Monday, October 24, 2016

5 Nosepins to wear with saris

I’ve been wearing nose pins since I got my nose pierced in college. While earlier, they’d be tiny little sparkling stones or silver hoops, it’s only in this past year that I’ve begun exploring the bigger, chunkier nose pins. 

I started timidly, very unsure of how a big nose pin would sit on my nose, but soon got so hooked on to the look, that now if I go without any of these big beauties, I feel something’s amiss.

Image credit: Gaatha/Trajuva

What’s also a bonus is that these gorgeous big nosepins look amazing with saris. Just stick on a bindi, and you may not even miss your jhumkas or necklace, if you’ve got a coin-sized nosepin to accessorize.

Here are some of my favorite nosepins to sport with saris.

Silver flower nosepins: I’ve bought some from Levitate, an eclectic store in Bangalore, and wear them regularly. Shaped like little flowers with colored stones in the center, these are perfect combinations of spunk and tradition. I also like the ones from Gaatha, which are designed/curated by Trajuva and are inspired from Kutchi designs. Let them be your daily go-tos when your draping a simple yet beautiful Bengal cotton or a breezy Kota sari.

Large disc-shaped nosepins: These large nospins must look like the moon’s chosen to ride with you. Often in a filigree pattern and inspired by tribal patterns, large nosepins need panache and confidence to be carried off with a sari. I’d wear these with Chanderis or plain silks, and avoid teaming them with saris that are very elaborate or busy.

Image credit: Karmasuthra 

Eclectic or intricate nosepins: Whether it’s a peacock dancing to the tune of rolling thunder, or Lakshmi’s lotus ready to perch on your nose, there are some alluring designs available for choice. I love the nosepins by Karmasutra (as per their Facebook page, they’re giving nosepins a break while they focus on necklaces), and have noticed that they’re quite a favorite within the sari-loving community. I’d wear my eclectic nospins with Paithanis, Benarasis, Kantha silks and Kanjeevarams.

Nose rings: If you’re more of a nose ring kinda girl or just want some variety when it comes to your jewellery, wearing filigreed septum rings as nose rings can be the way to go. I even enjoy the idea of wearing dangling nose rings like these to a party and teaming them up with almost any kind of sari.

Maharashtrian nath: These confections with pearls and colored stones will look so lovely when teamed with a silk sari, for festivals or for parties. I could wear one of these traditional Maharashtrian naths for a festive occasion with any of my silk saris, but given a choice, I’d reach for my Baluchori silk to combine the beauty and culture of the two states that I owe my cultural aesthetics to.

What kind of nosepins do you enjoy wearing and with what kind of saris?

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

6 Simple ways to get dressed in a sari in 10-minutes or less

Hello sari-loving ladies! I’ve been away for a while – school holidays, social commitments, stints of sole parenting (part-n-parcel of fauji life) and figuring out ways to be my own support system (bye-bye maid & hello hands). All of these left me very little time to write, let alone fire up my laptop to sneak in a blog post or two.

With time at a premium, I fine-tuned my ‘Quick Sari Look’, and here I am sharing 6 simple ways to create a sari look in 10-minutes or less.

So onto the sari look. Often, the general notion about sari-dressing is that one must bring all of these aspects in when you’re wearing a sari – exotic jewellery pieces, the most stylish footwear and the best of make-up. We won’t leave any stone unturned when we drape a sari. And that’s a huge part of the fun and the pull of wearing a sari.

However, if you’re wearing saris regularly, to the office or at home, for lunch at a restaurant and a jaunt in the mall, or even to the movies or for some chai and gupshup at a friend’s place, you may not want to go the whole nine yards with your make-up kit and jewellery box. As alluring as all of it is, this can also be the very reason to swap the sari for salwar-kameez or a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Or at least, it is for me. It’s not every day that I can spend 30 minutes on creating a look. So, here’s my go to for any sari occasion or ‘non-occasion’:

1. Kajal or kohl: If there’s one thing that I cannot do without, it’s some soot black kajal. I just keep one or two kohl pencils and use these daily. I find that it’s one of the best ways to highlight one’s eyes and it adds so much to the sari look.

2. Big, round bindi: My little kit of make-up stuff just has to have a strip or two of big, round bindis. I love bright red, but since I can’t often get them where I live, I stick on maroon, black or even multi-colored round bindis.

3. Lip gloss or an earthy lip color: I’ve recently swapped all my chemical-laden lip colors for a few earthy shades of lipstick made with clarified butter and beeswax. With their dual purpose of moisturizing and adding color, these lipsticks complete and complement my make-up needs.

Photo credit: Byloom

4. 1 piece of statement piece or 2 simple pieces of jewellery: For daily sari wear, I prefer reaching out for chunky jhumkas or a pretty pair of dangling earrings. Alternatively, if I give earrings a miss, I’d wear a necklace that I really like. Sometimes, I could also wear two simple pieces of jewellery – earrings + necklace or bangles + earrings. The idea is to cut the fuss, keep accessories to a minimum and choose just one or two pieces that will add chutzpah to my sari outfit and yet keep the entire ensemble practical and work-worthy.

5. Bag or jhola: Even though I have an interesting collection of jholas, courtesy my friends who know my affinity for all things handmade, I choose one bag every month as my go-to jhola. I keep my essentials tucked into it and can sling it on every time I’m scrambling out of the door. My requirements for such a bag is that it shouldn’t be too large and bulky, yet should have space to hold my wallet, keys, Kindle and maybe, a tiny water bottle.

6. Comfortable footwear: Right before I’m rushing out, I’d want to slip into a pair of shoes/slip-ons that are comfortable enough for the whole day. Since I’m not a stilettos kinda girl, I prefer flats or an inch of block heels so my feet won’t be achy when I’m back. I mean, sari-wearing cannot be much fun if I have to nurse achy feet after my day in a gorgeous sari, right?

With these super six, I’m ready to rock the day.

What’s your sari go-to for daily sari wear? I'd love to hear how you create your sari style in a few short minutes, here in the comments section or on my Facebook Page!

#100sareepact #saristyle #simplesari 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

6 Reasons why the sari is more than just eye-candy

I love to look at saris and sari pictures just as much as the next girl. I mean, what’s not to like about well-crafted photographs of confident women in six yards of gorgeousness? Or, about going dizzy with excitement as one clicks through picture after picture of saris, each one more breathtaking than the other?

Image credit: Gaatha (All the images used in this post are from Gaatha, an amazing e-commerce site that promotes traditional Indian handicrafts with a contemporary twist. Thanks Gaatha, for letting me use these thoughtful images.)

I love everything about the sari, including the eye-candy aspect of it. But being a bit of a sari warrior, I am not comfortable relegating it to just this arena. How can a garment with so much of history in its weave, be just a beautiful picture to look at and then discard as too fanciful to wear?

While style is a very personal matter, and everyone is welcome to choose dresses and jeans over an unstitched garment that takes practice and patience to drape, there are some relevant reasons why the sari is holding strong and gaining back all its lost momentum in urban India. Here’s why the sari is so much more than just glossy eye-candy:

1. It’s shot through with stories. Pick up any handloom sari and you have a bag of stories right there in its weft and weave, drape and fall. From how a weaver in a tiny village has painstakingly woven each thread on a manual loom to the tales within the patterns, to how it’s come all the way to you, there are stories shot through a handmade sari. You just have to take the time to find them.

2. It’s rich with history. Research the history of any weaving tradition, and you’re sure to find stories of kings and their patronage, weaving lives and wearing traditions that pop out from within the weft and weave of any sari that you might be contemplating wearing on a given day.

3. It’s an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary. In the urban scenario, as more and more women are reaching into their treasure chests to dig out long-forgotten saris, it’s the pull of combining the tradition and culture of a sari with a generous dollop of modern that keeps them going. From trying out new ways to wear those old saris, to creating eclectic ensembles with what’s already tucked away in your wardrobe, or trying out new roles in newer saris, it’s all about discovering new combinations without letting go of the old.

4. It’s about slow living in a fast-paced culture. Yes, on an average, from the time you pick out a sari to you finish slinging on your bag, it takes about 10 minutes, if not more, depending on the kind of sari you’re wearing or the practice you have draping one. Compare that with slipping into a pair of jeans or trousers, and it’s a no-brainer that the sari can take more time to wear and accessorize. But, if plan your sari ensemble just a few minutes in advance, this time that it takes to drape and wear, can actually be an exercise in slow living. It’s about enjoying the process just as much as the end result. It’s about slowing down to smell the flowers, and calming that flurry and fury of our deadline-oriented mind.

5. It’s about wearing and owning a work of art in a world of cookie cutter, factory-made products. Gone are the days when our mothers and grandmothers made many of the daily essentials at home, thus, converting the mundane into little pieces of art to light up our simpler lives. So, when you break out a handwoven sari, you’re reclaiming a piece of hand-crafted tradition back into your life. You’re choosing art, and the thought and creativity that goes in making anything by hand.

6. It’s about softness and comfort. If you wear saris, you know how the sari feels like a hug, embracing you within its soft folds. Also, if you get too used to the sari and the petticoat, you may slip too deep into the comfort of wearing a garment that adjusts with your changing shape. A garment that doesn’t let you worry about muffin tops and love handles, or even the extra inch at the waist

What do you love about handloom saris?

Here's the entire series of Sari Posts.

P.S. Hey Sari gals, it's the Joy of Giving week, and if you want to make a difference with a sari, here are 5 ways to do so.

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