Six-yards of elegance

It’s time you power dress to work not in your stiff formals but in colourful, edgy sarees

The dialogue around reinventing the saree as a means of convenient fashion has witnessed a shift, especially in the past year, where women have started draping it over jeans, teaming it with T-shirts or wearing sneakers with it.

Unstitched, tucked or linen, with a blouse or not, the versatile sari attracts the attention of many. Women today like to try traditional weaves, but stay faithful to their quirky side, with prints that showcase their personalities.

Actors like Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor’s saree-clad appearances have made many long for the same “look” for non-wedding occasions too.

Saree is the ‘it’ thing with women across the nation flaunting their conventional styles in office and social occasions. After all, dressing well is a form of good manners, and sarees are not called ‘six yards of elegance’ for nothing.

Here are the different styles of flaunting the six-yard in the boardroom, at parties and as streetwear:

  • ‘Happening’ handlooms: Add a hint of sophistication to your office wardrobe with the oh-so-fashionable handloom sarees that are loved by fashion bloggers and celebrities alike. Solid-coloured, dual-toned, woven, beaded, with tussle work, hand-drawn motifs you name it, you get it! The choices are endless.
  • Chic chiffons: Run a contest among the bona fide fashionistas about the most delicate and charming type of saree, and chiffon emerges as a clear winner. Available in a gamut of colours, chiffon sarees are your best bet to look both sensual and sophisticated at the same time. Chiffons can give you a regal look. These lightweight beauties are so versatile that you can easily wear them to an office party with just an extra hint of make-up.
  • Simply silk: The authenticity of the various legends around its origin aside, the sheer luxuriousness of silk remains indisputable. Richness and finesse of the fabric have made it an instant favourite for festive occasions and weddings. After all, its appropriateness does not need any justification. Elegance never goes out of style, and it holds true to describe the evergreen beauty of silk sarees. The luxe fabric has also won favour with a host of celebrities. Printed silks in subtle colours showcase femininity and grace like no other. Add a pleated, structured drape and portray an equal mix of poise and power in a corporate setting.
  • Linen with a twist: Linen sarees are making a statement, emerging as an alternative to silk and cotton. Scintillating linens are a popular choice as they spell comfort and class. Flaunt a plain linen saree and enjoy its cosy and snug feel on the skin. And adding to the many pluses, the scope of experimentation with the blouse is just endless. From a striped crop top to your favourite solid tank, mix-and-match is the key for rocking fun Fridays at work.
  • Comfortable drapes: Don’t want to step out of your comfort zone? Cotton and viscose sarees will be your go-to garments if you like it absolutely fuss-free, minus the loose hanging pallu and toppling bottom pleats. Available in a range of designs, motifs and embellishments, browse through any designer’s fashion label to discover that cotton is cool. The most important aspect of viscose is that it can be easily dyed and it retains its colour for a longer duration. The texture of the fabric allows proper air passage because of the pores. A big win-win is that blended sarees are fashionable, comfortable and easy to manage.
  • Fluid fashion: If you have to travel long distances, the idea of wearing a saree to work will surely make you cringe. Fret not, a crease-proof saree will solve your issues instantly. Imagine a fabric that doesn’t get wrinkled, stays structured at its place yet feels smooth on the skin?

For as long as we remember, sarees have been that fail-safe outfit, which is a go-to for many women. Can’t think of an appropriate outfit for a function? Drape a saree. This has been a part of our psyche since forever. It only helps that India, as a country that is rich in textiles and traditional crafts and weaves, gives us a plethora of options when it comes to this six-inch fabric. From Maheshwari and Benarasi to Kalamkari and Kantha — sarees are not just clothing, but our heritage.

(The author is the head of design, Birla Cellulose)

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