Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blending Cultures: Indian Sari Wear

Today we are making our way down to do some shopping on Pioneer Blvd. in Cerritos for my upcoming Baby Blessing. In honor of today's shopping events, I am sharing some fun Indian Fashion.

One of my favorite types of occasions to dress for are Indian events. From the very first event I attended with my husband several years ago where I saw all of the women dressed beautifully in their traditional wear, I could not not wait to get my hands on a Sari. The colors are magnificent and the accessories are some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces I have seen to this day; when dressing in Indian clothing, it is very hard to not feel and look like a million bucks. 


Not being of Indian decent, marrying into this "new" culture for me came with a lot of new traditions I love incorporating into my life. I hold such high respect and honor for Indian traditions, and I try at every attempt I can to honor my new family, even if it is something as simple as dressing traditionally to events (and who wouldn't want to anyways). 

Indian weddings are not only one of the funnest social events you will ever attend in your life, but so is dressing for them! It can take a lot of work, as buying all of the outfits, accessories and needed items to complete your look can take careful consideration and time, but trust me, it is worth it. 

In Southern California, there is a row of shops often referred to "Pioneer Street" or "Little India," and you can pretty much spend an entire day wondering in and out of shops and collecting all of the items you need to complete your "look." My husband and I have fun shopping and walking around and mostly eating when we go. The style of each shop is very similar to those in India, and after going to India and doing all of the shopping we did while there, it is now even more fun to go to Pioneer and notice the similarities. It is an occasion I think everyone should experience at least once (and don't forget to bring your best bargaining skills). There are many websites now where you can purchase Sari's, ready-made Sari's, and many other Indian clothing, but I think that part of the fun is doing the shopping. 



The shop where I got this beautiful blue Sari is called "Raas." The customer service was great, and the woman in the store was very helpful. I normally go shopping with my Mother-in law, and this was the very first time I went alone, but the ladies in the store helped me through the entire process, and even helped get me dressed. Which brings me to another tip when wearing a Sari: actually getting it on properly; this can be kind of tricky. There are many YouTube videos and online tutorials that I have found very helpful, but most of the time I turn to my M.I.L. who is an expert at putting Sari's on me. It is important to wrap the fabric in the correct way and to be sure to get the pleating correct, so it takes some practice. You can also purchase "ready-made-sarees" if this might be too difficult. Over the years I have gotten better at dressing myself, and I must say, I feel very accomplished and proud when I have done it on my own! 




The accessories that are "required" when wearing a Sari are a necklace, matching earrings, and coordinated bangles. It is fun to play with the different bangle styles and selections and to place them in different patterns. I usually tend to stack mine and incorporate all of the colors in my Sari, I think it adds that extra special touch, and the more "jazzy" the more fun, as my M.I.L. and I like to say. Head wear is optional (except in certain events where you always wear head accessories, i.e. the bride in her wedding ceremony), but I think it is fun to incorporate those extra accessories when going to a special occasion like a wedding reception, as I was here. It is fun to add a little twist and your own personal style here and there. 





Be sure not to forget your Bindi, which is the jewel placed in the center of your eyebrows. It has become a "trend" over the years thanks to celebs like Gwen Stefani, but in Indian wear, it is a "must have" piece to the entire ensemble.


And the shoes? You want some height to make the Sari look longer, but not too much as it can be tricky to walk in a Sari. I always go with a comfortable medium height and a shoe that I won't have to fuss with all night; wearing the Sari can become very heavy, and the last thing you need is to worry about falling over yourself.


Hope you enjoy my take on styling this hundred year tradition style of dressing! You will probably see me periodically throughout the years post photos dressed in different styles of Indian clothing. There are so many different styles of clothing to wear, and Sari's are just the beginning! I look forward to sharing more Indian clothing wear in the future! 

With love,
Amanda

Sari: Raas // Pioneer Blvd.
Accessories: Raas
Bangles: Bangle Bazaar // Pioneer Blvd.
Shoes: Banana Republic