Wearing a Saree

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to wear a saree.  Satya told my Mother in law that I’d be open to wearing a traditional Indian outfit for the Indian wedding ceremony next year.  She brought out a beautiful purple silk saree with gold and orange trim. 

The first step was the blouse. 

Lesson number one: the tiny hooks hook in the front, not in the back!  When she gave me the blouse I was very confused because I thought, “How in the world do you hook all those tiny hooks in the back by yourself?”  My mother in law quickly corrected me and told me they hook in the front…much easier.  I guess I saw the hooks and thought they looked like bra hooks and so thought they hook in the same way.

Luckily, the blouse fit well across my shoulders.  The arms were a little loose, but she said that they could easily be tailored to fit.

Next was the cotton petticoat.  Then finally, the winding and folding of the saree.  I don’t know how she did it.  I will definitely have to find some of those “How to wear a saree” videos online!  I’m thinking of finding a cheaper one that I can just practice wearing around the house.

Then came the next challenge…walking upstairs.  I thought, “Oh, no problem.  I’ve worn long skirts and dresses before.”  Wrong.  Apparently, it is crucial to grip the saree at the center of the skirt to hold it up and out of the way.  Holding it from the sides makes things even more difficult. 

Satya and his mom liked the saree very much.  I will be wearing one for the Indian wedding.  I will definitely need to practice wearing one beforehand!  They both laughed when they saw how tightly I was gripping the saree.  I was afraid it would fall off, but I just have to adjust to the different feel of wearing a saree. 

Satya took pictures, so someday I may post them.  I think I looked like a tall purple pillar, but in a good way.

More things I learned:

          -There are many different ways to wear a saree.  Some stylish, some more utilitarian.  If you need to wash dishes you can tuck it one way.  If you need your legs freer, you can do something else.

          -Pins can be added to hold the saree in place.  I didn’t try this, but it sounds worth trying.

         -Pastel colors are nicknamed “English colors” and should be avoided.  Mother in law says that anything bright is good. 

I’d always wanted to try a saree on, so I enjoyed wearing it a lot.   Also, it was gorgeous!  I didn’t really realize before how versatile sarees are.  They can adjust no matter the wearer’s size or what the wearer is doing.

Here is a great post from A Wide Angle View of India about saris.  She has included a link to a video showing how to wear a sari as well as some great photos. 

At the moment I am looking for a silk saree to wear for the August ceremony.  We are having the ceremony professionally photographed so Satya wants a photos of me in a saree as well as the Western-style wedding dress.