Decoding Sarees: Nine Yards of Style

By Drishti Vij

05th March 2020

This is an ode to most ancient yet versatile drape in the world

Think about it. You can drape it on anyone. Women (and now even men) of all ages can wear a saree. So can people of all sizes. You can make the saree glamorous or keep it humble in a homegrown, handspun fabric. You can also find its iterations where the garment is pre-stitched so the draping becomes easier. You can wear a belt on top or layer it with a coat in winters.


No garment in the world cuts through so many classes and manages to maintain its allure. The saree is one of them. 

The saree has also been used as an inspiration by many designers across the world. It is also a piece of clothing that has been able to provide jobs to millions of karigars. Today, you can weave it by hand or make it in a mill. Nevertheless, it has surpassed its perceptions from the past and can be easily crowned as the most versatile garment in the world.


Finding an Indian woman who doesn’t recall the first time she ever wore a saree, or the first one she ever wore, is a rarity. All of us grew up sneaking sarees from our mothers’ wardrobe and draping them around us when she wasn’t looking, standing in front of the vanity table and fantasising about how it would feel when we were grown up enough to wear them for real.

But that was just playtime. Today, thanks to the design intervention of modern-day brands, the saree has started looking all kinds of new while remaining novel. It has been immortalised by pop culture and thanks to the Indian film industry, sarees—be it chiffon, cotton to printed or plain—have never truly left our collective cultural realms.  


With The Burnt Soul, we have always tried to nurture the astonishing simplicity of this long unstitched stretch of fabric, which can be styled in more than 100 ways. What moves us the most is the number of ways a saree can envelop and encase the body, as though it were a metaphor for the mystery of all our mothers. We often talk about the “ties that bind” but these sartorial threads bind us together, regardless of which background we come from.

Many of the sarees for women at The Burnt Soul are printed with painterly strokes or woven in a fabric that employs local artisans. We aim to create a world where even if you’re buying a saree online, it’s still sustainable and as stylish as it can be.