It is often said that the blouse makes the saree. You can dress a saree up or dress it down based on the blouse you wear. While the saree has remained timeless, designer blouses, on the other hand, have undergone a metamorphosis in recent years. From staid, ordinary blouses, today you can wear halter tops, bandeau blouses and even a shirt! So how do you choose what blouse to wear with that gorgeous saree you just got from your mother? Keep reading because we’ve got you covered, literally.
At our last count, there are over 40 different blouse designs that you can wear with your saree. There may be more, we’ve stopped counting. So how do you select the perfect blouse from the plethora of choices available? Well, the perfect designer blouse has certain criteria: It has to a) blend perfectly with the saree you are wearing b) suit the occasion c) flatter you in the best possible way
- Blending with the saree: If you have a printed blouse piece and layer it with a printed saree, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Unless of course, you match the design on the saree with the one on the blouse piece really well. The general rule is either the blouse or the saree will have to be plain and the other printed. You cannot mix up prints, embroidery unless it carries the same motifs and is of the same colour range.
- Rising to the occasion: You can elevate your saree with your blouse. You can take a drab saree and convert it into a fun flirty ensemble with a little imagination. However, fun and flirty may not be appropriate in all situations. For example, in a professional setting, you want to come across as being well-dressed and not really flirty.
- Flattering: This is where the magic happens. While all blouse designs can be worn, some designs will look exceptionally flattering on you more than others. Finding out what looks good on you is both an art and science. If your arms are toned and lovely, consider wearing a sleeveless blouse or a strappy one. Spent hours at the gym? Consider wearing a bandeau blouse or a crop top to show off your killer-abs. If on the other hand, you have a food baby that you want to hide, a peplum blouse will do wonders. Find what looks good on you and use it to your advantage.
There are multiple variants to blouse designs. Here are the major ones.
Neck designs: Do you want a boat neck? A Chinese collar? A halter neck? A high neck? A peter pan collar neck? A square neck? There are so many to choose from. Which one will look perfect on you? Here’s our take on this question. Find something you like and wear what feels the most comfortable for you. Don’t worry about fashion norms or how slender your arms are. You do you, boo!
Back designs: Another area that you can experiment with, is in blouse back designs. You can go from a demure back blouse design like a keyhole design to a backless blouse that is held together with a sophisticated tie-up. Which one looks best on you? They all do, sista! Wear what feels the most comfortable for you and wear your style, not something you saw in a magazine. Borrow ideas by all means, but make the design yours in a way that looks the most flattering on you.
Embroidery and mirror work: If your saree is of a solid colour, you can go to town with the embroidery on your blouse. Mirror or sequin or cut dana work looks fabulous. Printed designs and embroidery also add a lot of charm to your ensemble. Make sure your accessories go with whatever embroidery you select. Too many designs can make your ensemble look cluttered and busy.
Sleeves: Or perhaps no sleeves at all? There’s a wide range here as well. Full-sleeved, elbow-length, cap sleeve, sleeveless, off the shoulder blouses… the list is endless. Sleeves add sophistication and charm to your blouse so choose with care. One thing we recommend is to play around with different styles and designs. Even if you’ve found your holy grail of blouse designs, don’t hesitate to experiment and try something new. How else will you be able to update your style? This way you can keep your wardrobe interesting and unpredictable.
Tie-ups and crisscross designs: Add a 3D feel to your blouses with tie-ups and crisscross designs. Tie-ups can be both functional—where the blouse stays in place because of the tie-up— or decorative, such as a tie-up around the neck where it serves no other purpose than to add an interesting element to your blouse. Crisscross designs can range from partial to total where the entire back of the blouse is made of slotted or crisscross cords. Or they can be used in a corner of your neck of back design to keep things interesting.
At the end of the day, a saree blouse is a tiny piece of fabric that has the ability to make or break your saree ensemble. Get your blouse design right, and you are more than halfway to an outstanding outfit. No matter what style you choose, make sure your designer blouse is well-fitted, not loose and not too tight, and you’re good to go. Mix it up. Experiment. Wear it your way. You’ve got this!