A blouse is a loose-fitting upper garment that was formerly worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women and children. In India, a blouse typically refers to a shell garment that is commonly worn with a sari. It is cut to fit tightly to the body and has short sleeves and a low neck. This blouse, also known as a choli, is usually cropped which allows exposure of the navel. In India, this cropped design is particularly well suited for wear during the hot summers. Cut out backs and front opening buttons are some of the common features of contemporary designs for a blouse. In India, saris are often woven with an extra length of material that is meant to be cut off and fashioned to form a matching blouse. A blouse may be sewn in such a way that makes the elaborately woven borders of the sari form the bottom edges of its sleeves. Lately however, it is not necessary to have the sari match the blouse. There is a growing trend amongst Indian women where they are wearing contrasting blouse, usually made from other sources, with their saris.
Throughout history, the term ‘blouse’ has mostly been used to refer to a shirt which blouses out or has a largely feminine appearance. In India, however, the first blouses were front covering, and were tied at the back with four strings. A blouse of this type can still be commonly seen in the state of Rajasthan. Pre Christian era paintings of Maharashtra and Gujarat are considered the first recorded examples of an Indian blouse or choli. Tracing the history of the blouse in India, it can be found that during the 1960s, a woman was not considered a proper lady if her neckline was cut too daringly and bared too much, especially if she wore her sari in a way that pulled her palu to one side, giving a glimpse of her bosom. A lady of honor ideally covered her back and upper arms with a blouse made of a much thicker fabric. Of course, not every woman followed these patriarchal norms. In the 1970s and 1980s, the blouses were knotty, criss-crossed with a deep cut, and even shone through the sheer sari.
The most common materials used to make blouses include cotton, saturn and silk. The design of blouse may or not include a collar or sleeves. Blouses without any sleeves are commonly known as sleeveless blouses. Apart from this, blouses may come with or without any embroidery work done. If there is any embroidery done it is mostly includes Phulkari or Zari work.
For Indian women, there is a wide variety of styles they can opt for when it comes to choosing a blouse. Ranging from an asymmetrical blouse to a backless one, depending on the occasion and look they are going for, they can go for a variety of different styles and designs. For instance, a backless blouse is going to be a great choice for a cocktail dinner of party, especially when paired with a net or velvet sari. In this type of blouse, back is either “partially exposed” with a low cut or “fully exposed” by use of strings. Then there is the halter neck blouse, which features a single strap of material with runs from the front of the blouse around the back of the wearer’s neck, making most of her back visible. Then there is the asymmetrical blouse pattern, which is becoming a trend amongst Indian women. Though asymmetrical blouses, aren’t new to people, they are becoming quite the fashionable choice for Indian women. An asymmetrical design basically includes an off-shoulder, one-shoulder or skewed hemline for the blouse. Among asymmetrical designs, women usually go for sleeveless or totally bare side, with the other side being completely sleeved.
Stylish Asymmetrical Blouses
As stylish and modish as an asymmetrical neck blouse is going to be, it is important to pair it up with the right sari. For instance, wearing a purple chiffon sari with an asymmetrical white blouse is going to make for a very stylish look. Also, women can opt for a green silk sari and pair it up with an asymmetrical silk blouse to make a fashion statement. Another upcoming trend that women are going for now days is of wearing a long asymmetrical blouse that they usually pair up with contemporary saris such as a georgette sari.
Women who are planning to make a positive and lasting impression should consider wearing an asymmetrical black blouse with a red chiffon sari. Apart from this, women can also opt for certain jewelry items that would look great with an asymmetrical blouse. For instance, a seed beaded necklace is going to perfectly compliment an asymmetrical blouse.