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The Evolution of the Must Have Saree Companion: Blouse

Over the centuries the magic of the iconic 6 yards of grace has remained unmatched and unchanged. Sarees have been revolutionised and upgraded to match the modern needs and tastes although their charm and elegance remains intact. We take the utmost pride in our saree and its uniqueness while we only give a little attention to its ever faithful companion – the blouse. Although sarees themselves are an amalgamation of everything one needs to look gorgeous and embrace their Indianness, picking up the right blouse can entirely change and enhance the look. It is like the cherry on top that helps you secretly win the game.

A blouse has been a saree’s companion for a very long time, as much as the saree has been revamped, so has the blouse. Here’s a glimpse of its evolution over the years:

The Beginning

Women earlier used to wear a three-piece ensemble, the lower garment, a veil worn over the shoulder and head and a cloth or band tied around their chest, the ‘Stanapatta’ which takes the shape of the modern-day blouse. 

The Medieval Influences

When the foreigners started entering India, their ways of clothing had a considerable impact on our ways of dressing. For instance, when the Mughals came in they brought along with them salwar kameez that became a popular clothing attire amongst the Indians. The Britishers and Portuguese started invading during the same, they had an immense impact on the way women appeared in public. In fact, the practice of wearing fancy tops began thereafter.

The Origin of the Modern Blouses

The first modern blouse was designed by Gyananadini Devi, the sister-in-law of Rabindranath Tagore. She came up with this idea when she was denied entry to a club when she wore a tribal Bengali drape saree on the basis of improper clothing. She then revamped a Bengali saree with a proper European style blouse which then became popular in the other parts of the country and was adopted by many women in different forms.

The Cinema and Modern Blouses

It isn’t surprising at all to say that our clothing styles are greatly inspired by the film industry. Right from the 1940s when the cinema just started thriving, it has been impacting our dressing choices. Yesteryear actresses like Vaijantimala, Nutan, Nargis, Meena Kumari, etc. were filmed wearing blouses with long sleeves hence it became popular amongst the common women as well. Later, puffed sleeve blouses were popularised by actresses like Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parikh etc. Then came the era when Bollywood was at its peak and actors had a great influence not only on the fashion industry but various other walks of life. From sleeveless blouses to bralette blouses, all of the very popular modern-day styles were then introduced and loved by people.

Although fashion is coming back in a full circle, organza blouses from the 1970s and 80s, high neck blouses, and many more popular designs are making a comeback in full swing. Today fashion has become easily accessible to all – be it the latest lehenga design, modern suits, various styles of blouses, latest sarees with price ranges affordable to all are easily available both online and offline.

See Also: Winter Fashion Trends for Women

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