10 Must Have Sarees for a Modern Bride's Trousseau Trunk
In the times gone by, girls would marry at a very young age. Therefore mommies of the bride would pack up an entire house as a send-off with the daughter, literally! Sometimes, the house may also have been a part of the mix. Now, old habits die hard, or do they. Although today’s baby girls are mature, independent, financially sound and hardly wear the sarees, modern mums are still hunting, gathering and collecting the choicest six yards to accompany their daughter into the new life, along with other bric a brac, linens and pillowcases, pots and pans. “Aakhir Beti ka Ghar Jo Basana Hai!” So here’s our top ten must have sarees in that trousseau trunk. Mum’s will manage to “poore karo their armaans” and daughters dare not cut up these precious drapes to make dupattas and anarkalis out of. After all, these are what heirlooms are made of.
One of the most sensual attires of all times, sarees can make you look dapper no matter how you drape them. But finding the right pattern and fabric that suits your body type, style and personality, could make or break your look.
We bring to you a complete mix batch of trendy and traditional sarees that are a definite must have for any and every modern bride’s trousseau trunk. Now that this part of wedding planning is done and dusted, it’s time to find the ‘would be’ damaadji, aka son in law, aka kuwar sahab!
Traditionally woven by skilled weavers of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, who are regarded as descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of Gods, a Kanjeevaram saree is the most magnificent and rich MUST HAVE sarees in your wedding trousseau trunk. For South Indians, any auspicious occasion is incomplete without this saree. Whether you belong to the southern states or not, this magnificent weave is one to never go out of style. Just like Rekha carries it off with such panache at whichever function she attends, make a grand, sophisticated and intellectual statement by donning this one at a post wedding family function, a friend’s wedding, for your first Diwali or even a dinner at the in laws.
To protect its originality, pure Kanjeevaram sarees have a geographical Indication label on them. So pick one cautiously and wisely.
Weddingz Advice: Pair it with a short sleeved tissue blouse or a solid coloured contrasting silk blouse and traditional gold jewellery to complete the look.
Vidya Balan may have not won many hearts with her style statement when it comes to western wear, but oh boy, does she know how to carry off an amazing Banarasi saree or what? Made in Varanasi, this is one of the finest sarees in India known for its luscious high quality silk fabric, and brocade weave, a kind where gold, silver or colourful reshmi threads are used to create woven motifs and patterns of paisleys, leaves, florals and other intricacies. Brocade weaves are also available in other fabrics such as georgette, chiffon, tissue, organza and very fine cottons. However, the one that should make it into your trousseau trunk is the one in silk and gold brocade. Although it may be a bit of a heavy weight, the only time you’ll invest in one of these will be at your wedding. These too come with a Geographical Indication (GI) mark on it.
Weddingz Advice: Since this is quite a thunder stealer, go for one in pastel tones. You’re less likely to get bored of it and it may withstand the test of time and style counting by decades. Pair it with a muted Zari blouse till the elbows in gold or silver depending on the weave. Sport this one like Vidya! Wear Kundan or Polki chaandbalis and skip the neckpiece. Keep this one wrapped up in soft muslin fabric in a closed, dry space or you might ruin the zari.
Bandhani / Leheriya Saree
With Rajasthani serials and ethnic, regional fashion creating a rage on television, Bandhani sarees are back in vogue. Honestly, they never really left the scene. Why just, TV Bollywood actresses from Jaya Bachchan to Illeana D’cruz have been spotted in this drape, donning it with great flamboyance. In certain parts of Rajasthan, a red and green Bandhani is what the bride wears for the pheras. Made in cottons, silks and chiffons, Bandhej is created by taking small grains and tying them with a thread so the dye does not penetrate the pattern created by this technique. Legend has it that a pure silk or chiffon Bandhej can pass through a ring and looks smaller than a kerchief until it’s fully opened up. Bandhani Sarees can be as heavy or light as you desire. Embellishments, zardozi, gottapatti and mirrorwork are being used to enhance the appeal and richness of a traditional Bandhej. Add this one to your must have sarees list.
Weddingz Advice: A yellow chiffon Bandhej with a gottapatti border, paired with a mirror work tie back choli will keep you easy breezy lemon squeezie and high on the trend chart when it comes to style. Also makes for a fabulous Haldi outfit, or an ensemble for a delicious summer pre wedding function. Style it with pearls and oversized shades to keep with the delicate look, one that a royal gharana princess carries off with understated charm.
Got an invite to a function during the super-hot summer months and want to skip wearing anything heavy? A chanderi saree comes to your rescue! This amazingly light and glossy textured saree is a blend of silk and cotton that lets you breathe and feel light as a feather yet so stunning and classy. Sridevi, Shilpa Shetty, Kareena Kapoor and many other famous celebrities have worked their way to look their striking best even in hot summer days, wearing a Chanderi saree. Named after Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, where this weave was popularized, this saree has seen a revival in the recent past. Perfect for a day wedding, a puja or lunch with the family, this is a must have in that trousseau trunk. It can convert a non-believer into a saree lover, such is the power of a Chanderi!
Weddingz advice: Get one in bright hues of fuchsia and oranges or go for an off white, tone on tone weave. Since you are the bride, do not be afraid to pick one with a broad zari border. Pair it with a brocade blouse and heavy gold jumkhas, if attending a day wedding. For a casual look (If you’re up for a little bit of risk taking) pair this with a coordinated blouse in printed floral or a geometrical print and set it off with some contemporary or tribal jewellery and you’re on your way to being featured on page 3.
Oh, we just can’t get over Asin post her wedding. Her simple yet completely outstanding taste and style has bowled us over. When it’s a Kerela saree we can’t forget how flawless Asin looked at Genelia and Riteish Deskhmukh’s wedding. Aishwarya Rai looks oh so mesmerising in a Kasavu saree, yeah that’s what it’s called. And so will you!
Weddingz Advice: When you want to opt for simple yet sophisticated style, nothing beats a Kerela Saree. Just wear it with minimalistic gold jewellery, tie up your hair in a bun and pin it with gajras or leave em loose, there you’re ready and set to go. Just so effortless, isn’t it? If looking for trending options, you can pick one with colours woven in the golden border and elaborate Kerala mural paintings on the pallu.
Moving on to the contemporary must haves –
If you’ve been dreaming of the look lissom Priyanka Chopra sports in the Desi Girl avatar in Dostana in that almost liquidy grey and silver shimmery number, we are soulmates. If you are going to move on to married life with a trunk and ten sarees, this has to be one of them. A chiffon or georgette saree with the, oh so elusive shimmer will surprise you with its versatility and usefulness. Cocktails, evening receptions of friends and friends of friends, even a stylish corporate do or a glamourous dinner party, you’ll be grabbing this one from your closet a few times and then some. Satya Paul, Manish Malhotra and several other designers have worked their magic on this one.
Weddingz Advice: Go for tones of greys and blacks or even nudes and browns and let the shimmer do all the shining. Style this number with a halter or a sleeveless blouse to get your sexy on. Keep the jewellery minimal. Simple solitaire studs and a statement bracelet will do the trick.
Don’t have all the time in the world to drape a perfect saree, then a saree gown is what you must have. Just zip and align the pallu, that’s all it takes. A trend that Shilpa Shetty (our very own Goddess of fashion) started, a saree gown looks splendid on all our stylish diva brides. If you are an unconventional bride looking for something out-of-the-box in traditional wear, you’ve just found your match. A great look for that poolside cocktail or even a post wedding reception, look ravishing in this little glamorous indo western take on a wedding attire.
Wedding Advice: Great for brides who want to try something alternative. Style it with diamonds or polka jewellery. Keep the earrings long or go for a statement neckpiece if the neckline allows for it. Choose something with less embellishments and let the jewellery be the centrepiece. You get the best of both worlds. Great jewellery, and an outfit that will last you way longer than the wedding.
The Retro Saree
Masaba Gupta collection
Talking of fashionistas and offbeat styles, the retro saree has just made a comeback all thanks to Sonam Kapoor who never fails to surprise and cue us on things in vogue. These retro sarees come in vintage prints, polka dots and vibrant colours. This saree can be great wear for an outdoor or cocktail function.
Weddingz Advice: Go for this one in the casual category. Look for one in black and white offset by a neon or brightly coloured, embellished border, just to give you an edge over others. You are the bride, remember. Want to really push the style envelope open? Pair this with a denim blouse and goth jewellery and you’re in business, just the way Sonam is.
Floral Chiffon Saree
Chiffon sarees in brightly coloured oversized floral prints have made a comeback and how. So we know this one’s a keeper. Superb draping, a svelte look, light and easy and the ability to create drama like there were a hundred Havel’s fans buzzing at high speeds all around you, your trousseau trunk is incomplete without this baby in it. So, how about we look above the traditional zari kinari solid coloured chiffon or the heavy embellished ones and go floral. Deepika Padukone, our contemporary style icons, has lately been seen wearing a lot of floral prints while promoting Bajirao Mastani and we must say they really look oh so fresh, cool and breezy.
Weddingz advice: Since you are the bride who wants to stay on trend, look for florals with a delicately embellished contrasting border. Pair it with delicate jewellery and keep your make up minimal and light. This ensemble is bound to make you stand out and not your outfit.
Vintage Heirloom Saree From Mom's Closet
Lastly, a brilliant and a very heart-warming suggestion! Steal one vintage keepsake from your mom’s closet. I did two, three, four, no wait! Pretty much all she had or the ones that were left after she was finished giving it to women peddlers in exchange of steel dabbas. These vintage treasures are not just about old is gold. They have withstood the test of quality and style and have been cared for with immense love. Your wedding trousseau will be totally worthless, without one of these. And we know you must’ve secretly tried some of them on when you were little. Now is the time to own it and take away a piece of your mom’s love along with you.
Weddingz Advice: Go for a complete vintage splurge when styling this one. Recreate the look of the era and match your jewellery too. Surprise your mom with your look and compare your pictures with hers from that time. Like mother, like daughter, right?
So here’s our final words of wisdom on the saree trunk!
Tip #1: Plan ahead of time - it is recommended that you start looking out for these sarees a year or two in advance to get the best designs.
Tip #2: Variety is the spice of life - ensure you don’t buy too many of the same type, colour or style
Tip #3: Colour, colour, which colour do you choose? – Your trunk should look like a box of crayons!
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