It seems as though Eid has now come to mean an occasion where you can only wear clothes in traditional styles and motifs. It's all about the sequins, the heavy embroidery, and nothing is complete without these hefty embellishments.
While all that is attractive in their own overstated way, not all of us are keen on wearing them for Eid and would like to wear something more subtle and sophisticated.
Hence the need for alternative options which are equally trendy and contemporary become dire at a time like this. We give a big thumbs-up to the chiffon saris. Most of all because they are trendy by nature -- sheer fabrics are all the rage everywhere, from tops to skirts to dresses to scarves, sheers work magic. They add a feminine feel to your whole outlook and what best way is there to wear them than wrapped around your whole body?
Chiffon saris have been one of the classic favourites. Of course Bollywood movies have overdone them on every other actress we know, but nonetheless the saris have managed to look stunning on almost all of them.
However, we are not emphasising on their particular style of solid coloured chiffons in hot pink and bright orange; we are tending to the more sophisticated side of the saris. The ones in mellow colours like baby pink, powder blue, lemon yellow for those bright sunny days when less is always more. For which you can even choose from pretty floral prints that come in both large and smaller designs.
Moving on to the more evening suited hues, opt for blacks, royal blue, deep purple, and even red. To add a contemporary twist, try out bold contrasting stripes or dramatic prints like 'night florals', birds, leaves, plant vines and even eastern motifs like paisleys or oriental emblems. Printed chiffon saris are almost like expressionism art and if carried right can create sheer drama.
The best thing about a chiffon sari is that you can dress it up and dress it down. Keep your makeup limited to mascara, blush and lip-stain during the day and you can create the same effect as a sundress does. For those snazzy evenings, smother those lips with a bright lipstick and put on a coat of black eyeliner; or just cloud the eyelids with a smoky eyeshadow and let those lips stay nude with some beige lipstick.
Accessorising chiffon is pretty easy, just keep in mind what occasion it is. For day events, you could look to wear small studs on your ear with the sari, or the really long single stringed, light neck chains with neatly spaced out bits of pearls or matte stones. At the evening 'dawats' during and post Eid, pair the heavy earrings or multiple strings of precious to semi precious stones with your favourite chiffon for that added drama. And of course, pearls; depending on the colour of the sari.
Remember the key is to have a single point of focus, so choose either the earrings or the necklace. You can also look to combine a bold piece of accessory on your wrist, be it a watch or a statement wristlet, even a single gold bangle may work. Do not wear multiple glass bangles or strappy bracelets, which would just look tawdry.
In case of shoes, heels look the trendiest with chiffons. Make sure to opt for the minimalistic strappy designs for your heels instead of chunky and cluttered looking ones. The saris are very light and you have to make sure that you keep that in mind while pairing sandals with them. If you are on the tall side, then wear kitten heels instead of flats. There is something about a chiffon sari that just does not go with flat sandals.
It is true that we seldom think of saris as an option; we tend to look at it as more of an aged attire, i.e. you have to be of a certain age to think of wearing saris unless it's at a wedding. Also there is the added concern of not being able to wrap around a sari by ourselves; and of course the fear of being uncomfortable wearing them.
In this regard, chiffon saris are the answer to all these woes. They can be worn by anyone and everyone; due to the element of versatility in them. The saris are very comfortable due to the weave of the fabric being fine and are light enough to wrap around by absolutely anyone if they give it a try once or twice.
Where to get them? Well, the best place is your mum's or elder sister's closet. Apart from that, the major superstores have a pretty nice collection of chiffon saris; you can go to Shoppers World, Vasavi, Almas and Fusion in Gulshan. Also the big sari stores at Pink City and Bashundhara City all stock chiffons and so does Sharee Plaza at Dhanmondi Hawkers Market.
These are only a handful of names; you can try out any of these stores or the countless other sari shops around the city. Only advice when going to buy a good quality sari is that make sure you take someone along who has experience in purchasing them if you are not comfortable with the idea of buying one alone.
This Eid, be trendy and be different and of course look your best.
By Sheemtana Shameem
Photographer: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Wardrobe and styling: Sheemtana Shameem
Necklaces: Zainab's Haute Collection
Make-up and hair: Farzana Shakil
Special thanks to Mrs. Shabnam Shahnaz Chowdhury
for the location