A saree, by itself, makes a fashion statement. So, you may think you don’t need to accessorize it to take your look to the next level. Whether it’s plain, embroidered, or patterned, a saree requires a finishing touch. It needs something that ties the look together.
Some great ways to accessorize a saree include wearing compatible jewelry, snazzy shoes, elegant headwear, matching brooches, or additional clothing. Trying many different accessories is the best way to find something that works for you. Inspirational photos can help you choose the best looks.
In this article, we’ll dive into the different ways to accessorize sarees. We’ll also discuss how the most stylish folks incorporate sarees into their look. This way, you can take steps to emulate their choices.
Wear Suitable Statement Jewelry
Opt for Traditional Statement Earrings
Almost all women in the Middle East and Indian sub-continent prefer to wear statement earrings known as jhumkay or chandbali with their sarees.
These are available in a wide range of styles, intricacies, and designs, and from traditional antique jhumkay to modern earrings, you have countless options on offer. However, not all look good with every saree.
For example, plain sarees or monochrome sarees are more compatible with large, traditional statement earrings. But if you have a heavily embroidered saree, simple studs pair perfectly. And even then, you can choose a traditional style stud with mirror work if your saree’s design allows it.
You can also add to the look by wearing other jewelry such as bracelets, bangles, or a necklace if your earrings come as part of a set. But your main goal is to keep your look balanced. You shouldn’t pair a patterned saree with a flashy pair of dangling earrings and an equally dramatic necklace.
Choose Matching Statement Necklaces
If you’re skipping on the earrings, statement necklaces work as the ideal alternative.
You want to focus on your saree’s design and highlight its intricacy. For that, you require a statement necklace that adds to the look instead of overwhelming it. So, how do you achieve this balance?
The answer lies in your metal and stone choice. Cool silvers and gold with matching stones are useful if you’re wearing a cooler-tone saree, one that has a similar shade of metal embroidery. However, if you’re wearing a darker, richer hue, like emerald green or red, it requires an equally exciting hue.
Bright gold, shining silver, rose gold, brass—all of these give your saree that bit of oomph you didn’t know you needed. By wearing it against the darker colors, these brighter hues bring out the dark richness and sultriness. So, even if you wear a simple saree, the jewelry gives it a sumptuous look.
Choker-style necklaces or three-string necklaces typically work nicely with a saree, especially one that has a deeper neckline, though that isn’t always necessary.
But if your saree is plainer or requires a bit more décor, take on the challenge of wearing a more extensive set. A delicate sath lara with your saree will offer a dramatic style but without overwhelming your look. A sath lara literally means seven strands, so be in for an intense look if you decide on that.
Nevertheless, if you don’t feel happy with such a unique necklace, you can always find statement pendants that’s more suited to your style.
Find the Perfect Statement Nose Rings
Talk about making a statement!
Nose rings are a traditional form of jewelry for most in the East. They come in a breathtaking array of designs that’ll wow you, and the good news is, embellished nose rings are no longer limited to only brides.
Thanks to the extensive range of designs, nose rings now compete with earrings as the only jewelry you can wear with some subtle pieces and not feel overdressed.
Those women with less experience wearing heavy nose rings (because of the weight) tend to wear slimmer, elegant nose rings that fall into the minimalist style category. But if you’re planning to be adventurous, there’s no reason why you can’t wear an embellished nose ring. A traditional nath may also work. Top it off with a beautiful colored lipstick that complements the metal. Voila! You have yourself a look that’ll turn heads.
And if you don’t have a pierced nose, not to worry. Most women don’t have pierced noses, which is why designers provide comfortable alternatives, such as no-pierce nose rings and faux nose rings.
Add Statement Brooches to Your Look
The part of your saree that loops over the shoulder is known as the pallu. To keep the pallu in place, many women use gorgeous shoulder brooch pins. These pins come in a number of designs, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that suits your saree’s style.
However, these pins don’t just work to keep your pallu from sliding over. Women around the world have turned the act of wearing sarees into an art form. Using the shoulder brooch or embellished pins as a stopper, they use the pin to turn the saree’s looped side into various pleats. You can also bring the tail end of the saree and tie it to the side of your stomach if you’re conscious about showing skin.
Another trinket is the chhalla, essentially another form of a brooch. But the chhalla hangs by the end of the saree and doubles as a holder, in case you’re wearing a slippery fabric. Some women who follow tradition hang their house keys by the ends of their sarees. Though your key may not look so pretty, there’s no reason why you can’t use a brooch or charms to quirk up your look.
A Note on Additional Statement Jewelry
There are plenty of jewelry options that can help you accessorize your saree. The only caveat is that you carry your look with pride. Jewelry attracts attention. But if you’re not comfortable with having the spotlight on you, there are other ways you can make your look pop.
Match Handbags, Statement Clutches, and Pouches/Potli Bags
Statement clutches and bags are functional, fashionable, and fun. They fit all your essentials and look good to boot. They also add a nice, dressy look, depending on the type of handbag you choose.
Unlike jewelry, handbags and a statement clutch or pouches don’t have a long list of dos and don’ts. As you would when choosing a handbag or purse for any occasion, be sure that your bag’s hue and style match your dress.
Sarees, as we know, come in a range of styles. If you have a plain saree with light embroidery, go with a heavily-beaded clutch, preferably without the chain, since we don’t want that to snag the fabric.
If you’d like a more traditional saree look, a similarly-traditional pouch or potli bag will work. But keep in mind, most potli bags or pouches come heavily embroidered (not that we’re complaining). However, if you have an equally ‘heavily embroidered’ saree, rethink your decision.
Instead, go with a small beaded or encrusted clutch or the same metallic hue as your saree’s embroidery. Metal clutches are also a good choice, provided that you find a compatible color. It’s nothing to worry about if you don’t have the exact tone. Mix and match metal tones within the same color family using a third accessory. This will complete your saree look without them clashing.
Replace Your Basic Blouse With Jacket Blouses
A jacket blouse could be a new twist on a traditional look. It is a formal, somewhat masculine touch to an otherwise feminine look.
It’s a perfect melding of styles for casual or formal sarees. It’s mostly something that you decide on beforehand when having the saree tailored or buying it.
But if you’d rather skip wearing heavy jewelry, a jacket blouse is the best option. You’ll find plenty online, although most jackets will be pastel in color or utterly plain with just basic stitching, so you’ll need to pinch or loosen the jacket here or there.
Also, it’s possible that your jacket may not completely overhaul your saree’s look. In this case, a choker or a bracelet paired with a watch may make the overall style more appealing. Add a pair of medium heels, and you’re good to go.
Find an Elaborate Hair Accessory
Let’s say you want to go for the regal look.
The only accessory that can accomplish that would be the mathapatti or the matha teeka. Both are traditional hair accessories that come in many styles. You can find minimalist options and luxurious ones.
Mathapatti and matha teeka add the perfect flair to an otherwise simple look. But you have to wear them with the right hairdo. Too basic, and the hair accessory looks out of place.
Do you want to bring the spotlight to your sense of style without looking too overdone? A matha patti or matha teeka accomplishes that.
Of course, a tiara, jeweled crown could work, or even a headband. If you want something that’s chic and minimalist, a maang teeka is ideal. It’s small and can be worn with hair worn down or braided. And it doesn’t look too bad either.
But don’t wear the maang teeka alone. Add a traditional pair of earrings, a necklace, and bracelet if you can’t find it. Otherwise, your maang teeka will look out of place.
Wear Flowers in Your Hair
Specifically, mogra flowers!
Mogra flowers or the Arabian Jasmine flower is a popular choice for most festivities, weddings, and special occasions and are typically worn with a tied-up bun for a traditional look. You can pair the flowers with traditional jewelry. A plain saree with light embroidery also works well.
However, you don’t have to go down that road too. If you’d like a modern look, wear the flowers with your hair down and entwine them with different strands. Or wear a side flower with a basic up-do, like a chignon. Choose flowers that are in season, and find fresh ones if you can. Artificial flowers look cheap, but fresh flowers will exude a natural beauty.
If you’re ever in doubt, go with roses. Recently-bloomed roses add a touch of sensuality. They look exquisite if paired with the right hairdo and saree color.
And if you’re allergic to pollen but don’t want to switch to basic artificial flowers, use ribbons or corsages. You’ll find plenty of options online that won’t look too shabby with a pretty saree.
Add a Bindi
A bindi and a saree are a match made in heaven.
Bindis are small red dots, which come in a circular or oval shape. Most married women in the Indian subcontinent wear bindis. However, this style choice has transitioned into the modern fashion world. Bindis have become as much a part of a saree as your essential footwear.
Nevertheless, many prefer to wear it for wedding occasions or parties. However, some like to wear the red dot just for the heck of it.
For anyone who wants to wear a bindi for festive occasions, you’ll find many rhinestone-embellished bindis that brighten up even the simplest of saree looks. Get a matching color or hue to your saree, and you’ll look like a million bucks!
But if you only have the red dots at hand, these will be just fine. When in doubt, go with the classics.
Wrap a Shawl or Cardigan
Many women wear cardigans, shawls, and wraps during the winter with their sarees. But that doesn’t mean you should hide away your look behind a lumpy covering.
The trick with pairing shawls with sarees is to use basic color theory techniques. Doing so helps you accentuate its design. You want a color or design that doesn’t take away or hide the saree’s pattern or embroidery. For example, if you have a plain saree, you can wear a patterned shawl or a wrap of the same or contrasting color. Or go all-out by wearing an outrageously embroidered shawl to add some drama to your saree look.
If you’re wearing an embroidered saree, you can opt for a long jacket blouse with long sleeves for a regal look. A camisole with a larger neckline also works. That’ll help you stay warm without compromising your style. Add an elaborate necklace that sits below your collarbone and you’ll look positively exquisite.
Get the Perfect Footwear
While you will be tempted to don your sneakers so you can run around efficiently in your saree, do not give in.
Sarees are elegant and require elegant footwear to give them a style edge. For that, you can opt for flat slippers, wedges, or high heels, such as this Dream Pairs dress pumps. But they must all be formal footwear, not casual. Even with a plain saree, you can risk wearing fancier heels, as long as they don’t toe the line from formal to bridal.
Try to pick footwear that makes you feel comfortable but complements the saree too. Also, do not choose bare black heels for every saree you have. That’s a cop-out, and you know it.
Add Anklets and Toe Rings
Did you have your saree stitched a bit shorter to show off your embellished petticoat border? If so, use the design to your advantage. Wear semi-formal shoes, but take a risk by putting on an anklet or a toe ring to spice up the look. Wear jewelry that’s the same metal tone as the metal used for the saree’s embroidery. That will connect your jewelry to the saree and create a color story.
Wear anklets and toe rings even if you’re wearing a plain or simple one-toned saree. These additional pieces of jewelry will add a fun element to your fashion statement and make you feel extra lovely.
Throw in a Belt
Belts worn with sarees are called kamarband in the Indian subcontinent; although, many women wear regular belts with their sarees now too.
Kamarbands come in various styles, from simple singular chains to elaborate sets with chain works, laces, and more to accentuate the look. A kamarband is typically worn to highlight your curves, especially if you’re wearing a smaller blouse and low-waisted sarees that show off your belly.
Whatever style of kamarband you choose, the look will take some getting used to. Keep in mind, it will enhance your stomach area more. So, if you’re shy, you can always buy a more elaborate, laced kamarband to cover your stomach. They are available in leather, embroidered cloths, laces, and crocheted belts, so you should have no problem finding one that elevates your saree and satisfies your need to stay covered up.
Here’s an additional accessory that no one will ever tell you: confidence. You may feel nervous when wearing a saree in public. But the right styling can help you feel confident.
Feel confident and proud when wearing your unique jewelry and elegant bind, and don’t let any nervousness stand in the way of making you shine. No matter how you choose to finish the look, if you’re confident and self-assured in your beauty, you will be the belle of the ball!