Selecting the Right Saree: Fabrics and Drapes
One of the best things about the revival of interest in traditional satta Indian garments, embroideries and textiles amongst designers and fashion houses is that it has made ethnic fashion ‘cool’ for the younger generation. For instance, the saree is today loved and appreciated the world over for its elegant drape and gorgeous look. The audience for sarees has expanded to include new customer segments, including women who may not necessarily be familiar with the customs and traditions surrounding Indian clothes, but nevertheless want to flaunt the latest sarees. In this scenario, one of the biggest sources of confusion is which fabric to choose and how to drape it. The tremendous variety of regional as well as trendy options only creates greater confusion. However, by paying attention to certain crucial factors, pulling off a sari can be a piece of cake:
Choosing the Right Fabric
Obviously the first step to looking gorgeous, no matter what the occasion, is to choose a garment that flatters your body type and enhances your beauty. With saris, the fabric and color is of utmost importance. Thin and transparent modern fabrics like chiffon, net and tissue in darker shades will best suit tall and thin women; curvier women can opt for clothes that are more translucent than transparent, like georgette, Chanderi or kota silk sarees. In fact any silk sari is a safe bet, since silk suits almost all body types and hugs the body beautifully as well.
Another factor that has to be taken into account is the weather and the occasion. A silk sari is suitable for practically any special occasion, wedding or party because of the lavish look of the fabric, but a thinner variety like the Kota silk saree would be more suitable for a daytime summer party while thick and heavy Kanchipuram silk sarees would be better for winter weddings. On a day to day basis, or for office wear, more earthy and coarse looking varieties like the matka silk saree would be better suited.
Saris from different regions are draped in a distinct manner. In Bengal, the sarees are draped in a back to front manner while Rajasthan and Gujarat the pallu is pleated neatly in the front. These diverse draping methods are best implemented with saris from that region or with those made of versatile fabrics like georgette which can be played around with. With the heavy and luxurious looking Kanchipuram silk sarees, the classic over the shoulder and hanging over the arm drape is the best choice, as this not only lets the fabric fall beautifully, it also shows off the elaborate designs on the pallu. This type of drape also suits thin and delicate garments like the Kota silk saree. A Matka silk saree, on the other hand, has quite a stiff look and feel and hence can be easily and neatly pinned up for a formal, professional look. Of course these are only guidelines; the saree is a very versatile garment and many women love making bold and unconventional fashion statements by playing around with fabrics and drapes!