A new girl on the block – Sushmita Kumar

A decade ago if someone had told me that one day I will start blogging about sarees I would have laughed at their face and told “are you kidding me ! Sarees and me are not happening.” I may know a bit about sarees now but blogging about sarees and styling them was never on my agenda. Western fashion definitely was. I am obsessed with fashion and my first fashion guru was vogue magazine. Around the year 2008 or 2009 my mother started reading vogue magazine. After I was done with my studies for the day she used to make me sit with her and read the magazine as I watched in complete admiration as she turned page after page. It was in those times I used internet solely to learn pronunciation of the brands which were featured on vogue, and since then its been our monthly ritual which still continues, and that’s how I started getting interest in fashion. Now coming to the sarees, I was pushed into saree world much to my dismay as my mother used to take me everywhere with her, and saree shopping ranked last in the list of my interests. I would rather sit at home curled up with my novel and hot chocolate then going to saree shopping or worst buying the blouses and lining material. By the time I was 12 years old I could differentiate between artificial crepe and crepe silk (my mother and the shopkeepers are the witnesses to this event ), 2 X 2 and 2 X 1 and so on which not many 12 year olds can claim they know this stuff.

I like any girl wanted to be like my mother, I admired her values, morals and more so her style sense. So when I was 15 I had a peculiar request for my mother that she help me drape KSIC crepe silk for Diwali when all my friends were going wear ghagras. That’s when my saree journey started wrapped in crepe silk a lanky teenage girl trying to imitate her mother and I must admit I loved every single moment of it.

Until recently my saree love was just limited to crepes, georgette silks and chiffons. For me they were the classy ones because lets be honest that’s what Yash Chopra’s heroines used to wear and also Hollywood actresses gowns were mostly made of flowy fabrics. For this sole reason I never touched heavy silks. As I grew up slowly my fashion sense developed for good. (And thank god for that) I got out of my “only chiffons” phase and jumped right into heavy silks and cottons. Now don’t be shocked when you find me at Dastkar or Swadeshi exhibition wrapped in starched Gadwal cotton. Oh how the times change.

There are three most important lessons I learnt about sarees in past few years. First being my personal style. I am still trying to figure out how to style sarees…experimenting with various fabrics, mostly its been a hit or miss situation with drapes. But ultimately what I have come to realise is rather than copying someone else’s style, blending the fabric with my own style and understand my comfort zone with the drape was far more important because that’s what brought out the beauty of the saree and smile on my face.

Secondly its the fabric. I detested certain sarees just based on their fabric because they were untameable or never looked good in pictures. It was then my mother taught me the rule of love and patience. As we need to have abundance of love and patience in our life same rule has to be applied to the sarees. Some sarees may need more patience to be tamed than the others. They need to be shown respect and love. They need to be aired, pressed, avoid spilling food on them, putting naphthalene in wardrobes and washing hands before touching silk. Few lessons my mother taught me and I follow them religiously. No matter how tempting a kulfi might look at a wedding function I never touch it if I am wearing a saree (dedication I show to my beloved sarees you see ). One of the hacks I figured out is wearing the same saree couple of times roaming around the house helped it loosen up and drape better, this way it does’nt crease and again it can be folded back easily. I applied this technique on my silk organza and it worked. Pretty sure I am going to do this with other sarees as well.

Lastly its the blouse… a blouse can change the whole ball game. Right blouse will elevate your saree look hundred notches higher and an ill fitted or wrong coloured blouse may take your saree look few notches down and dull its beauty. I am still a student and have very less blouses but thanks to my mum’s philosophy “less is always more”and “quality over quantity” in this case my blouse collection. When i buy a readymade blouse or fabric I think of minimum 20 sarees it can go with. If not then its not the right one. But obviously for costly sarees this rule does nt apply and also for students like me who are living on their monthly stipend. I never bought sarees from my stipend, just few blouses and I wear only my mother’s sarees.
I promised myself that when I start blogging I will not pressure myself with buying new blouses or sarees and will wear saree’s from my mothers wardrobe only and have no qualms about repeating the sarees. The more you repeat the more you do “paisa vasul” right !

This is me Sushie from _sushiescloset_ signing off. Big thank you to Sareeing.official for giving me an opportunity to share my saree story with everyone.

Hope everyone enjoys reading it.
Thank you !
Happy Sareeing.

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