The saree is one of the most common and oldest forms of dress and fashion wear Indian women in India and it continues to be the most popular fashion wear worn by Indian women. The saree is long rectangular shaped strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from 5 to 9 yards in length. For a single length of material, the sari must be the most versatile garment in existence. It is only one of the many traditional garments worn by women, yet it has somehow become the national dress of Indian women.
This elegant drape of India comes in varied textures and styles. For most formal occasions one finds women both the middle-class and the elite looking their best – in a graceful sari! The materials may vary from crisp cottons, rich silks to synthetics and chiffon’s, but the final overall look is simply elegant and matchless. Did you know that every region of India has a distinct sari of its own, very much influenced by their particular social milieu and culture?
Various styles of wearing a sari as per Indian region:
Bengali: In the traditional Bengali style, the sari is draped around the body without pleats and the pallu is left loose by hanging over the left shoulder often with a bunch of keys attached to it. The earlier generations of Bengali women preferred the style because of its sheer simplicity and utmost comfort.
Gujarati: The Gujarati woman sports a distinctive style, as she wears a sari with a neatly pleated pallu brought in front over the right shoulder with one end tucked around the waist to the left.
Maharashtrian: A nine-yard sari called the nawwadi is the traditional style very similar to the man’s dhoti. The pleats of the sari are placed between the legs and tucked in the centre back. Fisher-women in the coastal regions of Maharashtra still wear a nawwadi and well, it is worn without a petticoat!
Madrasi: This style is very similar to the Maharashtrian nawwadi or the nine-yard sari. The pallu is quite long and wrapped around the waist and tucked in.
Some important varieties of Indian saris:
Tangail: Tangail is a district in what is today known as Bangladesh. The traditional Tangail saris have borders with the lotus or a lamp pattern. These are now being made in the Phulia district of West Bengal.
Baluchari: The Baluchari sari of Vishnupur in West Bengal is made of silk and woven on special looms. The borders and pallu of the sari are very striking because of its use of intricate thread work to depict stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.