Well, in India a Saree party is party where a group of women (mostly expats) dress up in beautiful Sarees and party. It could be for a birthday party, a charity event or just for pure fun.
I have always wanted to attend a Saree party but in my two and half years in Pune, I never got the chance. The number one reason is that I am not connected. I do not know the right people, the people who organize these events. For that you have to join expats clubs and I never officially did. Once, a friend of mine invited me to go to one but it was very last minute and I did not have a Saree at hand.
This time, I got the opportunity to attend. A nice Thai lady I met in Belly dance class was having a Saree party for her birthday and she invited me ( I guess going to those belly dances classes I was so lazy to, finally paid off). Apparently she is the organizer of Saree parties around town. This time, I had enough time to prepare for the party. I went saree shopping with the Hubby the previous week end. He helped me pick up two gorgeous Sarees. I am used to buying Sarees for my business since I arrived in India. But somehow I never got to buy one for myself because:
1- I do not know how to wear it
2- I never had any opportunity (party, wedding..) to wear one till now.
Even while buying I was having second thoughts but my husband convinced me that I deserved a fancy saree after all. Moreover, I discovered that even if I cannot drape a Saree by myself, I can get it tailored to look like I did which will save me a lot of hassle if I want to wear it again. For this party, I did not have time to take it to the tailor but I ended up making a matching blouse by myself which I was very proud of.
I bought my Saree at a place in Shivaji market run by an old couple who are super lovely and give great discount. I fell in love with the color and simple embellishments. Whenever I go shopping for Sarees, there are a lot I do not pick because there is either too much color mix, pattern mix, embellishment or all of the above. You know I love colors, patterns and embellishments but sometimes I think Indians overdo it.
Furthermore, I probably got my Saree at a fraction of what my other expats friends did. A friend of mine told me that she went to the Mall before a Saree party and got every thing at almost a $150. And by everything, I mean Saree, blouse, petticoat (to wear underneath the Saree), and accessories like Saree belt, Indian earrings and matching necklace. I understand why she went to the mall, it is easier. But I am more of a frugal person. I will never put a hundred dollars on a banging outfit that I am more likely to wear only once. So to the market I went and got mine for less than 2000 rupees ($30). I made the blouse myself using lace fabric that I had bought ages ago and never used. And as a petticoat I used a black one I had bought at the same shop to wear under my sheer skirts. I already owned some Indian jewelry so I did not have to get any. I was pretty satisfied with my frugal shopping.
Here is how I styled it:
Saree - Shivaji Market
Shoes - Marche du samedi (Saturday market) in Dakar
Head Accessories - Clover Center
Bangles - Harwin, Houston
Bag - Thrifted in Japan
I had plan to wear high heel sling backs but since I was going to dance, I opted for my glittered wedges instead.
The lace blouse I made
Women from all nationalities dressed up Indian style
Most of these ladies's husbands work in the same company as mine. How fun it was to bump into them!
My belly dance group after our performance (yes, we danced but I will not let you see it!)
I left the party early, way too early for my taste but I was exhausted. Dressing up may be fun but it takes a toll. I went home happy and grateful. Yet, I cannot wait to attend another one of these gatherings. And lucky me, I already have another Saree waiting...