The Indian saree has been an important part of Indian culture for many centuries. The saree itself has an interesting history, but perhaps the most fascinating thing about the Indian saree is that even today, it is considered one of the most elegant outfits available. The Indian saree exuberates style and elegance.
The sari itself is in fact simply six yards of material but yet the type of sari and the style in which it is worn creates a look which in incomparable to any other type of outfit.
The Indian saree has no limits in terms of a wearer – the saree can be worn by a person of any age and any size.
Often one of the most beautiful parts of the sari is the palu. The sari palu is the end of the sari and normally the most decorated part of the sari. This is as the sari palu is normally draped at the back or front and is key to showcase the sari.
The saree also has part known as the fall which is a material border on the inside bottom of the saree. This can only been seen by the wearer and is only attached for the length of the saree that will be wrapped around the waist. Reason for the saree fall is to add weight to the bottom of the saree and literally provide an elegant fall for the saree.
To wear a saree, two other key items are required. The first is a saree blouse (sometimes also known as choli). The blouse or choli nearly always comes with the saree and either matches the saree in terms of material and embroidery or provides more of a contrast in fashion sarees. The blouse is vital to the overall finish of the saree and can really differentiate the look of one saree to another and from one occasion to another.
Blouses are normally 1 yard long and often provided with sarees as unstitched material to allow the wearer to have the blouse made in any shape or style they like. More high fashion sarees can come with ready made blouses in a free size, which the user can then adjust to their size.
There is no set style to how a sari blouse or choli should be worn, although traditionally sari blouses are well-fitted and reveal the midriff. Traditional blouses also have full opening (via hooks or buttons) either at the back or front.
The modern blouse is often designed to make a fashion statement and it is not unusual to have halter neck blouses, blouses with spaghetti straps, off the shoulder blouses, one shoulder blouses – any look the wearer wishes to achieve, especially for more formal occasions.
The length of the blouse is also up to the individual wearer, very short and bikini-like or longer to cover the midriff. Blouses can either be sleeveless or have sleeves. Any type of neckline can also be made.
The other key component to wearing a sari is having a petticoat or an underskirt. The petticoat is worn underneath the sari and tied around the waist or hip – dependent on the wearer’s preference. The petticoat should be the same type of colour as the sari although an exact match is not essential – as the petticoat should not be seen.
The purpose of the petticoat is to provide a base for the sari to be wrapped around and secured by. The sari petticoat is traditionally tied up tightly around the waist and the sari tucked in at the top, allowing the sari to drape at the correct length – down to the ground. The sari is tucked into the petticoat all the way around. The petticoat is also useful if the sari being worn is made of a more sheer fabric – it means the sari is not see-through.
Petticoats are not often provided with the saree and can normally be purchases separately.
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