The petticoat can make or break your sari - so the next time you’re getting your petticoat stitched, make sure you go by the extremely handy checklist that follows.
1. Comfort Is Important
First and foremost, it’s imperative to ensure that you are comfortable in your chosen petticoat - not too tight but not too loose either. If the stifling, claustrophobic fit of the petticoat makes you waddle like an awkward duck, we’ve got a big problem. Ensure that you can move around comfortably even if you’re in a fish-cut petticoat.
2. Fit and Length
The typical straight-cut petticoat is made of 6 kalis
. A slim petticoat is always preferable over a wider one (particularly when the petticoat will show) for a slender look. Though drawstrings were the fastening measure of choice back in the day (your grandmom may still vouch for it!), a hook and invisible zip is a more fuss-free option. It also does away with bunching up at the waist, which is a cause of concern with the drawstring. But if you still wish to opt for the former, make sure the string is cotton and not satin for the sake of convenience. As far as length goes, think ankle-length - perhaps half an inch shorter than your sari so that it doesn’t peek from underneath (unless it’s designed to!).
3. Choose The Right Fabric
Cotton and poplin are the most comfortable fabrics for petticoats, but they are best restricted to daily wear. Formal and semi-formal saris demand a satin or silk petticoat, especially if your sari is sheer. For slim fit petticoats, satin or bizzy lizzy should be your fabric of choice. There are two types of fabrics available in the market - pure and semi. Pure fabrics, though more expensive than semi, are more breathable. Semi fabrics will stick to your body, especially in humid settings. So avoid cutting cost in this department. If you’re looking for a fancy petticoat that will show from underneath your sari then there are several fabric options; be it jamawar
, brocade or raw silk.
4. Pick The Right Style
A-line petticoats are by far the most comfortable and its wider silhouette makes it a hit with aged ladies or those who wear saris on a regular basis. Fish-cut petticoats (snug at hips and flared towards the bottom) guarantees a more slimming look and can be worn under both regular and lehenga saris. Ruffles can be added to the hemline of your petticoat to give your sari some drama and flair.
5. Coordinate Colours
When wearing a sari in the old-school fashion, your petticoat needs to match the shade of your sari exactly, no exceptions. It’s best to bring along the sari when hitting cloth stores to pick up the petticoat fabric, to ensure the right colour. Be doubly sure of the outcome if you’re getting the fabric dyed. An au courant pairing is to pick a petticoat in a contrasting shade from the sari for some colour blocked drama.
6. Make It Stand Out
Don’t reduce your petticoat to a mere underskirt. It can just as easily be catapulted into the highlight of your look to give an old sheer sari a playful update. Add sequins or embroidery to your petticoat and wear it with a plain net sari for some peek-a-boo drama. Prints are not off limits either - dainty florals, feisty animal prints or just shimmering metallic petticoats are a great way to give a sheer sari a look-at-me twist. Keep the blouse simple if you wish to highlight the petticoat.
7. Don’t Go Overboard
Too many elements thrown into the mix are nothing but a recipe for disaster. If you’re unsure of how an experimental petticoat will look, just go simple, but ensure the right fit, size and silhouette. When opting for an offbeat petticoat, ensure a balance between experimentation and elegance. Team a new-age petticoat with a contemporary and not traditional sari. And remember that there is a vast difference between being fashion-forward and outlandish.
Images: Viral Bhayani
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Gone are the days when the petticoat was neglected and overlooked. There’s no denying that the it is the very foundation that dictates the fall of your sari and how comfortably you carry yourself in it.
Published on Feb 17, 2015