Madhuri Dixit rocked it. Kajol made us believe that a tomboy turns to a lady in it. And many others who wore it with ease showed us that it doesn’t always have to be the stiff ironed version it is popularly known as.
The saree has gone through a sea of change over the years and how. From drapes to striking coordinates to prints, sarees have evolved a lot and got modern twists. From being worn with pants and dhotis to teaming it with crop tops or jacket blouses, sarees have seen different avatars.
They work for every occasion, be it a cocktail event or a wedding. Fashion experts suggest several unique saree variants:
Aditi Lal, couture designer says that ready-to-wear pieces are made keeping youngsters in mind. “A lot of the younger generation finds it hard to be able to wear a saree themselves,” she says.
Aditi’s creations include sarees which can be worn in four different ways. “They are like a skirt in the below portion with set pleats. The pallu part is draped in different ways which makes it fun and easy to wear,” she adds.
This variant is like a ruched skirt and is a hot pick from Sakhi Fashions.
Neeta Rajendran, CEO and designer, says, “Many are worried about purchasing a ready-to-wear saree as they are apprehensive about a size change or if it will suit everyone. This is where the crossover or lehenga saree comes in. You can run or jump around in it and it is slimming like a fishtail gown.”
Known popularly as a zip-up saree, an Insta saree is made out of lycra. Neeta says, “It doesn’t have a petticoat or blouse. Everything is pre-stitched. All one has to do is slip into it like a gown. Not everybody likes this variant but people who are comfortable with Western wear like it.”
Fashion designer Shiny Alexxander observes that ruffles used to be a Western detailing given to garments but now it is added for layering to saree and more. “Usually the pleats of a saree falls straight but the ruffles give it a dressier look,” she says.
Alia Bhatt made these fashionable when she wore a blue version to her best friend’s wedding, and Katrina Kaif rocked them.
Shiny says, “Instead of a skirt, one wears a palazzo with a drape that goes around like a saree. They look best when made in chiffon or georgette.”
Unlike a formal belt, a hand-embroidered one worn over Kanjeevaram sarees adds to the whole look. Shiny says, “We sometimes copy the border or a part of the pallu to make it look like an ensemble.”
Belts keep the saree pleats in place. “It cinches around and gives a more structured look. For those who feel conscious and keep pulling their saree to cover the waist, the belt does the job for you,” she adds.
Do not wear a metallic belt, with a classic traditional saree though. “It looks best with a chiffon or georgette saree which has sequins work on it or has an Indo-Western look to it,” she says.
Match it accordingly. Do not wear a silver belt with gold earrings. “They look best with jewel-toned colours like emerald green or ruby red. You can never go wrong with a black saree.”
A millennial approach to the saree is important. Sudarshan Santosh Budhia, director and owner, Julahaa Sarees says, “A simple classic white shirt blouse style with a saree is a perfect symbol of Indo-western fusion. Slack sleeve tops and blouses are the trend now and many team them with sarees to look voguish and fashionable.”
Drop back blouses with solid tones and quintessential tassels are perfect to take you through cocktail nights and festive parties.
Sudarshan says, “Bell or ruffle sleeves blouses with a plunging V-neck is perfect for your glam nights. This fresh look provides an edge to your traditional saree with a retro twist.”
Even if draping a simple saree with a solid coloured blouse, ruffles add the extra drama, making it an essential statement, he adds.