Alternatives to a sari blouse?
November 10, 2010 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Need help finding an impromptu sari blouse alternative.

So I am going to a blingy party this weekend (the dress code is 'Bollywood Bling'). I've been asked to wear a sari. No problem - I have just the one - black and grey chiffon, jazzy beaded blouse, perfect jewellry to go with. But... I just checked, and the blouse is ... too small. Really too small - no way I can open the seams and make it work.

So, hive mind, what are my options? I'm thinking I could go looking for a black tank or similar , but am I clutching at straws? Has anyone worn a sari with a non-traditional blouse? What has worked (or not)? I have access to most US-clothing chain stores, and I am in Boston, in case anyone has local ideas.
posted by darsh to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not really familiar with Boston area Indian clothing stores but couldn't you find one of those stretchy sari blouses? They're pretty forgiving as to fit. Not as good as a proper sari blouse, but better than a tank.
posted by peacheater at 7:11 AM on November 10, 2010

I'm used to seeing plain tshirts worn under saris here in the UK, both short (showing midriff) and conventional length. It might be more blingy to find a tshirt that's not 100% cotton, has a sheen to it?
posted by ceri richard at 7:14 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have seen tube tops look great worn with saris. Or you could just wear a bra and be like a real bollywood starlet. I live in India if that matters.
posted by eulily at 7:24 AM on November 10, 2010

Best answer: My friends and I do the plain t-shirts as sari-blouse alternative thing a lot. We're in the UK.

Works better if it's a fitted t-shirt though, and a scoop neck is always good.
posted by Ziggy500 at 7:24 AM on November 10, 2010

Any local place that sells Indian fashion should be able to get you a choli (I think that's the correct term) to go under your sari/saree. If I was buying one around here, I'd expect to find it for $10 or less, because they are made up out of cotton and are more or less replaceable.

Couple of local places I googled up:

Shelley Chhabra Probably too fancy but might have a referral for you.

Nomad - May or may not be exactly the thing but if not may have a suggestion or referral for you.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:34 AM on November 10, 2010

Best answer: Check with any local dance studios or dancewear stores to see if they carry belly dancing supplies. Cholis are a common staple at those places.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:53 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

For a party where the dress code is "Bollywood Bling", I would be inclined to wear something in-theme but funny. Like a rhinestone-embellished t-shirt/tank with dollar signs all over it. Or maybe a fancy car. I have no idea where you'd find one (probably the Junior/teens section of a store), but I know they're out there.
posted by phunniemee at 7:59 AM on November 10, 2010

I have used a black shiny H&M turtleneck in cooler weather with a safety pin at the pallu. If I was in the same spot I'd find a cropped tight t with sleeves and jazz it up with glue and sequins. Readymade cholis might be too weird a fit tbh (or I just might be a snob ;p)
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:56 AM on November 10, 2010

Best answer: Alternate idea, since its chiffon is wear it Gujurati style with reverse pallu and fancier blouse like Phunniemee suggests above. That is, don't cover the front but simply let it fall along the arm.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:03 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think the Tibetan stores in Porter Square and Harvard Square sell cholis or choli-esque tops. That said, the suggestion of buying a cropped t-shirt marketed to belly dancers and Bedazzling it is probably a good one--my guess is that they'd have that at Teddy Shoes in Central Square.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:04 AM on November 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all. In case anyone has a similar conundrum and finds this askme, this totally works. I ended up picking a more colorful sari (orange / black) and wearing with a black sleeveless shell, Gujerati style with a straight pallu.

I love the belly dance ideas - the once place I looked didnt have one that fit on short notice, but I will definitely pick up a couple - they'd look great with plainer saris like my black / grey one.
posted by darsh at 12:18 PM on November 15, 2010

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