Before I tell you from where Sari originates, let me tell you Sari is a garment worn by women from the Indian subcontinent that consists of an unstitched drape varying from 4.5 to 9 meters in length typically wrapped around the waist.
The sari is worn with a fitted bodice commonly called a choli and a petticoat called a Ghagra or parker.
Women in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal wear Sari.
Let’s start with the history of Sari now
The history of Sari-like drapery is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which flourished during 2800–1800 BCE around the northwestern part of South Asia. Cotton was first cultivated and woven in the Indian subcontinent around the 5th millennium BCE. In historic times there were no Shirts or tops therefore women used this simple piece of cloth to cover their bodies.
Many people often ask me, “Why is the navel exposed by women wearing Sari ?”
The answer to this question is quite complex as different ancient theories state different reasons to show or to hide the navel part while wearing the Sari. But, according to the Natya Shastra (an ancient Indian treatise describing ancient dance and costumes), the navel of the Supreme Being is considered to be the source of life and creativity, hence the midriff is to be left bare by the sari.
Some people from western countries often find Sari as revealing clothes but in reality, there are more than 80 recorded ways to wear a sari. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape to be worn over the shoulder, baring the midriff.
When do we wear Sari?
Generally in different regions of India people wear saris regularly while in some regions women wear Sari on special occasions such as Diwali, marriage ceremonies, and more.