The Indian saree is worn along with a blouse to make what is a complete Indian ethnic ensemble which is worn on an everyday basis by many women all over the country and even on festive and special occasions. The saree is typically 4.5 metres to 8 metres in length and 2 to 4 feet in breadth.
The shape and dimensions of the saree remains the same as this is a drape garment however it is the blouse that creates room for different silhouettes, design and cutwork. Owing to the fact that there is plenty of room for different silhouettes, cutwork and tailoring in blouses; there is also plenty of variations of this garment that is an important part of the complete saree ensemble.
It is quite apparent that women take these differences in this upper garment seriously which is why women put much effort into matching sarees with different kinds of blouses to create different ethnic looks that range from vintage to glamorous and sexy. This blog aims to introduce the reader to varied blouse types based on design and embroidery, cutwork and silhouette. Read further to know more.
10 Different type of blouse work and designs
This comprehensive list of top 10 types of blouse work is sure to introduce the reader to various kinds of blouses that can be added to one’s wardrobe to create stunning ethnic saree ensembles. Each blouse type stands out for its design, embellishments, silhouette and appeal. Scroll down to know more.
1. Cutwork Blouse
As the name suggests; cutwork blouses are characterized by designs that are literally cut into the blouses. This cutwork is further accentuated with embroidery and embellishments to create stunning upper garments to complete the saree ensemble.
In cutwork blouses; it is common to see intricate patterns like paisley, floral patterns and meshwork among others. These blouses may not be worn on an everyday basis but they are highly sought after for weddings and other festive occasions.
2. Mirror work Blouse
Mirror work has been often used to create stunning ethnic garments and the popularity of this unique kind of embellishment extends to blouses for sarees as well.
Mirror work adds shimmer, glamour and glitz to any Indian ensemble which is why mirror work blouses are worn with equally glitzy wedding and festive sarees in vibrant colors and hues. In most cases mirror work is combined with exquisite embroidery; as can be seen in the image above.
3. Kundan Blouse
The popularity of Kundan craftsmanship is not just limited to jewelry and in fact; Kundan often finds its way on to Indian ethnic garments including the blouse that goes along with the saree. Kundan blouses are exquisitely embellished blouses that feature colorful or clear Kundan stones.
Once again; these blouses are mainly reserved for weddings and festive wear. It is impossible to deny the desi bling factor in Kundan blouses and this is very apparent in the picture above; which is just one example of the many different and exquisite Kundan blouses.
4. Zardosi Blouse
Zardosi is one of the most exquisite types of embroidery there is and this kind of embroidery often finds its way onto the blouse. Zardosi is set apart from other variations of embroidery as it is exclusively gold thread or silver thread embroidery.
Zardosi blouses are much sought after for weddings and festive occasions and can be quite expensive. Zardosi embroidery is often combined with Kundan work or mirror work to create exquisite blouses and other ethnic garments.
5. Chikankari Blouse
While most of the blouse work types on this list are exclusive to weddings and celebratory occasions; Chikankari blouses can be worn at anytime. Chikankari embroidery is characterized by light embroidery with white threads done on pastel shade fabrics like cotton and light muslin.
As such these blouses can be worn throughout the year and at anytime of the day without the discomfort that is associated with heavy embroidery and embellishments.
6. Lace work Blouse
While delicate lace fabric is often used in western women’s wear; it can also be used to create exquisite blouses for the saree ensemble with an Indo-Western fusion appeal. Black lace blouses like the one in the picture above can add to the glamour and appeal of any saree ensemble and makes for great party wear and festive wear.
7. Puff Sleeve Blouse
Puff sleeves have always been a favored silhouette for women’s wear and this silhouette works equally well for saree blouses.
Puff sleeves give the saree ensemble a chic vintage look that many women seem to prefer on festive occasions and for wedding wear. The puff sleeve blouse in the picture above makes the appeal of this blouse type very apparent.
8. Net Sleeve Blouse
The net sleeve blouse is yet another popular blouse type. Once again; this blouse type has very chic and vintage appeal that many women proactively seek out to complete their saree ensembles.
Net sleeve blouses can either be in the form of sleeves that extend to the wrist, elbows or the usual quarter sleeve blouse. Net sleeve blouses can also appear as puffed and is often accentuated with embellishments and embroidery.
9. Sleeveless Blouse
In the warm and humid Indian climate; the popularity of sleeveless blouses cannot be underscored. These blouses are widely popular during the summer months and they are worn on an everyday basis and even on festive and celebratory occasions.
These blouses are mostly preferred for the comfort factor as they keep the arms cools and the underarms sweat free however there is a certain appeal to beautiful bare upper arms that these blouses highlight.
10. Halter Neck Blouse
While the saree doesn’t really change in terms of cut, length and breadth; it is the blouse that changes the appeal of the saree ensemble on the whole. The halter neck blouse gives the saree an Indo-western fusion appeal that is undeniable. Additionally; these blouses have a glamour and comfort factor that works in its favor.
It is easy to see that the wide range of blouse work types allows for variation for women who enjoy wearing sarees on a daily basis or on special occasions. Bearing in mind that there a wide range of blouse types; one needs to effectively match the right blouse with the right saree. When you have matched the right saree with the right blouse; you have on your hands a complete saree ensemble that is appropriate for the occasion on which you wish to wear this Indian ethnic garment.
As mentioned before; the saree can be worn on everyday basis or on special occasions. This primarily depends on the nature of the saree, the fabric, the nature of embroidery and embellishments. The blouse needs to be matched accordingly. In conclusion; few tips to match the right blouse with the right saree are as listed below.
- The pallu embroidery of the saree should match with the neck and sleeve embroidery of the blouse for the perfect festive wear look
- Blouses and sarees pair well when put together in contrasting colors
- Heavily embellished and embroidered festive saree goes well with a shimmery fabric yet lightly embroidered and embellished festive blouse
- In reverse; a heavily embellished and embroidered blouse goes well with a shimmery fabric yet lightly embellished and embroidered saree
- Choose you blouse type according to the weather conditions. Heavily embellished and embroidered blouses with longer sleeves can prove to be uncomfortable during the warmer months.
Bearing all the points made above in mind; it is easy to see that matching the right blouse with the right saree is essential for style and comfort. Some care must be taken to get this done; owing to wide range of blouse types available.