Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Sari Blouses for that Casual/Chic/Smart Look

Pic Credit: Calantha Wardrobe

So, how has the sari been treating you this past week? Err…or rather, how have you been treating the sari? Have you managed to take those gorgeous yards of fabric out of your closets, dusted them out and worn them? Have you collected a fair share of compliments and comments? Have you fallen a tiny bit more in love with this garment that often gets traded for a pair of jeans and a polyester top?

Well, if my Sari in Style (#sariinstyle) posts (here & here) are inspiring you to give the sari a chance, then read on for this week’s dose of styling tips. Now that we’re a little more convinced about doing casual in a sari (I hope!), let’s move on to that ‘thing’ that can make or break your casual/chic/smart look. A sari blouse.

Like I said last week, by wearing a matching sari blouse you risk going down the traditional route, which is fine if you want to wear it like it’s always been worn. But if you want to flaunt your sari at a casual do and stand out, then a bit of chutzpah is called for. So, let’s add a twist to the sari ensemble by choosing from an array of blouses. Let’s add an element of interest, a dash of quirky, a sprinkling of casual with a blouse.

Pic Credit:

1. Add contrast to your sari with your blouse. I’m known to do this by teaming a plain handloom sari with a block printed or patterned blouse. Here, I love actress Vidya Balan’s black-and-white printed blouse with her warm-toned sari, and the Wayfarer glasses. A geeky look that’ll be awesome for evenings at the British Council Library or Casual Fridays.

Pic Credit: Small Town

2. Team a jewel-toned silk/cotton-silk top with your sari. If you look around your wardrobe, you’ll find shirts, tops and tees that you can wear with your saris. Here, I like how this natural Tussar silk sari from the Small Town label is worn with a rich green cotton silk Maheshwari top. Adds contrast and color, making the ensemble pop.

 Pic Credit: Small Town

3. Wear a black or white fitting tee as a blouse. It’ll put the spotlight on your sari and create a look perfect for a shopping trip or an afternoon at the movies.

Pic Credit: Rajeshwari Iyer

Pic Credit: ByLoom

4. Team a shirt with your sari. I totally mean this. One of my readers, Rajeshwari Iyer, recently tried this combo and it looked amazing. A very smart combination, you can wear your shirt + sari to office, for a client meeting or dinner at a happening restaurant.

Pic Credit: Tadpole Store

5. Add interest with a contrasting solid color. Wear a blouse or a top in a solid color and let it be on the opposite side of the color spectrum (of your sari). You can either wear a plain but brightly-colored sari or drape a printed sari with this kind of blouse. This look will work well for a day of browsing at the bookstore, brunch with your better half or just a day of lounging around in a sari.

Pic Credit (for the above 2 pictures): Raw Mango

6. Slip into a really loose cropped top and make it work with your sari. It’s a myth that sari blouses need to be fitting to the T. I love these pictures from Raw Mango, a leading sari label in India. This look will especially work well for tall and slender women, who can carry of this combination at office meetings and cocktail evenings.

Pic Credit: Calantha Wardrobe

Pic Credit: Uma Damle

7. A long sleeved blouse as well as a three-quarter blouse is on my wish list. I love how this model looks in her cream colored long-sleeved blouse teamed with her cranberry and tangerine-hued sari. And how the lady in the picture above looks so poised in her black sari teamed with a blue three-quarter blouse. Perfect for casual events like coffee mornings, cocktail evenings, a meal out at a restaurant.

Which kind of blouse will you try with your sari this weekend?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like 7 Ways to Style a Sari and  6 Myths about the Sari.

If you have any specific question on wearing/styling a sari, send those to me via my Facebook page  or drop me a line on Twitter @chandanawriter.

#sari #saree #sariinstyle #sariblouse #desistyle #smartsari #Indianattire


  1. Chandana, your posts and pictures are making me dig out my saris again. I haven't worn saris in over ten years now and have to relearn the art again. Must find new occasions to wear them! Also, getting blouses stitched is a pain now as there are fewer tailors around - isn't that sad. Have you tried ready-made blouses? I'd also love to see a post on sari petticoats - are they still a necessity or can one work without one? :)


  2. Thanks also for all the links to these elegant sari stores. I'm bookmarking and pinning for future inspiration / shopping sprees :)

  3. Chryselle - thanks for your comment. And I'm super glad that you're thinking of wearing a sari again after 10 years. I'll do a post on petticoats. While I still wear petticoats, I think you can try draping a sari over jeans, leggings or fitting petticoats. As for blouses - like I mentioned in this post, you can wear saris with some of your tops and tees. I do that often. Or, you can buy readymade blouses. Check out Anagha on facebook (owner Sarvamangala Chavli).

  4. Hi Chandana,

    As someone who started wearing saris because of the sexy and chic blouses I saw in college, I loved this post.
    Also, your sari style is impeccable and a visual delight. :)


  5. Hi how to buy these great looking sarees?


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