Colors often find a significant place in people’s psyche. Especially in South Asia, each saree color has a meaning based on caste, culture, religion and belief. Color symbolism affects and permeates every aspect of life, whether it is mourning, marriage, worship or work.
The South Asian heritage is a kaleidoscope of color. From colors used as socio economic differentiators like white for Brahmins and red for Kshatriyas to colors for religions. Tracing their origins in deities’ mythical powers and lives - the attire of Lords Krishna, Vishnu, and Ganesha is yellow, symbolic of their wisdom; Lord Shani, the god of justice, divine retribution, and karma, is often depicted with black skin, and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, is portrayed atop a white lotus, donning a white dress. Same goes for colors in numerology, astrology and even our moods.
Significance of Colors in Sarees
Bold, Powerful, and Regal: Red
Favored as a celebratory color, red honors a couple’s union. It symbolizes love, sensuality, and passion, which is why it is worn at weddings, festivals and birth. The red saree is also wrapped around a married woman at her cremation. Red also signifies fertility and prosperity.
The Hindu Goddess, Maa Durga, is also depicted with a red tongue, red eyes and worshippers throw red powder on deities statues during prayer ceremonies. This is because red is used to denote bravery, charity and protection.
While styling a red saree, one can amplify this already empowering color by pairing it with a gold top. Add some gold or silver jewelry or mix the two to complete the look.
Inherently Cool and Calm: Blue
The color of tranquility, blue has a calming effect and is believed to lower blood pressure and loosen tight muscles. In Indian mythology, two of India’s most beloved deities Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, are dressed in blue. The color represents masculinity, tenacity, strength of character and determination to deal with challenging situations.
One must have various shades of blue sarees in their wardrobe for the varied occasions and events. Lashkaraa’s Mint Blue White Floral Printed Saree from the collection ‘Made in Heaven’ is a fresh breath of air, ideal for a summer soirée. Step away from the usual blue shades by incorporating shades like ombré blue and periwinkle like our Ombré Blue Ruffled Chiffon Saree and Periwinkle Embellished Net Saree.
Harmonic, Refreshing, and Authentic: Green
This comforting, relaxing and stress relieving color has the power to revitalize your energy. One can choose a green saree when starting a new venture as it denotes stability, prosperity and fresh beginning. Green is also associated with nature, so it also stands for love and care.
While styling a green saree, one can go for hues like emerald, teal, Sacramento and British green shades for evening affairs. For a glamourous look, opt for black kohl eyes and emerald jewelry to complement the look. Pearls and Kundan go well with this shade. For day events, one can go for brighter greens and prints to keep it light.
Uplifting, Optimistic, and Cheerful: Yellow
The color yellow is of huge prominence in the Hindu religion. Yellow sarees are emblematic of meditation, holiness and devotion. Yellow also rebalances the chakras and revitalizes the mind and is believed to drive away depression and loneliness. In the same vein, women who wear yellow sarees tend to be happier. This color saree is an excellent choice for daytime functions and night events alike.
One can go for deeper shades of yellow like mustard and golden power for night time. To add to the glamor, incorporate metallics to the mix. Hues like honey, banana yellow, lemon yellow, champagne yellow, corn, pineapple, butterscotch and butter yellow are perfect for daytime events. One of the brilliant ways to style a saree, especially to elongate the body, is by adding a belt to cinch the waist.
Versatile and Elegant: Black
This all-time favorite color never goes out of style. Contrary to popular belief, black looks equally stunning for both day and night functions. It represents power and elegance. This color saree is a must-have for every wardrobe and never goes out of trend. This one is a go-to color for formal settings and evening soirées.
The black saree works well with various combinations. One can pair it with a gold or silver blouse. To give it a contemporary touch, style the saree with stones like pearls, emeralds, rubies and diamonds. Black saree also goes well with gold jewelry like Jhumkas, Chaandbalis and gold necklaces. This color saree is extremely versatile and is a definite wardrobe staple.
Using Color to Express Yourself with a Saree
With each saree color, one can communicate the mood they’re in, the vibe they want to radiate and if a message they want to convey. Almost every Indian woman in South Asia would have a saree in her closet; it is rooted so deeply in Indian culture.
Even though each color may not be considered and held true for all its socio economic and political meanings, the notion that colors affect our mood is still widely believed. The most recent trend of ‘dopamine dressing’ translates to all clothes, including sarees. Indian ethnic wear can evolve over the years, traditional textiles and ancient craftsmanship can revive, even time-honored silhouettes can be reinvented but the impact of colors on our mood, occasion and belief system largely remains the same.
Whether you’re feeling dramatic, playful, calm or powerful, each feeling has a color and there’s a saree for every color out there!