Silk sarees are definitive in their look, carrying stories of weaves, prints and colors that can make a huge difference in the way you look. In fact the richness of the textile is such that wearing a silk saree can be your best makeover option, if you are looking for one. Which also brings us to the question-how does one choose a silk saree that adequately changes ones’ looks for an occasion like a wedding? There can seldom be anything grander than an Indian wedding and when it comes to choosing the right saree to match its grandeur, we are seldom without huge looming doubts!
Here are some simple questions you need to answer before we begin the final choice.
To begin with questions such as these will always help rein in the doubts as silk saree wearing begins with tossing out any excuses one may have. One has often seen that women like the lightness of other fabrics and textiles while opting for sarees, in the fear that at weddings, when the hours stretch, they will perhaps not be able to handle the saree. The fact is, it is in picking the right silk wherein the answer lies.
The first step towards picking the right silk is asking those who have worn silks for decades how to go about choosing the right kind of weave-you will be surprised to find the wealth of information that you will arrive at. Grandma could tell you if Kanjeevarams can come in lighter variants or is Coimbatore silk in richer weaves. She could also tell you how to identify the fake from the genuine.
Body type should never limit you-but do remember that those who have a heavier built will do better to wear motifs on sarees that are smaller and those who are small built-frail or short would look far more attractive when the design and patterns compliment their body shape.
Yes-you need not be shy to demand this. Buying of silks, especially heavier silks are a task in itself and most of the time a simple draping over the shoulder will not help, if you want to see the visual effect. Ask for the saree to be displayed over a mannequin or as they do in most shops-over a rail. This is when you can fathom how its colors and design can impact visually.
While there is such a rich and varied color palette available –there are some thumb rules that apply here too-paler shades offset the dusky complexion while brighter color tones look fabulous on fair skins. But I’m ready to bet my best Kanjeevaram-when the saree is exquisite; the one who wears ist is wrapped in its aura and absorbs the beauty to look divine. A dusky Rekha looks as ravishing in a red Kanjeevaram as she does in white and gold one!
This of course will depend a great deal on the kind of Silk that you intend to wear-so if it’s a Bomkai, it is more of resham as is the patola, but if it were any of the sarees from the south–it would have heavy dosage of zari. Decide on the look-shine or a more ethnic resham weave.
So, you have your heart set of this gorgeous Tanchoi that you saw at some shop window and are sure to get it , but when you bring it home you realize that its colors somewhat clash with the jewelry that you are going to be wearing-oh no! Simple solution-carry a pic of your jadau or kundan or plain gold, or whatever kind of jewelry that you are planning on wearing-so a muga with gold would be fine but wearing pearls, not quite sure!
Why it mattered is because it is considered to be the heart and soul of the saree-the pallu has to be something grand and evocatively beautiful which makes people take notice of your saree. Remember also that silk sarees that have heavy pallus need to be pinned and worn with careful pleating and pinning. Always buy sarees whose pallus have rich embellishment that does not have a loose weave as it tends to get caught in any piece of jewelry that you may be wearing. Also get a net fitted on the reverse of the pallu when you are getting the kuchu or the fall placed on the saree.
While narrowing down on your choice remember to buy a saree which has a border that will compliment your skin tone and jewelry. Borders are that part of the saree that is very close to your face and thus they will play a major part in deciding how you look. Wearing kundan, go for sarees that have silver work on the border and if you are wearing gold jewelry go for borders with zari.
Silks carry the distinction of being a pure fabric that is made in small quantities through a natural process which needs a lot of human expertise and thus is expensive. Any so called silk with low price tag will be the kind that is suspect when it comes to its complete purity. See Silk Mark tag on the saree or buy only from well known shops that have a reputation of selling genuine silks.
Remember also that heavy silk sarees have the reputation of being the most resilient of all and thus if you are going in for real silk then head straight for heavy silks as it will soon be an heirloom you would be proud to own and pass on.