Friday, 6 December 2013

#87 History of the Indian sarees and party wear sarees

History of the Indian Sari -

  • The history of Sari is as old as the Indus Valley Civilization, back in the 2800-1800 BCE era, where females in and around the Indian sub-continent wore Sari. However, some historians say that women and men used to wear the dhoti or lungi (mundu) at one point in time, but women’s clothing styles slowly changed with influence from the Hindu and other traditional changes. With all the disagreements out there, one can agree on the fact that women in India has worn the Sari for an extremely long time, long before Europe was out of the dark ages.

  •  The Sari (also known as sattika or saree or shari) is worn by present-day India, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan and other nations near India. Overtime, many the role of Sari in society slowly evolved as society’s values changed. In Pakistan, the popularity of Sari suffered and is now slowly dying out since Pakistan gained its independence from India and viewed Sari as a Hindu influence in their nation. Other nations such as Afghanistan could have used Sari in the early age, maybe even as far back as the Aryan invasion of Indus valley, but have adopted the dress into something unique.

  •  So what is a Sari? Technically, it is a very very long piece of cloth made with silk or cotton (sometimes other threads are used for cost efficiency), each handwoven by a tailor with a unique pattern or Theme. Essentially, every Sari is different and designed from the very first thread by its maker. Zardozi or Zari work uses fancy styles with Gold or Silver threads which may sometimes be mixed in with precious stones or jewels. The cheaper sari are the ones that are made with vegetable dye printed on the cloth. Also, especially in modern times, the cheap Saris are made using polyester, nylon, or rayon and is not handwoven, but made in some factory. However handwoven sari have consistently shown more durability, quality, design and beauty since the maker invested a considerable amount of time into creating the Sari.

  •  Early in the history of Sari, as with any clothing, there were a variety of styles and forms for wearing a Sari. Currently, thanks to better transportation, media & entertainment influence and faster information systems, most of the localized styles are giving way to the more prominent and famous Indian style. The Nivi Drape (a varied style itself) is the most popular, where women wrap the Sari around the waist and tuck it into their petticoats. Then the edge of the cloth is hand-gathered into even pleats just below the navel and tucked in, created a “flower-like” design below the navel and the front of the Sari creates a even lined design. After one more turn around the waist, the loose end is draped over the shoulder. The end of the Sari that is draped diagonally over the shoulder can also be folded into even pleats for further decorative purposes. This cloth may can be left hanging freely or tucked into the waist, used to cover the head, just used to cover the neck by draping it across the right shoulder or to cover the navel or the stomach area as occasion dictates.

  •      Usually under the sari, the women wears a petticoat or a blouse which is also intricately designed and tailored for the best fit and style. However, it has not always been so. In the early history of Sari, sometimes women did not wear a blouse under the Sari so they left their upper body exposed while the sari adequately covered their lower bodies. Even in some poor areas or some inner villages in South Asia, women do not wear the upper garments properly. This is mostly seen in Sri Lankan rural areas or the poverty stricken slumps.

  •  The Sari shares a rich and aromic traditional history, and is one of the oldest -if not the oldest- dresses developed specifically by women for women and still used by much of the world (when considering the population ratios). The Sari is also a family member or the initiator of other designs and dresses such as shalwar kameez in Pakistan or Churidar in the South Asian community. Today, many people in Western nations are fascinated and captivated by the beautiful sari, especially at wedding occasions where they are just incredibly captivating and stylish. Perhaps it is the seductive look of a women in Sari or the style, or perhaps it is the feeling of being a rebel by breaking away from tradition by wearing a Sari but women in the West find themselves lured and fascinated by Sari. Yet in all this, one thing is clear – the Sari is here to stay and will not be going anywhere soon.

Party Wear Sarees-  

These days, women don’t have to try too hard to look good and trendy when it comes to a party. Even in traditional attire, women can check out the latest trend and flaunt it confidently. Rest assured, a designer sari for a party wear looks absolutely cool and will make you stand apart in the crowd. Designer sarees for party wear are available in a range of fabrics like georgettes, chiffons, crepes, silks, satins, synthetics, crushed silk, etc. You can choose from a plethora of colors and color combinations that suit your personality or are your favorite. Read on to know more about the trend of designer party wear saris and start your collection to stock up your wardrobe! 

  • The most popular fabrics for designer wear sarees are georgettes and chiffons. They are lightweight, flowing and drape beautifully around the body. These saris are designed exquisitely with sequins, mirrors, stones, etc. in different styles and patterns. In some, you may find very heavy work on the ‘pallu’ and in some; the borders have a heavy work of stone and sequins.

  • These days, you have saris that come with a totally chic look. More than traditional attire, they look apt for wearing at parties. The latest craze is about a sari that has a ‘butterfly’ pallu. This pallu tapers or narrows at the part that is to be collected or pleated at the shoulders. From there, it again opens up like a fan and beautifully drapes around or can be just left like that.

  • Another popular style is to have Technicolor or abstract prints. The prints are usually in a contrast color. For instance, if the saree is black in color, the prints can be white, red or turquoise blue. The aim here is to create a stunning look with just prints and colors. A popular craze among young girls is to go for animal prints like zebra or tiger prints. 

  • Forget the little-black-dress for cocktail parties! Pick up an elegant black saree with a hint of mirror work or sequins or crystals at the borders and the pallu. Go in for flowing silks, crepe, satins, etc. for an ultra-glam look. Nothing is hotter than an Indian woman in a stunning sari at a party!

  • It depends on the kind of party you are going to attend. If it is a traditional party like a wedding or a festival, consider dressing up in a traditional silk saree, along with some gold jewelry. You can get a great collection of silk sarees for traditional occasions in many different colors and borders.


  1. Excellent Blogs on Indian Traditional Sarees. it helped me gain a great amount of knowledge for these wears.

  2. Extremely useful information which you have shared here about History of the Indian Sari. This is a great way to enhance knowledge for us, and also beneficial for us. Thank you for sharing an article like this. patan na patola


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