Once upon a time, not very long ago, the saree, in its myriad styles of drapes across the country, was the staple attire for little girls and mature women alike. With time, as the skirts, the frocks and the maxis raided the Indian wardrobe, the saree had to give up its monopoly and put down its crown. Young girls were the first of the lot to adopt the ease of the western garments, a relief from the complexities of the endless yards of fabric. But the western revolution was here to stay, engulfing women of all ages, who were braving both chauvinistic and societal disapproval to choose the convenience of western wear over sarees.
The saree on its part of course, opulent as it was in form and effect, refused to simply be ignored, and competed bravely with the jeans and the skirts to secure a small but respectable position, that was highly regarded for its dexterity to unbiasedly accentuate all forms of the female curves. The once-oft-used six yards was now wrapped securely in butter paper, mothballs in tow, to be taken out only on the sister’s wedding or the brother’s engagement. The attire became as celebrated as the occasion itself, styled fittingly with heavy jewellery and heavier makeup.
However, history has a way of repeating itself. And parallelly with the nation reconnecting with its roots, the saree made more appearances than ever, refusing to be celebrated and as a result, to be cornered into the mothball-secured closet that would only be unlocked infrequently. Younger girls started snooping about their mothers’ closets to dig out that silk saree they had been eyeing, substituting the lehenga choli. The range of age group that would wear the saree saw a huge increase, with teens and mature women opting for it all the same.
The result is a new era of saree wearing. Treating it as a casual wear and formal wear alongside a festive wear. And here stepped in styling techniques. The commonplace trend of decking the saree up with heavyduty jewellery gave way to minimalism, letting the saree, in all its glory, to be the focus. And along with it, crumbled the misconception that the saree adds age to the wearer, with a fresh, young approach taking center stage. Experimental ideas involving draping techniques, blouse styles added that new zing to it, and inspirations were drawn from sources ranging from the vintage times to the international style influences. And of course, like every other trend, celebrities were leading from the front with young actresses sporting the saree at more events than ever before.
Here’s how you can make the casual saree trend your own:
Choose your saree with care. Opt for light, easy-to-carry fabrics, like pure silks, linens or cotton-silks. Soothing colors and fuss-free patterns and motifs further seal the deal in making the look casual yet striking.
2. Let down your guard about the perfection of a saree. Casual, easy drapes, instead of the stiff, flawless drape, lets the look be more casual and breezy.
3. Go easy on the jewellery too. Being overdecked with baubles is a strict no-no! Rather, wear just one or two statement pieces. The number of ornaments should be indirectly proportionate to the embellishments in your saree.
4. Where makeup is concerned, less is more there as well. Fresh-faced, au naturel look is all the rage now. Do a cheat trick using just some light weight base and highlight for the apples of the cheek, skipping the heavy eye makeup or bright lip color.
5. Make that hair co–operate too. In conforming with the above trend, pull your hair back into a loose, twisted bun, or a messy braid, putting in as little effort as you can (or cannot) manage. Or, if you’re having a good hair day, just let your hair down for your most natural, relaxed self.
After all, there can be nothing more beautiful about what you are wearing than you, yourself. Okay, well, maybe just a bindi. Maybe.