Celebrating Strong Women Across Ages

Celebrating Strong Women Across Ages

February 22, 2019

Saree continues to be one of the first choices when it comes to power dressing. From historical icons to our current politicians, saree rules the runway, Indian streets, and political corridors.

On this women’s day, Let’s take a look at some famous women icons of India and how they draped the nine-yard wonder:

 Rani Lakshmi Bai:

A warrior, a mother and the queen of Maratha-ruled state of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi Bai had too many roles to play. She wore her sarees draped in the Kashta style Maharashtrian saree, along with a full-sleeved blouse. This style of draping takes inspiration from male attire dhoti, making it easy for the Queen to ride her horse without having to worry about her attire.

Indira Gandhi:

Indira Gandhi

The only female Prime Minister of India was known for wearing hand woven, crisp cotton sarees in soft hues with simple Indian patterns. Though for international visits and special occasions, she did wear silk sarees in muted colours. Her saree would be nicely pleated. Her pallu would be casually on her left shoulder and sometimes over her head. Gandhi’s love for Kanchipuram silk saree is no secret. Besides her saree, it was her high-back blouses in solids that gave her trademark look. On foreign tours, she would pair her sarees with trench coats and when in India, she would pair it with a shawl.



Though cape lehengas are trendy today, it was the AIADMK leader and three-time Tamil Nadu chief minister who was the pioneer of capes. She wore matching capes with all her sarees. She always draped her saree over her shoulders. She wore sarees in hues of green, blue, purple, and maroon. Green was her first choice of colour as she was seen wearing green sarees on many occasions.

Tessy Thomas:

 Tessy Thomas

Better known as the missile women of India, Tessy Thomas, Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation, is known for wearing cotton silk and silk sarees with matching blouses. She sports a small maroon bindi, giving her an elegant and yet traditional look.

Nirmala Sitharaman:

Nirmala Sitharaman:

The country’s defence minister is quite often spotted in sarees from different parts of the country. By her own admission silk and cotton sarees are her favourite.  Be it Sambalpuri saris, Gadwal sarees, block prints or South silk sarees, the minister’s understated and elegant saree style never fails to make an impact.  For a no-frills look, her pallu is always neatly pleated. 

Sarla Thakral:

Sarla Thakral

When Sarla Thakral entered into the cockpit of an aircraft, making history as India’s first woman pilot she did so in a saree instead of choosing Western formals. She was usually spotted in handwoven cotton sarees, draped casually.

Lata Mangeshkar:

 Lata Mangeshkar

The Nightingale of India and the Bharat Ratna recipient Lata Mangeshkar has been seen in sarees from a very young age. Since the very beginning, her love for white saree is well-known. She often wears white cotton sarees with simple borders. On occasions, you can spot her wearing off white or white silk sarees with either green or red or maroon border with her pallu always on her shoulder.

Sushma Swaraj:

 Sushma Swaraj

External minister Sushma Swaraj wears cotton and silk sarees with a nicely pleated pallu with her trademark large bindis.  Unlike other politicians, Sushma Swaraj wears vibrant colours like orange, bright green, yellow, purple, and blue with exquisite zari lining border. During the winter, she pairs her saree with her trademark handwoven half jackets. Her pallu is always pleated and pinned to her left shoulder.

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