Friday, October 17, 2014

5 Ways to Pick the Right Bag(s) for your Sari(s) + A Fabulous Festival Giveaway

 If a sari is a story, how do you embellish and accessorize your ensemble to make it even more interesting? Choose a bindi with care? Add a splash with your jewelry? Wear a funky blouse? And how about, toting a fun bag? While, I’ve never been much of a bag person ( I couldn’t care less about branded totes…those hugely expensive bags that would double up as your overnighter), I do have a soft corner for jholas (handmade cloth bags) and batuas (drawstring bags) and hand painted clutches. Anything with a whiff of handmade and fabric and color and embroidery, and I’m in.

These kind of handcrafted bags not only add a new dimension of interest to your sari, but also have their own little story to tuck into. So, here are a clutch of simple tips so you can team your saris with bags that add to the entire look rather than take away from it.

1. Try not to follow fashion blindly when you choose a bag to go with your sari. A sari demands inspiration, that is, if you don’t want to go down the boring route, and a bag is a simple yet effective way to add splash to your sari story. So, bring out those potli bags and fabric jholas, those satchels and those handcrafted clutches. Ditch the branded tote for something that’s more you, more adventurous and has a story of its own.

2. Experiment with various kinds of fabric bags, those with brocade and a bright splatter of sequins, with hand embroidery and crochet and painted motifs. Fabric is not only more eco-friendly, but also way more cost effective and versatile.

3. Choose a bag that’ll add to your sari look. You may have dressed to the nines in a lovely hand-woven sari with a mirror work blouse and a stack of wooden bangles. But, the moment you sling on that bag that almost everybody seems to be toting around, you take away a snap of magic from your carefully put together look. So, pick a bag that complements your ensemble by adding its own conversation piece.

4. Break the rules. You really don’t have to carry a sequined clutch with your cocktail sari, or a large leather handbag with your silk one. You don’t have to have a tan or black or blue bag. There are no ‘have-to's’ when it comes to experimenting with the bags you carry with your saris.

5. Go with your instinct. Spread out your collection of offbeat bags and see which one you gravitate towards. Maybe you’d like to pair that large silver tote with your black-and-white Kota Doria sari. Or, that multicolored gypsy jhola with your rust and mustard Khadi sari. As long as you’re having fun and creating your own look, your jhola/painted clutch/embroidered batua should be good to go with you.

So, to inspire you to experiment with your bags this festival season (what with Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights just around the corner), I’m hosting a GLAM GIVEAWAY with an artist & designer, who is well-known for the fabulous hand-painted bags that she creates.

Aarti Verma with one of her hand-painted bags

Aarti Verma of Art Meets Fashion is giving away one of her famous hand painted clutches (worth Rs 1,500)! I’ve been super-excited about this giveaway because I’ve known this artist-designer since those early days, when she’d just started her label. So, it’s a great pleasure to partner with her after all these years to bring forth this giveaway. Thanks a lot Aarti, for co-hosting this giveaway with me.

A bit about Aarti and her label: A self-taught artist, Aarti paints the loveliest of bags. From totes to clutches, from Zen to Goddesses to Tribal art, Aarti’s bags are her canvases, where she unleashes a colorful tango of motifs and magic. Priced between Rs 750 to Rs 2,800, her hand-painted creations are stories that’ll bring out the best in your sari. You can find out more about her label here. And if you love what you see (which I think you will!), hop over to the Festival Flash Sale she’s hosting here or contact her at for more details about her creations.

How to participate in the giveaway:
And now, to win this hand-painted clutch, post your comment on this blog post or on our Facebook Page, telling us what kind of bags do you like to team your saris with.

I’ll draw out a winner and post her name on my Monday post.

(This giveaway is for readers in India).

Photo credits: Sandeep Banerjee & Pics of bags + Aarti: courtesy Aarti Verma

#sari #saree #bags #handbags #sariinstyle #saribag


  1. Great post and what a fabulous giveaway.Those bags are lovely and you look gorgeous in your pics.Happy Diwali in advance!

  2. Hey this post is surely going to help people by sooving the confusion on how to accessorize exclusively.

  3. Enjoyed reading your post, as always Chandana. And the bags you've featured here are beautiful--very tasteful and artistic. I like accessorizing my saris with small sparkly clutches that showcase traditional Indian motifs (mangos, flower petals, peacocks).

  4. Nice! I love the black clutch with the orange fishy on it and also the Durga one... just decided this morning that I'm going to start accessorizing a lot more than I usually do and start using all the trinkets I've been hoarding..With sarees I prefer clutches and jholas.

  5. Hey luv d hand painted clutches n unique..they ll definitely add on the luk...lovd all of them pictured in ur blog

  6. I carry my black clutch with a long silver chain ...for me it goes with almost all the sarees I have( very few I have :p :p)...except for few traditional cotton sarees ,with them I carry small jholas matching with the Saree colour..:p sometimes i feel like a kiddo going to fancy dress competition :) :)

  7. I like to team my sarees with drawstrings bags ( potlis ), clutches or hand held bags with ethnic embroidery or zari or bead work on them. Rather than just being a style statement I would like the bag or clutch to be functional and it should be roomy enough to hold my essentials. I would love to make these bags from left over fabric or blouse materials for the mix and match look.

  8. This information is meaningful and magnificent which you have shared here about the. I am impressed by the details that you have shared in this post and It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. I would like to thanks for sharing this article here. handmade brand clothing online

  9. This is the top of the line. Their bags are basically a mobile repair shop and storage facility. <a href="


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