Sarees are such a beautiful and elegant garment. However, wearing a saree is not just about draping it well, but also creating a complete look that shows you’ve put some effort. There are certain do’s and don’ts, or fashion etiquettes to accessorizing a saree that every saree lover follows. The saree alone in all its elegance cannot look as magical as it can if one accessorizes it perfectly.
Today, we’re putting that silent code to paper. So that everyone can become familiar with the saree etiquette rules to accessorize it right and look your best in it. There are various dos and don’ts that you need to be familiar with to ensure that you are not having a fashion faux pas with your saree look.
7 Fashion Etiquettes to Follow When Accessorizing a Saree
These guidelines will help you know how to dress up a saree for a festival, wedding, farewell functions and other formal events. Below are the fashion etiquette you can follow when accessorizing a saree for a graceful and complete look. Of course, these are just the guidelines, and with practice, you can create your own rules, or mold them to your preference.
1. Avoid wearing flats
The look of adorning a latest designer saree with flat shoes is incomplete and off. Avoiding wearing flats is the first rule to wearing a saree if you want to look stunning in it. The best idea is to wear stilettos. Most saree-wearers swear by this rule, although there are exceptions.
Showing toes underneath a saree is considered very ungraceful in some parts of India and it makes the look very informal. If you find high heels uncomfortable, there are other alternatives that you can opt for. For instance, a lot of women prefer wearing a one-inch heels instead of flat open-toe shoes. Flat shoes no matter how fancy or of a superior brand they are, seem like a poor choice of footwear for wearing a saree.
On the other hand, when you wear a saree with heels, your pleats fall well, covering your toes completely. Your posture looks good and upright, making you look confident. Choose wedges over stilettos if this is your first time wearing heels, as they are much more comfortable.
2. Choose a clutch for parties
The saree is the most elegant attire that India gave to the world. That’s why the right choice of accessories is very important to give this saree the perf look. That includes accessorizing it with a beautiful minaudière to carry your essentials.
A clutch is a better option compared to a bag as it looks minimal, keeping the focus on the saree. It also seems more formal, and is the proper type of bag to carry for parties. Of course, it’s a different matter if you’re wearing a saree to work, in which case, a formal structured handbag is a good idea.
Accessorizing with a clutch also depends on the type of event. They’re a good choice when you do not have much to do in an event. You can choose a statement clutch for occasions like festivals or dinner parties where you can hold the clutch for the entire evening. If you are going to a dance party, you adorn the saree with a small purse, phone bag or clutch with a chain strap so you can be hands-free.
Most saree-wearers swear that at least some makeup is mandatory when you’re wearing a saree, even for those who don’t usually wear makeup. This is because wearing a saree is often an occasion in itself. So avoid a plain face when wearing a saree, and put some effort into the overall look. Create the magic with your saree by wearing the right makeup.
This is an important fashion etiquette that applies when you wear other outfits as well, depending on the occasion. The right make-up look can be simple, or a complete do-over. If you’re wearing a saree to a formal event like school farewell or wedding, and if you don’t know how to do your makeup right, consult a friend who does or you can get a professional to do it according to your taste.
Depending on the occasion, consider if it needs you to do some makeup or not. Go for a makeup look that enhances your features. If you do not love makeup, you can just go for a simple touch up with eyeliner, foundation, pressed powder and lipstick or gloss.
4. Timeless jewelry
Most saree-wearers go for at least some jewelry when wearing a saree. Some prefer precious metals, others like fashion jewelry pieces. Accessorizing a saree with jewelry makes it look its best, and you can use pearl accessories, gold, or silver accessories.
A popular accessory is a pearl necklace that is simple and delicate, and it never goes out of fashion. You can choose one that matches your blouse. There are many varieties to choose from that you can wear with sarees. For casual sarees, you can try a really delicate and thin pearl necklace. Or go for a multi-layered pearl necklace or one with large pearls for a wedding.
This accessory goes best with georgette or chiffon sarees. Pearls are perfect when you want to achieve a timeless, delicate feminine look. You can also try a pearl necklace with white stone detailing to wear with a heavy saree for your next wedding event. If you don’t want to wear something traditional or timeless, the next best idea is to go for a trendy statement necklace.
5. Hairdos and earrings
When it comes to the best hairdo to adorn with your saree, the most common ones to choose are buns. A heavy hairstyle or a loose hairstyle is not a compulsory look. You can wear your hair in various ways, such as loose curls, straightened hair let down, or half-up hairstyles. You can also add hair accessories for a unique hairdo.
Try a poufy high bun or hold your hair into chignon and add roses or Arabian jasmine flowers to accessorize it. A bun is usually worn with drop earrings, since this is a hairdo that makes the earrings visible. Choose statement earrings to flaunt your designer saree, like hoops, drop and dangle earrings, chandelier earrings or jhumkas.
6. Opt for one piece of statement jewelry
Less is more always works when accessorizing a saree. Avoid wearing too much jewelry, since you don’t want to shift the focus from the saree to the jewelry. Therefore, the best idea is to invest in a pair of statement earrings, neck-piece, or bracelets that you can wear with different sarees. Also, you can opt for a statement headpiece or hair accessory like a maang teeka.
Good jewelry choices for sarees are matching chandelier earrings, a cuff bracelet, a statement ring, a small tiara or a layered necklace. It is vital to know how to balance your accessories to have a saree ensemble that looks evened out. As an example, choose at least three accessories with every saree look.
7. Right blouse for your body
These days, the saree blouse is an accessory in itself, as every top Indian designer keeps introducing blouse designs with back and front cut-outs, embellishments and sheer panels.
If you want to create a memorable look, you want to consider the right blouse to wear according to your body structure. For instance, if you wear a blouse with a deep neckline, ensure that it is the right size (not too tight) to avoid spillage. Also, if you are using pins, be sure to pin the pallu in a way that hides the safety-pins beneath the blouse-shoulder.
8. Bindi or no bindi?
Traditionally, married women had to ensure they wear a bindi when wearing a saree or traditional attire. Likewise, unmarried women traditionally don’t wear a bindi with a saree. However, these days this one is more of a personal preference than an etiquette, as more and more married women opt for skipping the bindi even when wearing sarees. However, red or embellished bindis are still, for the most part, reserved for married women.
In conclusion, wearing a saree is not complicated, as long as you accessorize it correctly. If you want a winning look, then the right accessories are crucial to any garment. Although perfection is overrated when it comes to make up and dressing, there is some fun in following fashion etiquette such as the above. Finally, smile and be confident as that’s the most important accessory with a saree.
We’d love to see your saree looks, do show us by tagging us on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom!
Shrutika Potwar is an SEO analyst and a part-time blogger with an experience of two years in the IT sector. She loves to blog about fashion, lifestyle and technology in spare time. She is working at Stylecaret, a fashion e-commerce portal in India, and is a guest author at ShilpaAhuja.com. Shrutika writes about ethnic wear, fashion advice and Indian casual & wedding wear.