Blouses are like the soul mates of the sarees. It can make or break the whole look of a saree. We need to get that right fit, right color, and right silhouettes to accompany our six yard beauty. And thus, this quintessential part of our wardrobe has been through hundreds of modifications and still on the process of evolution.
Let's take you the very interesting journey of Indian Blouses.
The Ancient lanes
In the Maurya and Sanga period (about 300 BC), the type of clothing often worn by men and women would majorly generalize as two unstitched pieces of clothing. The lower piece of the body was wrapped in rectangular fabric and the other one for the upper part of the body.
From the early descriptions found in Sanskrit and Pali texts around 6th B.C. it was said that the initial of saree and blouse was the three-piece clothing comprising Antriya, the lower garment as Uttariya. Followed by a veil over the shoulder or the head lead by Stanapatta, a chest-band. The whole ensemble is called Poshak.
Thus this poshak differ from differ region. With varieties involve in fabrics, patterns, and designs.
The Mughal Influence
With the arrival of Mughals in India in the 15th century, they brought themselves a whole new style of fashion and thus, highly influence Indian style. Like the salwar become part of the women's wear known as traditional Salwar kameez. Some of the different styles of blouses shown in Kangra and Rajput paintings depict wearing stitched blouses or cholis with wide skirts or Ghaghara's during this period.
The British Raj
During the British rule in the Victorian Era, there was the instance of conflict between notions of what was considered a proper dress code for women in public.
As the tales go, Gyanodanondinee Debi, the sister in law of Rabindranath Tagore, is known to have come up with the most modern styled blouse.
In the Bengal, women usually drape the saree well enough with no requirement of the blouse. However, when Gyanodanondinee Debi tried to enter a British club, she was refused to enter because of improper dressing.
The incident motivates her to craft a traditional Bengali blouse to complete the saree ensemble. Gradually the style becomes popular in different parts of India and women began to form their own style of a blouse to be pair along with sarees.
The Entry Of Cinema
By the 1940s as cinema gains popularity, it has its influence in the clothing style of Indians. With silver screen rulers Vaijyanti Mala, Nutan, Nargis and Meena Kumari wearing long sleeve blouse having a great influence in the blouse, further popularizing the modern saree blouses.
Today, the saree blouse has gown through various styles and cut, with hundred different styles being discovered to wear saree blouses. The current decade, also known as the recycled era witness the comeback of many blouses from ancient India.
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(Image & Content Reference : Google)