Months ago, my friend asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. Of course I accepted on the spot but I got even more excited when she asked me how I felt about wearing a sari (the usual garment for women in South Asia).
The garment had always fascinated me – a mix of contrasting, powerful colors and soft textures that gave an exotic vibe which only enhanced the grace of the wearer. That said, I had no idea that it would be so hard to assemble.
After she brought mine over, a golden blouse with a purple petticoat and a turquoise drape meters long, I tried to put it on to see how it fitted. Needless to say, I was wrapped like a shawarma since I had no idea the art that goes into putting one together.
These are some of the basic rules of preparing a sari and wearing one, as I discovered them the previous weekend in England:
💍 you might have to cut one bonus part of the drape, as soon as you get home
💍 take an iron with you if you get dressed on location; it will get wrinkly
💍 if the blouse is too tight, you can loosen it up from inner sides
💍 tighten the petticoat with the drawstring as much as you can – that will prevent the drape from falling out
💍 stay still during the draping process and DO NOT SUCK IN YOUR TUMMY (like I was tempted to do); that will make the petticoat and sari fall at your feet
💍 pleats, pleats, pleats – you can’t imagine the effort that one of the bridesmaids put in to make my sari beautiful and graceful. A true sari has pleats in front and on the shoulder, showcasing the flowy material and the embellished border
💍 use pins if you must to secure the material in all of the crucial points – shoulder, waist, abs (better than risking everything fall at your feet)
💍 get matching bangles and earrings to go with the sari (I forgot to bring any of those, but, thank God, one of the girls came to my rescue)
💍 rock your sari with a bindi (small sparkly dot applied between the eyebrows or above that area). If you’re single, avoid red when choosing your bindi, because it’s usually worn by married women
💍 make a plan beforehand: how much time will you stay in the sari, where will you wear it? Depending on those two things, you can wear flat sandals (I wore my Roman ones) or heels, drink water or get comfortable without it, like a camel in the desert (you don’t want to go through the hell of using the toilet with the sari on) and/or choose a second outfit
💍 walk normally, with your back straight and shoulders behind, like you would at a white tie event; the sari won’t break or fall if it’s secured tightly
Pretty complicated, huh? In the end though, it will be worth it. On a sunny day, it felt cozy and cool, while giving a glam touch to my entire appearance. It’s not something I’ll start doing regularly (or ever again, for that matter).
A sari is such a traditional garment for other cultures, not mine, that it wouldn’t feel right making it mundane. Yet, it did make my day and I can’t wait to see the official pictures and share them with you guys! Expect sunshine, gardens, prosecco and… peacocks!