Here’s to rocking the saree all year round, summer or winter …
Photos: Vincent Boyer (Say hi on instagram @vincetravelbook)
What does one wear for a cold afternoon of jumping in puddles with the puppy and exploring abandoned tunnels to stare unblinkingly at glow worms? Thick denims, multiple sweaters, a chunky beanie with a coarse noil saree and a hand crocheted Wayuu Mochila bag from Colombia … But of course!
Noil is thé fabric made from short strands and knots left over from combing wool or spinning silk, it has a slightly rough texture and drapes like a dream.
I am very fond of handcrafted bags like the one in the photos, designed by the women of La Guajira tribe in Colombia. I have them in different colours and sizes, they are not just useful for holding items, but in my opinion they are works of art!
No nonsensical rules were followed to wear this length of fabric, no shudder inducing blouse or petticoat were worn and there is absolutely not one safety pin used.
The saree kept me warm as well as comfortable and did not get in my way through the entire day. I wore a drape that is my own concoction based on the fall of the fabric and my mood for the day: short to my ankles, pleated messily, pallu out of the way and didn’t have to think twice about it.
I’m not sure how I ended up making this drape, but I know it’s adapted to my own needs and I switched things up when I needed to as there were no safety-pins to worry about.
I wish people realised how easy it is to wear sarees – the fact that they are cumbersome is an unfavourable conclusion, mostly developed through the rigid and outdated perceptions of the ‘correct way’ to wear a saree shoved down our throats.
It’s just uncut cloth…. truly fluid and limitless!
This saree is a pre-loved find, I bought it from a friend who had used this saree to her heart’s content and had maintained it well.
In my opinion, two of the best ways to have a truly sustainable wardrobe is to re-purpose items and buy pre-loved goodies.
I continue to wear this saree heaps as we transition into the coldest months of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. I tend to buy good quality fabric, try and treat them well and when I finally get tired of a piece I re-purpose it or give it away to someone who’ll appreciate it more.
So far I’ve personally chosen not to sell my clothing because one I am lazy, two I don’t like hounding people for money and three I feel that I am reasonably privileged and should learn to give things away.
We’re now entering our third decade of fast fashion, an accelerated system of clothing production that promises a quick turnaround of trends at incredibly low prices and is reliant on a supply chain that coils through some of the lowest wage economies on this planet.
It’s not just our appetite for fast fashion that is destructive, our tendency to covet and hoard sustainable clothing can be pretty awful too.
I want to be able to look at beautiful things without wanting to have them all in my wardobe and I am learning to be a more mindful consumer.