Aunty Saree? A saree can be five and a half meters of mischief or be the most demure and staid garment on a woman. The term aunty saree is used to describe a saree that is functional in that it covers the body, but does nothing else in terms of sex appeal or modernity. In India most women who are older to you are addressed as aunty. Even female relatives, who can be aunts, have the tag aunty added on after their name. Of course, all aunties need not be labeled staid and dull just because of the wrong choice of sari. Women in end of 30s and 40s can boast appealing personality and attractive outlook by choosing the right choice of sari. Although age is a major factor that restricts Indian women from wearing specific type of saris that conceal their beauty and make them look dull and boring, it is not just the hindrance.
Material plays an important part in defining an aunty saree. The fabric is generally cotton or even a heavier silk. In fact there are certain patterns and color combinations in silks which are known as ‘mami’ (reference for an aunt in south India). Weaves that have a chequered pattern and are usually in color combinations of mustard and maroon are worn by older women. ‘Behenji’ sarees are the synonymous references to sarees that are conservative and worn by women in the north of India. Here again, it is very pastel shades with small patterns that make up a saree. But with the power loom mass producing sarees, nowadays the sarees are synthetics, which are a combination of polyester and rayon or a mix of cotton and silk.
An image makeover is needed for the aunty sari. Though much older women are going to say no to the bold and garish prints, the generation that is in their 40s and 50s can use material like the chiffon and georgette to their advantage. Though most in this age group do not want to call attention to their bulging midriff, they can wear sarees of this material with the pallu being pinned onto the shoulder, a layer over a layer, so that it doesn’t fall off revealing all. Contrary to what heavier women think, georgettes and chiffons can make a person look slimmer, than if swathed in yards of thicker yarn.
It is but natural that a woman should dress appropriate to her age and the occasion. But now every decade is not as old as it used to be, like the 40s are the new 30s and so on. An aunty saree can be draped to show off some curves if the material is right and the saree is draped well. Even functional office wear sarees can have striking color combinations. Handloom sarees from different parts of India are unique in their own way. The temple sarees of the south can be eye catching if worn with contrast shaded cholis. When accessorized right with bangles and earrings, the whole effect can be stunning. Similarly the Kutch embroidered sarees from Gujarat display threadwork in intriguing patterns.