Want to travel in a saree? Read on to find out how I manage to gallivant around the world in my six and nine yard drapes …
Photos: Vincent Boyer (Say hi on instagram @vincetravelbook)
A few months ago, I went to Europe and met an amazing lady in Amsterdam ( Hey Koel!)who gave me this beauty of an Ajrakh saree that I treasure and wore non-stop on the trip. Here I have worn the saree in a little village in Picardie with an oft repeated top that you have seen worn in France here and here.
I get asked very often how and why I incorporate sarees on my travels across different parts of the world. Travelling is fun and dressing up while exploring a new country is even more fun. Do I just wear sarees when I travel? No! Do I wear sarees as frequently as my heart desires, travel or no travel? Hell yeah!
I am not looking to exude sophistication while I am on the go. I like to wear what makes me happy as well as be comfortable and I really believe that one needs way less than one thinks during travel.
I think every person is different but because I have been asked this question very often, here’s a list of what I do to travel with ease in my six and nine yard beauties:
- I carry comfortable, often used clothing when I travel and that extends to my sarees as well. I am not one of those people who buys new clothes to travel.
- I absolutely abhor the petticoat (underskirt) on normal days and there is no way I will wear one while travelling. Using denims and other skirts/ shorts/ pants I already am carrying saves space in my suitcase.
- I don’t mind wearing lighter/ translucent sarees without a full-length skirt underneath. However, if that is something you would rather not do, I would suggest carrying darker colours or thicker drapes that offer the coverage you want.
- It’s fun to get creative and use the same item of clothing in different ways and pair it with multiple pieces in the suitcase. Like versatile tops make great saree blouses, skater skirts make great tops and my cotton six yard stunners make great beach cover-ups.
- I would suggest not worrying about the perfect pleats or pallu, just concentrate on being comfortable and having fun.
- I never ever use safety-pins. Knots, pleats and tucks work way better than something that is likely to jab me while I nap on the train!
- Ignore people who say sarees should always be worn with heels. I carry four to five comfortable pairs of shoes that go with everything I wear. You will see me wearing the same shoes with jeans or skirts or sarees.
- The same goes for my bags, saree or no saree I carry bags that are roomy without being too bulky. I don’t have the space in my suitcase or patience to have a different bag for every outfit.
- Also, likewise for jackets. I wear my sarees with leather, denim or wool jackets/ cover-ups. Every piece of clothing I carry goes with at least four different things in my suitcase.
- I also don’t worry about carrying the right kind of jewellery for sarees or any other outfits. I carry a mad bunch of silver and beaded jewellery that I love to wear and don’t care about being matchy-matchy.
- Instead of carrying a whole heap of sarees, I change the way I drape, switch the tops and style the same ones differently. This same saree was worn with a Metallica tee-shirt while bumming around Paris and on the Metro with our luggage.
- If you are not comfortable with different drapes, I would suggest playing with the length of the saree to ensure comfort and enable movement.
- Avoid trailing pallus, I normally wrap mine like a scarf around my neck to keep it out of the way when rushing about.
- I spot clean my sarees and hand-wash and dry them in the bathroom after three to four wears. There is nothing more annoying than taking dry-clean only sarees and search frantically for a dhobi during a trip.
- I don’t think of a saree any differently than any other item of clothing, just wear them when I want to and do just fine.
And for those of you wondering why I wear sarees during my travels … I wear what I want, when I want, where I want and how I want.
I have never not carried a few sarees while travelling and really don’t think it is a big deal to travel in sarees. My Mother and GrandMother as well as countless other women from the sub-continent have traipesed across the globe in their sarees and I am just following in their foot-steps.
That is it – this is how I travel in sarees and it works for me. What are your travel outfit essentials?