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10 Awesome Ways to Accessorize a Sari

10 Awesome Ways to Accessorize a Sari

The sari is recognized the world over as one of the most ubiquitous garments in the fashion industry. The 6-yard long seamless garment created with beautiful material, prints and embellishments can be draped and accessorized in many different ways, giving you command over your appearance to express both your beauty and personal sense of style.

The sheer elegance of a sari lies in not just the way it is draped or how the pallu can be displayed, but also the accessories that it is paired with. Right from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, changing fashion trends have glamorized traditional drapes, accessories and jewelry to create unique ensembles that are incredibly beautiful!

1. Belts are Back!

No, wearing a belt with a sari is not a ‘new thing’ - Gold or silver ‘kamar’ belts have been essential sari accessories in many parts of India throughout the ages. They come in a variety of designs and metals, studded with semi-precious stones and even with tiny bells that tinkle as you walk. Modern stylesinclude leather, lace or beaded cloth belts that show off a tiny waist.

2. Intricate Jacket Blouses

A thoughtfully selected embroidered jacket blouse will add a touch of celebrity-inspired flair (a la Aishwarya Rai or Sonam Kapoor at Cannes) to your sari. Chinese collared-jackets without a choker or necklace make a smart statement. An armlet worn on one arm can look stunningly beautiful with a sleeveless jacket, letting the sari pallu fall freely on the other to show off the pattern. This is an interesting way to give the saree a vintage twist in no time.

3. Statement Jewelry 

Pair your sari with accessories like a maang tikka – the piece of jewelry that adorns the center of the forehead, nose rings, armlets, bracelets, bangles, heavy choker or torque necklaces, jhumkas, toe rings and other eye-catching jewelry. Modern trends have also moved away from minimalism to reinvented and vintage-inspired classics, so pull out your grandmother’s jewelry or scour the market for funky pieces and flaunt them with pride!

4. Brooches and Pins

To hold the pallu in place, shoulder brooch pins are available in a variety of designs, as are pleat clips that help organize the pleats, which can either be hidden or displayed depending on how you wish to accentuate that part of the sari. You can also accessorize with a ‘chhalla’ of key-shaped charms that doubles up as a sari holder (especially useful for first-timers) – adding a touch of quirky vintage style with ease!

5. Hair Accessories

Add elegance and chic to the sari with eye-catching hair-dos and trendy hair accessories. Add small clips, combs or hairbands to your ‘do’ when you want to spotlight your sense of style, but remember to keep it understated or you risk looking ‘overdone’. As a bride, you could also wear a jeweled tiara, headband or maang-tikka with your bridal sari and jewelry.

6. Don’t Forget the Bindi!

Pair your sari with accessories like a maang tikka – the piece of jewelry that adorns the center of the forehead, nose rings, armlets, bracelets, bangles, heavy choker or torque necklaces, jhumkas, toe rings and other eye-catching jewelry. Modern trends have also moved away from minimalism to reinvented and vintage-inspired classics, so pull out your grandmother’s jewelry or scour the market for funky pieces and flaunt them with pride!

4. Brooches and Pins

To hold the pallu in place, shoulder brooch pins are available in a variety of designs, as are pleat clips that help organize the pleats, which can either be hidden or displayed depending on how you wish to accentuate that part of the sari. You can also accessorize with a ‘chhalla’ of key-shaped charms that doubles up as a sari holder (especially useful for first-timers) – adding a touch of quirky vintage style with ease!

5. Hair Accessories

Add elegance and chic to the sari with eye-catching hair-dos and trendy hair accessories. Add small clips, combs or hairbands to your ‘do’ when you want to spotlight your sense of style, but remember to keep it understated or you risk looking ‘overdone’. As a bride, you could also wear a jeweled tiara, headband or maang-tikka with your bridal sari and jewelry.

6. Don’t Forget the Bindi!

It may seem pretty obvious that a bindi is the perfect partner for a sari, but your choice of bindi can make a huge difference to the final look. Party wear and bridal saris work best

when they are teamed with rhinestone-embellished ‘designer’ bindis, while casual saris can be accented with plain ones in matching colors.

7. Ethnic Handbags and Pouches

Embroidered clutches, pouches and bags designed for traditional Indian clothing pair extremely well with just about any sari. A designer ‘potli’ for your essentials (makeup, keys, money, whatever else you need!) can be worn over your shoulder or across your body so it hangs on the side of the sari, as a chic and contemporary replacement for a traditional handbag too.

8. Cardigans and Wraps

In colder regions, a cardigan is usually paired with the sari for a little extra warmth as well as highlighting and accentuating the sari pallu. Careful selected shawls or wraps, when draped over a sari, can also enhance this simple garment and add a bit of timeless elegance. Long jacket blouses can also be worn if you need to cover your midriff and arms without compromising on style, especially when the mercury dips and there’s a nip in the air.

9. Bling for Your Feet

Picking the perfect footwear is essential, since high heels, flat chappals and wedges can all add different effects to your outfit. Saris need not be always worn to cover the legs like tradition dictates, and contemporary designers often hitch up the saris slightly, especially to show off embellished petticoat borders, anklets and toe rings in various shapes. With the right foot, ankle and toe accessories, you can make a fashion statement too!

10. Personalized Embellishment

India is picking up on the ‘custom clothing’ trend, with embroidery, jhoomers or other embellishments added to plain saris, but the women of our past already knew a thing or two about it. If you have the time and inclination, then stitching or gluing decorative accessories onto the sari border (or along strategic locations on the blouse) can change the look your sari into modern and completely personalized variants within hours!

Designers and fashionistas have also been experimenting with trendy drape styles for the sari itself. The pallu can be converted into a scarf knotted at the neck with leggings or fitted pants, completely doing away with the traditional petticoat. Check out our earlier post on modern sari drapes for inspiration.

Images Courtesy: sareedreams.com, raagalahari.com, vogue.in, happiestladies.blogspot.com, celebsnext.com, bigindianwedding.com, pinkvilla.com, designersareeimages.blogspot.com, fashionlady.in, indianbridals.blogspot.com, Wikipedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

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