks sassy and classy. I always pick the simple, clutter-free Chinese collar, closed neck, high neck, boat neck blouses in handloom, raw silk, shades of bold colors or with gorgeous handloom works such as ikkat, kalamkari, brocade and the like. With these fuss-free closed neck styles, I don’t have to worry about the pallu and can go about focusing on my work, rather than worrying about how the sari is doing or its look and fall! The clean cut of the blouse complements a sari well. My saris define me and I feel very special in them. It adds a certain confidence to my stride!
Try your sari sans any mental block. I guarantee you will love it and feel a sense of pride in it! And what’s more, you will also aid an ailing industry of talented handloom weavers who could do so much with your support!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Namrata Singh is a corporate lawyer by profession based in Delhi and a mother of two footballers aged 9 and 12. She is absolutely fascinated with understanding how stress works on the brain. Namrata runs marathons and practices contemplative practices like yoga and meditation, which she strongly believes has the power of dramatically altering an individual’s entire paradigm with its subtle but significant approach. Namrata can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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