How NOT to wear a sari
The sari is six yards of elegance – and no Indian woman worth her salt will deny that. A sari, if worn properly, will immediately add class and sophistication to your overall look, and if you can carry it well, you will be the most well dressed woman in the room. However, if you do not know how to wear a sari properly, or wear it in the incorrect style, with the wrong accessories, or choose an unflattering pattern or colour, you can look extremely dowdy and frumpy.
Indian women who are not used to wearing a sari properly and western women who try and tweak the sari to suit their tastes look terrible in their ensembles because the material either swamps their figures, making them look as though they are wearing a tent, or the material is tightly wound around them, and the accessories like the blouse or petticoat is not worn properly. Here are a few tips on how to avoid making errors while going for the traditional look.
Length of the ‘pallu’: The pallu, or the long length of cloth that hangs over your shoulder an down your back should be of the proper length – neither too short, nor too long. Make sure that it reaches till the middle of the back of your thigh. Any longer than that will look unkempt and any shorter – just plain funny.
Length of the petticoat: The skirt that you wear below the sari, or the petticoat, serves to give your sari shape. Thus, it is important that he petticoat reaches just till the ankle, so that your legs cannot be seen through the sari. Several people make the fashion faux pas of wearing a petticoat that is shorter than the length of their sari and the bare skin showing through looks very odd. Some people even deliberately wear shorter petticoats – western women tend to do this, to make their sari seem fashionable – and this looks horrible, especially if the sari is net or chiffon – see through material.
The blouse: Wear a stylish blouse by all means but make sure that it covers your modesty well. Many women make the mistake of wearing tiny strips of cloth with net or other see through saris and suffer embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. Elizabeth Hurley is guilty of such sartorial errors –she wore a chiffon, diaphanous sari to an event without a blouse or even underwear – and the camera flashes lit up all that she had perhaps wanted to keep hidden with her pallu.
Choose the right pattern and material: Short women should avoid wearing very heavy saris which are intricately embroidered, or saris which are very long or in fluorescent colours. Large prints over the material or too many designs mixed and matched – a trend that the sari world is caught up with at the moment – will also make a short woman look shorter. Also, avoid wearing saris with broad borders as they will shorten your height further. Those who are overweight should choose saris that drape well instead of saris that fluff out around them stiffly like cottons. Tall and slim women have it easy – but they should stay away from solid colours which might make them look like pillars.
Choose saris which drape well around you, that is the key to wearing a sari well. Also, wear high heels as the posture it results in is a good way to carry a sari. Stand proud and tall in six yards of elegance and you can never go wrong, but tamper with the look too much and you might look like a fashion disaster.