Blouse maketh the saree
Blouses maketh the saree because it is the blouse that you maketh again and again and yet again. So, an ever-changing body type and size seems like a golden opportunity to get new, trendy ones stitched (Well the ones who don’t fit into 27-year-old blouses would agree).
Blouses have come full circle. I remember my grandma’s time (important to start with her as it is her saree that I wore recently) when she would wear the same hakoba blouse in various shades of white, off white, pale white with almost all her sarees. She primarily wore white sarees with borders (declaring herself old at age 42, when my dad got married and she got her first bahu). Then came my mother’s turn when the trend was to match each blouse with the saree color or shades close to it. This was also a time when sarees did not come with blouse pieces, so trips to the blouse store/cloth store to find just the right color needed one to have a ‘parkhi nazar’ and an able shop assistant. And later one was delighted if the saree came with the blouse piece as that saved you both money and trouble and was viewed as a good deal.
Guess this trend extended to my time too. In my initial saree wearing days I had very little interest in sarees, ‘blouse to door ki baat’. When I was getting married my sister had this bright idea that I should wear long sleeved blouses as they were in fashion and to convince me she added, “You know they are also slimming”. I was sold. Necklines were decided by Mom (not too deep in the back she insisted and we nodded). I still have some of those in the hope that they will come back into fashion and inspire me to fit into them.
As I got more regular with my saree wearing, the need to create drama around them was greater. So mixed and matched (the blouse stitching costs also forced me to wear the same blouse with multiple sarees and the same saree with different blouses). I tend to wear primarily handlooms and more plain ones than printed ones (someday I hope this will be asked to me as an interview question). I love teaming these plains with printed blouses. With my grandma’s saree I wore a blouse from Bailou- it is a printed one with Katha work on it. It helps accentuate the otherwise plain saree. Teamed it with moderately chunky silver jewelry. I am quite certain grandma watched from above and chuckled to herself, “attempting to make a fashion statement in my old saree eh! ''As for me, I felt incredibly happy wearing her saree and wrapped in her love.”