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Updated: June 8, 2014 14:37 IST

Ditch the sleeve

PRABALIKA M BORAH
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Harshita adds a stylish twist to the blouse on the traditional Assamese mekhela chadar
Harshita adds a stylish twist to the blouse on the traditional Assamese mekhela chadar

It isn’t just the itsy-bitsy back, now young girls prefer their cholis and blouse sans the sleeve

Looks like the 20-somethings have taken the tagline —‘go sleeveless on him’ from an ad rather seriously. At least that’s what is evident when they are seen shifting from chic casual to Indian finery for traditional occasions. So now sleeveless cholis and blouses are the in things in making a style statement. Don’t agree? Take a cue from actors like Bipasha Basu, Malaika Arora Khan and Madhuri Dixit who walked the green carpet in saris teamed with fashionable sleeveless blouses.

Say sleeveless and the image that crosses you mind would be that of Parsi aunties and the stylish yesteryear actors who turned sleeveless blouses into a fashion statement during that era.

Present day sleeveless blouses go way beyond those plain blouses sans sleeves. The contemporary sleeveless blouse is embellished in order to distinguish it from the plain, older versions .

As a product designer, Harshita Saikia says she loves going sleeveless when wearing the traditional Assamese Mekhela Chadar. To make the simple blouse stand out from what her mother and aunts wear, she says, “I design my blouse with a lot of work on the back. I either get a stylish cut and accessorise the dori or embellish the strap of the blouse.”

The young girl says its easy to twist a simple sari into making a fashion statement with a well-embellished blouse. And with the mercury soaring higher, the choice is also about comfort. Comfort coupled with style is like a 10/10, she adds.

Designers credit this fashion trend among the youngsters to their well travelled and globalised minds. Reading and observing trends around adds a lot to their fashion perspective. Designer Vyshanvie Reddysays yes to the sleeveless wave. “It is definitely popular with the younger generation, who is well travelled and more exposed to fashion trends than ever before. The sleeveless blouse or choli is a perfect way to add a contemporary twist to a traditional silk or handloom sari or lehenga. It brings in sleekness and modernity to the entire ensemble. A sleeveless blouse is also perfect to show off a piece of jewellery like the bajuband or the traditional South Indian vanki.”

However the sleeveless blouse is not for everyone: it’s better for those whose arms are in shape. Others can indulge their urge to wear sleeveless, with cap sleeves.

Fashion consultants have a number of suggestions for those looking to ditch the sleeve. Those who aren’t looking at taking the risk on their expensive saris or lehenga’s “can go for an extra blouse or a choli. There’s a lot of choice in material. For their wedding trousseau, brides are getting a second blouse without sleeves made. They may wear traditional sleeves for the wedding and have the sleeveless one on casual occasions. Some like it with a collar so that it can be teamed with any single shade sari. The tone of the shade can vary from dark to light, so the choice of the colour of the blouse should be a smart one. Traditional prints do wonders for casual occasions as well,” says designer Madhu Verma.

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