Of all the garment styles prevalent the world over, the saree beats the comfort, the ease and the versatility of any other.
As we have moved into an era where women are more aware, and more vocal than ever before of the pressures that society puts on them for looking good and for adhering to a certain body norm, it appears that there is no garment more democratic than the saree.
So as the Loksabha elections proceed in India every true fashionista votes for the saree - and for a good reason too.
You could be of any shape, size, height, complexion or even ethnicity and the saree always brings out the best in you.
It drapes the figure gracefully and leaves it to the wearer to decide whether they want to conceal or reveal the most enticing features of a woman's body.
You could wear it conservatively like Naina Lal Kidwai -simple crisp cottons and silks and pulled back hair with an elegant and simple watch, personifying class and power.
Or you could wear a chiffon saree with the royal sophistication of the late Rajmata Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur - influencing generations of Indian women with her delicate 'Pearls and Chiffon' elegance, loosely coiffed hair and a matte red lip.
And if you are out for a kill, a black saree with glossy red lips, a la The Rekha - is all you need to transform into the siren that few could hope to resist.
Usually though, Rekha - the timeless icon, the Queen of our hearts is seen in heavy gold Kanjivarams, and bedecked with gold jewellery as the reigning matriarch of Bollywood - a look also perfectly suitable for the mother of a bride or a groom, out to celebrate her children's initiation into marital bliss in no uncertain terms.
If you are not aiming to ooze glamour but rather looking for easy breezy office outfits, you can easily pick neutrals or minimal prints like stripes or polka dots.
Another way the saree lends itself to the arsenal of a woman's style is as the Indian predecessor to the modern jumpsuit. Remember the charming Chachii played by Kamal Hassan ? She hops over motorbikes and scales drain pipes in a jiffy, all thanks to the comfort of her Maharashtrian style drape which lends comfort and functionality to the wearer, without compromising on the femininity and grace.
In fact so versatile is this 6 yard wonder that we have modern versions of this garment that combine the grace of the saree with the glamour of other styles.
The lehenga saree is one such fusion. It combines the traditional features of a saree with the ease and comfort of a lehenga. The flared cut makes it easy to wear. There is no need to make pleats as it can be simply draped around the waist and tucked in.
Do I hear you asking for more ? Well, for those looking to add a western twist to their saree there is the saree-gown. It combines the features of a saree with a western floor length gown especially the gathered pleats and the pallu. Do you want to feel like a Grecian Goddess just descended from the heavens ? The Saree gown like the one worn by Shilpa Shetty here should be your garment of choice.
Yes, Only she can carry a saree with a thigh high slit. But then the whole point in voting for the saree as the most democratic garment is because that's how versatile it is.
A case in the point ? The Hijab saree - the saree that blends beautifully with the conservative dresser, the saree is truly secular and does not define the wearer.
So the saree takes on not just the shape and form of the wearer, it takes on the character of the wearer and becomes the very extension of their personality.
It does not defy them by making it necessary to fit into a body type. It does not deny them the joy of dressing up and looking good no matter what the occasion.
And most certainly, the saree does not define the wearer, rather it lets you be you - free to decide whoever you want to be, wherever you want to be.
Whether you want to be a homemaker, a mother, a professional, an entertainer, an activist, a fashionista, or just a free bohemian spirit, the saree flows with you and molds itself to your state of mind, day after day, every day.
So let's -
Vote for the saree !
Article By : Bhavna R