Once upon a time, back in the days of estates and ruling nations, our ancestors worked fingers to bone under the British colonialism to build this nation. But we are not going to discuss the colonial period or the sweat of the people in those days.

We are going to talk about fashion, or particularly the saree draping styles of those times.

The saree is definitely one of the most beautiful and elegant garments loved by the fashion industry. Before the modernisation of the Indian woman, these exotic beauties were always draped in a saree.


Saree draping has adapted and changed over the years of evolution due to factors like fashion evolution, women’s mode of jobs, resources, and many others. Now, let’s track through the ‘Five generations on the evolution of Sarees in Malaysia’ which began from 1920 until 2020.



That is the time when women were not introduced to petticoats and blouses but draped in a saree instead. They wear the saree tied around their chest and wrapped around the body like a sarong, making a blouse or petticoat unnecessary.

These women adorn themselves with a lot of jewellery like septum piercing, leg bangles, and flowers around their bun.



Blouses and petticoats were introduced here but the pieces of jewellery however have lessened. The saree is also not pleated properly to pin it on the blouse, thus it makes the woman look big in size.

The pallu of the saree is tucked in the skirt.  This time they have stopped septum piercing as well. They seemed very homely and were into house chores like cooking.


In this era, colours were all deemed to be seen popping and full-on vibrant. Soft silk chiffon sarees were commonly adorned and their hair was either pulled back with a big bump or styled with long plaited hair.

Big jhumkas and earrings were the most emphasized element back then. In the 80’s women wore really striking, bright colour lipsticks with a touch of sophistication and elegance in their demeanor.



This was the birth of the millennial era, ladies were dressing up with mashups from multiple years and styles. The women in this era wore contrasting saree colour with plain short-sleeved blouses.

Ladies wore retro-styled with huge glasses and sideway French braids. This year marks the birth of a complete revolution of style in terms of sarees to ornaments.



This is a complete revolution of the saree where women adorned sarees in multiple eccentric ways such as in a ball gown way known as Khan Khan and jumpsuit inspired style by Tiabhuva, worn with a stunning dazzling belt!

How the elegance of a saree has evolved over the years from being tied with no blouses to adorn in a pantsuit manner. Sarees are worn proudly by the women in our society as an emblem of pride and sexiness, fiercely depicting its traditional quality in absolute sheer elegance!

If anything that time has taught us is that, change is the only constant but when it comes to the traditional element, our saree draping has always remained as it is. Years after years, only the style has evolved but not our tradition.

Today 21 December 2020 marks World Saree Day and we could not find a more apt moment to present this video to our Varnam readers. Here is a treat by the Varnam Team for your viewing pleasure.