Settu sari , the traditional attire for women in Kerala, is one of the most elegant and classy varieties of saris in India. The Malayali woman wears the sari for almost all major occasions from Onam and Vishu festival to temple gatherings and weddings. However, the white sari with golden border isn’t something that women of other Indian regions are not familiar with. In the recent years, this sari has undergone a massive makeover. From silver border to medieval prints, the settu sari looks elegant in all its latest versions. Moreover, there have emerged various trends in white and golden borders deriving inspirations from the Kerala Kasavu sari and at times, it’s difficult to differentiate them from the traditional Kerala style ones.
Looking to buy a set sari? There are multiple looks to opt for and all variations are equally pleasing. Here is a comprehensive list to choose your best look with the Kerala sari.
Golden border cotton sari
The Malayali woman’s favorite is the traditional plain cotton sari with golden border. It goes with the primary color blouses, the most popular colors being red and green. Besides, there is the golden thread work version with the matching white golden border blouse. If you want to sport a classy look and if experimenting is not your thing, then this is the variety to go for. If you are on a temple visit in Kerala, this is the best one to opt for.
Want the extra touch of tradition in your attire? Why not go for set mundu? It’s equally elegant and classy as the sari. It’s basically a three piece attire including the blouse. One is wrapped like a mundu and another piece forms the pallu, the whole thing resembling a half sari. The blouses are usually simple plain basic colors. Though non malayalis don’t show much liking towards this variety, it’s quite a favorite for the regional Malayali functions.
3. Silver border
This twist in the set sari came in the recent years and all the monotony was broken. Though it hasn’t yet become as popular as the conventional golden version, it’s being picked up by the young generation a lot. Now-a-days, you have the silver version with thread works of peacock and Sreekrishna motifs teamed up with contemporary blouses. Unlike the other, this one is devoid of colors besides being complemented with designs in black color. Those who love to sport oxidized jewelry and Indian-modern look, this is the one to opt for. Plain or printed Black blouse is the best suited and most popular for silver sari. Silver border in set mundu also has many popular varieties.
4. The touch of black in the set sari
Though traditionally, Malayalis would avoid black in auspicious functions, now-a-days, traces of black is a hot favorite in the Kasavu sari. Be it the blouse or the border, black adds the extra tinge of tradition as well as contemporariness. The silk variety experiments with white, beige, golden and black and looks gorgeously traditional. Cotton varieties with a thin black border outlining the golden border is also the “in-thing” these days. In those with silver border, black blouses and black conical borders are highly popular.
5. Printed Set Sari
Temple motifs are the ever popular prints in traditional saris. On the set sari, you find Krishna, peacock and mythical birds which are the most alluring prints. Nowadays, there’s the Buddha, elephant, Kathakali and Kalamkari prints catching up on both the sari and blouses. Mithila and warli art are also breaking the monotony. Goddesses and folklore prints in basic colors seem to have endless variations. With a matching blouse and accessories, you can ace this look elegantly. The peacock print is the most popular and come an avid range of looks.
6. Embellished Set Sari
Mirror works, thread works and sequencing have all made their way onto the set sari and made it even more gorgeous. You can add the extra bling by opting for the embellishment on the centre of the pallu that covers the bust. Sequence work is most popular for this variety. Mirror work borders are a thing of beauty to sport in traditional functions. Thread works in multiple colors, patterns and motifs like the peacock make the plain sari more delightful.
- Checks and stripes
Taking inspiration from the traditional silk saris, now we have Kerala saris with checks. Cream or white base with small checks or varied checks are worn with matching blouses. This look is usually traditional with little option for experimenting with accessories. On the other hand, stripes are much popular in both cotton and silk fabric. Stripes can be matched with other printed varieties and different blouses. It comes in both golden and silver varieties.
8. The modern set sari-
Though blouses have a lot to do with modernizing the set sari, you should also choose the right sari to complement the blouse. Plain cotton with golden border is the variety to wear with cotton blouses with modern prints to don the contemporary or the modern style. Even the silver border sari makes for exceptional unconventional attire with a printed blouse. In addition there are the ones with cotton patch work borders and pallu.
9. Set saree with the bridal touch
The Malayali bride wears the set sari for the temple wedding and so there is a bridal range of the settu sari as well. This elegant silk version is sometimes plain with border and can be matched with highly embellished blouse with silk base. Maroon and dark green are the favorite colors with the base of the sari being white, cream or beige. The bride completes the look with gajra, maang teeka and gold ornaments. This is one of the most popular look for the south Indian bride.
In not just designs, one can find options in the fabric as well. There’s cotton, silk and khadi to choose from while in the base colors, there’s white, cream, beige and golden making different variations all together. With the appropriate hair do, ornaments and accessory, the Kerala sari is true elegance.