The evolution of the modern sari

It’s been difficult for me to update this blog along with tumblr as I am a little hard pressed for time.

The only significant thing that I need to update here are a series of posts I am doing on the evolution of India’s “national costume” aka the sari, blouse and petticoat from the 1870s onwards. I thought it might be useful to collate images from each decade and discuss them so that it gives some idea about the “look” of each decade.  On the one hand there is continuity, on the other hand there are specifics like kind of sari, style of wearing it, shoes, blouses or hairstyles where you can see recurring motifs in a decade.

This is by no means comprehensive given that there are so many a) regional differences b) caste differences c) class differences d) religious differences ) orthodox customs that dictate clothing etc. in India. However, each decade does have its own zeitgeist and in a way the posts do their best to capture this. By necessity this often means fashions worn by upper class women. Especially so in the early decades given that “on the street” fashion is only really visible in photographs from the 1920s onwards. Prior to this most photographs are of elite women, courtesans and “ethnographic studies”.  However, given that some of these upper class fashions became ubiquitous, it is useful to look at it.

You can follow it all on tumblr under the sari history tag. As always the oldest post is at the bottom.

PS: I spend many hours looking at stuff and its hard to find a cohesive story sometimes. To the best of my knowledge there is a good amount of material but no detailed discussion of the fashions in India in each decade so I have little to go by except my own thoughts. So with these posts, if you want to reproduce, please do credit!

Any hints or tips are always welcome!

About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 19th century, 20th century, Bengal, British Raj, Colonial, Early 20th Century, Flapper, Indian Dress, Indian fashion, Indian History, Indian Women, Sari, Sari Blouse, Vintage, Vintage Blouse, vintage fashion, vintage sari and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The evolution of the modern sari

  1. What a wonderful blog post from you. Nice evolution of sari you shown in this post.

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