Friday, April 10, 2015

Summer Sari Series – 6 Ways to stay comfortable in a sari during the summer

Summer’s already knocking at the door, pushing us to pack up those silks and bring out the breezy cottons. Just last week, I bundled up my raw silk saris and dunked them in the trunk, with sachets of fragrant lavender and sandalwood, with plans of pulling them out of hibernation after a handful of months when the cooler months come waltzing by.

But for this long Indian summer, this season of heat and sweat, I’ve brought out the breeziest of my saris – Kota dorias the color of fresh flowers, Garden chiffons in watercolor prints, Chanderi cotton silks in pastels and a few crisp Bengal cottons.


Style often gets pushed to the back of the wardrobe in this season of the dragon’s breath. With the intense heat crawling up your skin like a slug that you can’t shake off, it’s a pair of shorts and a loose t-shirt that sees us through the season. But every now and then, I get the urge to wear something beautiful, to pretty up, to feel good, to give style a chance. It’s then that I reach out for my summer saris because 6 yards of breezy cotton isn’t just beautiful but just as comfortable.

Suitable for the intense heat of our sub-continent and designed to provide plenty of ventilation, saris can be the most comfortable of attires, if you let it be.

Photo credit: ADIVA

Here are 6 ways you can incorporate the sari into your summer wardrobe and wear it for comfort and style.

1. Choose breezy, breathable saris, which will feel cool on your skin and keep you comfortable. Kota dorias, Bengal cottons, butter soft chanderi cotton silks, even Garden chiffons. Let the synthetic saris with their sequins and bling rest for this season.

2. Pick out saris with pleasing colors…colors that are as refreshing like a glass of lemonade on a hot summer afternoon.  Colors that remind you of freshness and joy, of cool evenings and the sky before the sun rises, of chilled treats and slices of luscious watermelon. I don’t know about you, but when the season notches up its heat factor, I can’t wear prints and patterns that are too celebratory, too bright, too busy.


3. Team your saris with blouses that aren’t too tight or made with synthetic fabric. Sweaty underarms and general discomfort are some of the first things that’ll send you running to ditch the sari for a pair of Capri and t-shirt. The fabric of the blouse is just as important as the fit – wear your cotton blouses/tops or the crochet ones that look stylish and are super-breathable at the same time. Remember, comfort is just as important as style when you’re wearing a sari in summer.

4. If you’re relatively new to wearing saris, start with more forgiving fabric like Kota Dorias, Garden chiffons and Chanderi cotton silks instead of the crispest of Bengal cottons that can get wrinkly in a twinkle if you don’t carry it off well. You can graduate to wearing more of the latter, when you’re super comfortable wearing cotton saris and have got used to the billowy nature of these saris.

5. Change the way you look at a summer sari. A lot of summer cottons can puff out, some more than the others. If it’s this that’s holding you back from wearing saris in the summer, then just reset the way you look at your collection of summer cottons. If the sari billows out, it doesn’t mean you’re “looking fat”, a common lament I hear from women who love their cottons but can’t get themselves to wear them. A cotton sari may puff out when you drape it, but as you go about your day, it settles around you.


6. Accessorize according to the sari and the season. Team your sari with a smart cotton/crochet blouse, a cotton jhola with patchwork or mirror-work, a necklace that’s not too chunky and silver-and-bead earrings. Slip into a pair of comfortable kolhapuri slippers or strappy sandals and you’re ready to take on the summer. Keep your make-up light with kohl, lip gloss and a big round bindi, if you please. (For more Sari Style tips, head over to the Style section of this blog).

Note: Next in the Summer Sari series (#summersari), I’ll be writing about ways to wear those gorgeous saris in this season to work. So, stay tuned for our updates + post your sari questions on our Facebook page: Chandana Banerjee –a journal & a journey.

For more Sari Style tips and posts, head over here.

#saristyle #summersari

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