About Saree and Sherwani


|| What is Saree ||

A sari (also spelled saree) is the traditional garment worn by many women in the Indian subcontinent. The garment is known by different names in various Indian languages; in Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi, it is known as Saadi; in Kannada as Seere; in Telugu as Cheera and in Tamil as Podavai.The sari is long strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from five to nine yards in length, which can be draped in various styles. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat (called lehenga/Ghagra in northern India and Pavada/Pavadai in the south) and a low-cut, short-sleeved, midriff-baring blouse known in north India as a choli.The sari is known not only by different names in various parts of the country, but it is also conceived differently in form and structure, in usage and custom. It is a stretch of fabric that becomes long or short, wide or narrow according to who wears it and the way in which it is worn. There is infact no one type of sari.

A long strip of colorful multi-patterned cloth, sensuously wrapped around the body, and teemed with a blouse! Is this not how sari, the traditional clothing of the womenfolk in India, is often described to people newly exposed to our culture? Saree is, indeed, a very long strip of unstitched cloth, which is worn over a similar colored petticoat. Its length ranges from four to nine meters, depending on how an individual wants to wear the sari. The blouse worn with it is also known as Choli or Ravika.

The most common style of wearing a sari is by draping its one end around the waist and neatly arranging the other over the shoulder baring the midriff. However, there are many variations in how women wear this dress in different states of India. There can also be a lot of variation in the designs of the choli i.e. the blouse of the saree. For instance, for daily wear, the blouse can be a normal one with quarter or short sleeves. Sleeveless or embroidered blouses are worn to give a dressy feel.

Similarly, for occasions like wedding and parties, some Indian women also wear backless or halter-neck blouses with their sari. Though you will see women wearing such blouses with their sari only at select upmarket places, it gives a very glammed up Indo-western look. Women in the armed forces don the sari with a half-sleeved shirt tucked in at the waist. Occasion is the main criterion that decides the style in which you wish to wear your sari.

Saree is a very popular form of clothing in India. So, one will find various type of the clothing being sold in the market. Infact, every state of India excels in manufacturing a certain type of sari. Thus, you will find plain or patterned georgette saris, heavily golden-zari embroidered zardozi saris, silk sarees with heavy pallu, and so on.


|| Origin & History ||


The word 'sari' is believed to derive from the Sanskrit word 'sati', which means strip of cloth. This evolved into the Prakrit 'sadi' and the sound later decayed into 'sari'. 
Some versions of the history of Indian clothing trace the sari back to the Indus valley civilization, which flourished in 2800-1800 BCE. One ancient statue shows a man in a draped robe which some sari researchers believe to be a precursor of the sari.

Ancient Tamil poetry, such as the Silappadhikaram and the Kadambari by Banabhatta, describes women in exquisite drapery. This drapery is believed to be a sari. In the Natya Shastra (an ancient Indian treatise describing ancient dance and costumes), the navel of the Supreme Being is considered to be the source of life and creativity. Hence the stomach of the dancer is to be left unconcealed, which some take to indicate the wearing of a sari.
Some costume historians believe that the men's dhoti, which is the oldest Indian draped garment, is the forerunner of the sari. They say that until the 14th century, the dhoti was worn by both men and women.
Sculptures from the Gandhara, Mathura and Gupta schools (1st-6th century CE) show goddesses and dancers wearing what appears to be a dhoti wrap, in the "fishtail" version which covers the legs loosely and then flows into a long, decorative drape in front of the legs. No bodices are shown.
Other sources say that everyday costume consisted of a dhoti or lungi (sarong), combined with a breast band and a veil or wrap that could be used to cover the upper body or head. Some argue that the two-piece Kerala mundum neryathum (mundu in malayalam is the same as dhoti or sarong and neryath means a cloth to cover the upper body similar to a shawl) is a survival of ancient Indian clothing styles, and that the one-piece sari is a modern innovation, created by combining the two pieces of the mundum neryathum.

It is generally accepted that wrapped sari-like garments, shawls, and veils have been worn by Indian women for a long time, and that they have been worn in their current form for hundreds of years.
One point of particular controversy is the history of the choli, or sari blouse, and the petticoat. Some researchers state that these were unknown before the British arrived in India, and that they were introduced to satisfy British ideas of modesty. Previously, women only wore the one, draped cloth and casually exposed the upper body and breasts. Other historians point to much textual and artistic evidence for various forms of breastband and upper-body shawl.
It is possible that the researchers arguing for a recent origin for the choli and the petticoat are extrapolating from South India, where it is indeed documented that in some areas, women wore only the sari and exposed the upper part of the body. Poetic references from works like Shilappadikaram indicate that during the sangam period in ancient South India, a single piece of clothing served as both lower garment and head covering, leaving the bosom and midriff completely uncovered. In Kerala there are many references to women being topless, including many pitcures by Raja Ravi Varma. Even today, women in some rural areas do not wear cholis.

|| How to wear a Saree ||

A bride's trousseau, The ethnic Indian sari is not any exotic or fancied wear item. Much rather it is a clothing habit that comes naturally to every Indian female as she wears it normally on a daily basis almost all over India. The sari compliments the structure and physique of every female whether thin or fat and can be worn by all. Though the Sarees are worn in different styles by different castes in the various regions of India but then there is one common way of wearing a sari that every one follows and also keep in mind the parts of the sari  are also the essential undergarments that need to be worn along with the saree.



1). A waist - to - floor length petticoat tied tightly at the waist by a drawstring.

(2). A tight fitting blouse that ends just below the bust. (The blouse comes in fashions like the sleeve-less, sleeved with varieties of necklines and back patterns)
Step-2 After step one you take the saree and tuck the plain end of the sari into the petticoat for one complete turn from right to left. Make sure that the lower end of the sari touches the floor.
Step-3 Beginning from the tucked-in end start making pleats in the sari, about 5 inches
Step-4 Make about 7 to 10 pleats and hold them up together so that they fall straight and even.
Step-5 Tuck the pleats into the waist slightly to the left of the navel, and make sure that they are turned towards the left.
Step-6 Drape the remaining fabric around yourself once more left to right, and bring it up under the right arm and over the left shoulder so that it falls to about the level of the knees.
Step-7 The end portion thus draped is the pallu, and can be prevented from slipping off by fixing it at the shoulder to the blouse with a small safety pin.







||  What is Sherwani ||

Sherwani is a long coat-like garment worn in South Asia, very similar to an Achkan. It is worn over the Kurta and Churidar, Khara pajama, a salwar, or, in India, a dhoti. The Sherwani originated in Central Asia and was the court dress of nobles of Turkish and Persian origin in the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire, before being more generally adopted in the late eighteenth century. It was also associated with the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad State. It is the national dress of Pakistan for men, as it is not specifically associated with any of the provinces. In India, it is generally worn for formal occasions in winter by those of North Indian descent, especially those from Uttar Pradesh. Most government officials in South Asia wear the formal black Sherwani on state occasions, which in India is closely associated with the nation's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

This Sherwani coat fits close to the body, fastened in the front with buttons, and extends to slightly below knee-length. Sherwanis are usually embroidered or detailed in some way. Many South Asian grooms wear them at their weddings. According to some sources, Sherwani is named after the Sherwani a large Muslim tribe of mixed Arab and South Asian descent in India.

Marriage marks a significance moment in every mans life where he celebrates sharing his life with a partner. Every man desires to look his best on the special day! Grooms preparing for an Indian style wedding have the luxury of choice when it comes to choosing their wedding attire. The sherwani is a traditional Indian-style groom wear originating from the royal families in the North of India. The sherwani consists of a streamlined jacket that extends knee length and is sometimes longer. The jacket is uniquely designed with a Nehru-style collar and buttoned down the front. The Sherwani is usually teamed up with a tight fitting churidar, Jodhpurs, and a shawl draped over one or both shoulders. To complete the regal look the groom should wear jooties or traditional Indian footwear which are usually available in matching colours.

The sherwani suits usually features unique embroidery work like zardozi. Ari or zardozi is an ancient form of embroidery introduced during the Mughal era and has become a well-known, fashionable hand embroidery. The modern day groom can also select from a myriad of colours to blend in with the brides outfit as well as the decorated mandap. Modern day males now have the luxury of choice when it comes to dressing up in stylish and traditional outfits.Not only is there variety in the cut of the fabric as well as the nature of the fabric but also the wide range of colours and the amount of work that has gone into each piece distinguishing one sherwani from the next. A maroon coloured silk sherwani in maharaja style, which is embroidered with a golden thread is very distinct from the royal blue colored sherwani with zardozi work and white churidars. The beige colored royal sherwani in rich silk, with extra special handwork could be worn at one formal occasion, while the heavily embroidered sherwani in gold and copper shades would be more suitable at another formal event.

Ideal for a formal wedding and reception, the Sherwani is undoubtedly glamorous and sophisticated and provides the ultimate Mughal look on your special day.

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