Selecting the right Kanjivaram sari

Mango with emerald green or sunny yellow with tomato red? Wide or slim border? Checks or stripes? Or how about zigzags for a change? Selecting a Kanjivaram sari that appeals to you and suits you, can be quite daunting, given the huge variety of colour combinations, motifs and types of silk available. Read up on these basic tips before you go shopping:

Your height is a vital factor to keep in mind while making a choice. Wide borders dramatically emphasize a sari’s contrasting colours, but if you’re petite, they can appear overwhelming and make you seem shorter than you are. If you’re between short to average height, go for slim, medium width borders or no borders at all to add the illusion of a few extra inches. On the other hand, women with above average height and slim or full figures look graceful and poised in saris with big borders.

What goes for borders also applies to motifs. Large designs – for example, extra-high temple motifs – can detract from the wearer’s height if she is not tall and add unwanted inches to her girth. Ditto for big checks and bold, horizontal stripes. If you love these designs, look for saris with medium or small checks in blended colours, closely woven, fine horizontal lines or kodi visiri (trailing vine) designs on the body. Plain saris with medium/small motifs – mangoes, buttis, flowers, annapakshis – and elaborately worked pallus are ideal for women of average or less height. Saris with larger, closely woven motifs can be shown off to perfection by women with tall, well-built frames. It’s also easier for them to carry off saris with heavy zari work all over.

So many colours, so little time! Simplify your options by sticking to shades that complement your skin tone. Dusky complexioned women are spoilt for choice with traditional Kanjivaram colours – look for deep or earthy shades like mango, saffron, kumkum red, wine, gold, mustard and forest green with brightly contrasting borders. The timeless combination of white (or cream) with black and red accents looks stunning against this skin tone.

If you are light-skinned, go for medium bright tones or soft pastels – think turquoise, leaf green or lemon yellow, with brightly contrasting borders. You could also look at purple and all shades of pink and blue. And then, there’s black. Contrasted with other deep colours and zari, black can make a great statement – a perfect choice for the woman who’s flamboyant and knows it!

Heavy or light silk? Kanjivaram silks come in a wide range of weights today, to suit diverse lifestyle needs.

Go for heavier Kanjivarams when selecting trousseau wear or saris for special occasions – they will look good on you at any age!

Lighter weight Kanjivarams come in many body designs and colours. They are an elegant and tasteful choice for any occasion – be it a cultural event or corporate meeting. You can easily find one to make a power dressing statement the Indian way.


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