From Maheshwari to Benarasi, Kalamkari, Kantha, Taant, Chanderi, Kanjeevaram and so on — sarees are not just outfits, but our heritage. However, it is never too late to give a little twist to something as conventional as our sarees, which are no longer restricted to only a festive wear item. With a plethora of fabrics and designs, they have begun to be recognised as formal, casual and work wear outfit. Nowadays, women can also be seen wearing them at boardrooms and corporate meetings.
“Today’s modern woman want fashion that is fused with comfort and those who think that wearing a saree is fussy, need to rethink. After all, our Air India flight crew have been sporting sarees for ages and yet carrying out their duties so well. If they can do it in the sky, what holds women to do it on land?” asks Junaid Shah, Mumbai-based designer and retailer.
Shah is of the opinion that some sarees are for daily wear and some should be saved for special occasions. “Avoid wearing embellished and glitzy sarees as they are not just uncomfortable, but they also make you look out of place in office. Stick to simplicity and what better than cotton, georgette and raw silk. You have to keep the weather in mind!” he advises.
While the choice of fabric, print and colour are essential, the blouse you team up with your saree for work wear makes a lot of difference. ‘’Don’t go for blouses that look sexy or have deep necklines. After all, it is going to be your formal wear. However, if it is a Friday or a Saturday, you can try a sleeveless blouse in contrast colour. Round neck, boat neck, blouse with collars, etc work best for an office look,” suggets Shah.
Nelson Jaffery, head of design Birla Cellulose, says, “The dialogue around reinventing the saree as a means of convenient fashion has witnessed a shift, especially in the past year, where women have begun draping it over denims, teaming it with t-shirts or wearing sneakers with it. Cotton or linen, paired with a t-shirt or a blouse, the versatile saree attracts attention. Women of today like to try traditional weaves, but stay faithful to their quirky side with prints that showcase their personalities.”
Here’s how you can wear saree to work in the most stylish way:
Happenin’ handlooms: Add style to your office wardrobe with the oh-so-fashionable handloom saree that are loved by all fashionistas. No matter what you choose to wear — solid-coloured, dual-toned, woven, beaded, tussle-work, handdrawn motifs, appliqué work — handloom has become cool and fashionable today.
Chic chiffon: Run a contest among the bona fide fashionistas about the most delicate and charming type of sarees, and there will be one clear winner — chiffon. Available in a wide gamut of colours, chiffon sarees are your best bet to look both sensual and sophisticated at the same time. These lightweight beauties are so versatile that you can easily wear them to an after-work party with just an extra hint of make-up.
Simply silk: The authenticity of the various legends around its origin aside, the sheer luxuriousness of silk remains indisputable. Its richness and finesse have made silk an instant favourite for festive occasions and weddings. Printed silks with subtle colours showcase femininity and grace. Add a pleated, structured drape and portray an equal mix of poise and power in a corporate setting.
Linen with a twist: Linen sarees are making a statement. Flaunt a plain linen saree and immerse yourself in its cosy comfort. Plus, the scope of experimentation with the blouse is just innumerable. From a striped crop top to your favourite solid tank, mix-and-match is the key for rocking fun Fridays at work.
Comfort is the key: Don’t want to step out of your comfort zone? Cotton and viscose sarees will be your go-to garments if you like it absolutely fuss-free, minus any loose hanging pallu and toppling bottom pleats. Available in a range of design, motifs, decorations they are appropriate for everyday wear. The texture of viscose allows proper air passage because of the pores. Viscose sarees in two colours are fashionable, comfortable and easy to manage.