‘Anti-fit’ Blouse: The Evolving Saree Accessory

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Ever since I was little, I have loved draping sarees.  In my school days, playing dress-up in a sari, tucked around my skirt, and worn over a t-shirt was the norm over the holidays. Then, suddenly as a grown up I was expected to wear the saree along with a well-fitted (read tightly fitted) blouse. That for me was when my love for this six-yard wonder started to fade away. I found the tightness of the blouse uncomfortable and the deep neckline made me conscious of my not so perfect back! Saree wearing then got limited to special occasions only, which was a shame! Something had to change, and it did…The ‘Anti-fit’ Blouse movement happened…the blouse evolved.

One Blouse style doesn’t work for all

Having said that, not everyone finds the blouses uncomfortable. My Ma and almost all women in my extended family wear a saree with a 1900s style of blouse, 24 * 7 and it has always worked for them.  However, the fact is that it doesn’t work for us all, especially for me. Some friends will certainly roll their eyes when I say I find it too constraining! Fashion and style always are a reflection of the times we live in, so why shouldn’t a blouse move through a myriad of different styles too?

blouse, saree, linen, anti-fit blouse
Focus on the blouses, airy and comfortable…seen on: Strand of Silk
blouse, saree, indianwear, handmade fabric, sanjay garg, raw mango
Let the blouses do the talking, not revealing but simply pure elegance. Shaher collection by Raw Mango by Hema Shroff Patel As seen on: Strand of Silk

Today, designers such as Sanjay Garg and Anavila Misra are re-imaging and re-creating the blouse, making the blouse more wearable and breathable.  The need to have a plunging neckline or a visibly bare back is not an expectation anymore, and doesn’t equate to one’s liberal quotient.  A decade back, I remember attending a Rajput wedding, wherein everyone was elegantly dressed, mostly in traditional sarees, with the ‘pallu’ draped across the shoulders, exuding pure class and elegance. This was in stark contrast to a typical Delhi wedding, where the blouses were worn rather differently. However, this re-affirmed my belief that there was more to sarees and its accessories than what meets the eye. A peep into some more blouses…pause, stop and let your blouse style evolve:

blouse, kurti, handmade, saree, anti-fit blouse
My gorgeous friend, Nidhi in a not-so traditional blouse, just supporting the saree to reach its glory
Celebrate the Saree, let the blouse be the supporting accessory

The purpose of the post, is just that: emphasising that it’s about time that you participate in this movement, explore the world of blouses, find one that is just right for you;  do this for your own comfort, for your own style.  It’s the saree we need to celebrate, and the accessory, the very humble blouse, should just be there to aid the saree.

blouse, tradition, india, women, women power, style
A 19th century lady, one of the first women to ever study medicine..As seen on: Scroll
blouse, saree, handmade, anti-fit, lose blouse
Use the blouse as a top over a pair of trousers when you aren’t celebrating the saree…As seen on Pinterest

I can’t end this post without sharing this wonderful video. It mentions quite a few blouse styles worn over the years. Each one helping the saree to be even magnificent.  Have a little watch:

Celebrate the saree, break the mould be traditional yet always comfortable…Be Notjustashopper!


Cover Credits: Boho Me, Raw Mango

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