I am roughly about thirteen percent Indian so I cannot be accused of patronizing my own kind when I declare that in my opinion the most graceful, flattering and versatile dress a woman can wear is a sari.

Saree 1

Though I agree that the no one can adorn a sari better than Sita Mayya, but I also think us lesser mortals can also benefit from its many charms.

Firstly it suits anyone weighing between thirty five and a hundred kilograms. It covers many defects like overly skinny legs or a prodigious tummy.  It flatters a woman if she has a “boota sa qad”, as my friend from Lucknow calls ladies who are vertically challenged. And it compliments those who are tall and grand. Same goes for complexion.  It looks good on Naomi Campbell. It looks good on Julia Roberts.


saree 2

It is a communal equalizer. Worshippers wear saris in temples, mosques, gurdawaras, and churches and once I saw one in a synagogue in Tel Aviv. I remember one time when I was a child and was visiting my distant cousins in Mumbai. All commotion broke out when the Eid moon was sighted and the local mosque announced that it will be celebrated the next day. Everyone wanted that or this and every which sari to wear the following morning.

So one looks good in a sari whether it is Eid, Diwali, Baisakhi or Christmas.  One of my Kuwaiti friends wore a beautiful white net sari on her wedding day with a matching hijab and looked rather ravishing.

It can be modified to look attractive, professional, sensuous or chaste, depending on who is wearing it and how.

What is a sari? A long length of unstitched cloth? Yet it is adorned by queens, princesses, goddesses, brides, celebrities, politicians, head of states and common folk like me and you and the choori wails.

For me sari is the gown for all seasons. Whether it is worn in the office or on the red carpet, it flatters the female form in a way no other garment can.

By- Sabine Shah

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