Priyanka Chopra, our very own desi girl and a proud creative export to the West, has done it again. The diva was back in the news for her recent photoshoot with an international magazine. What caught everyone’s attention was her saree style, carried with much poise and finesse, though without a blouse. The pictures went viral in no time and received both flak and love.

As for the flak bit, it gave another tool to the online preachers who were up in the arms defending the ‘sanskaar’ and a ‘culture extinction’ that might just be an outcome of such a shoot. What really surprised us was the very fact that many of these harbingers never realised that blouses were never a part of our ‘culture’ to begin with and to brush up one's memory of the same, here’s some history for the cultural aficionado in you.

Right from the sculptures dating back to 300 BC, from the times of Maurya and Sunga, to the Gupta period from 335 to 455 AD, women and men wore fabric or rather pieces of fabric on the lower part of their body, while the upper part or the breast area had very little to cover up. 

However, with the onset of the Mughal Empire in 1526, certain visible changes came to the fore, including how women dressed themselves up. Even then the concept of our ‘now famous’ Indian blouse seemed too far. Noticeably, in Bengal, most women never wore a blouse. They opted for a more bare-breasted saree during the Victorian era and many continue to do the same even now.

Alright, so after this gyaan on Indian history and the backstory of blouse, the anxious you should know that we have Britishers to thank for this trendy piece of cloth in our wardrobe. Hence, we fail to understand as to why the trollers got so hurt with PeeCee’s photoshoot, going as far as calling it a ‘sadly mutilated version of a saree’. Wonder what happened to the same lot when Bollywood and some of the biggest creative geniuses on this side of the globe decided to present their leading women in a saree sans the blouse. Don’t trust us? Right from the showman Raj Kapoor to the magnificent story-teller Yash Chopra, leading filmmakers made their heroines flaunt the blouse-less style in the classiest manner possible.

Aishwarya Rai

ways to wear blouseless saree aishwarya rai

Aishwarya Rai graced the blouse-less saree look in her much-revered character of Binodini in the movie Chokher Bali.

Zeenat Aman

ways to wear blouseless saree zeenat

Zeenat Aman’s seductress look way back in 1978 when she sang the famous lines 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' without putting on the blouse.

Preity Zinta

ways to wear blouseless saree preity zinta

It was in 2004, when the marvelous Yash Chopra gave us one of the most outstanding movies of his career, where Preity Zinta draped her saree, sans her blouse, in the song ‘Janam dekh lo’.

Regional Movies 

ways to wear blouseless saree regional movies

Moreover, you just can’t blame our dear Bollywood for being the trendsetter of the same on celluloid. Some of the most impactful regional movies showcased their actresses donning the no-blouse look.

Well, haters gonna hate but we simply loved how Priyanka Chopra owned every bit of that cover with not just her sheer sex appeal but an unmatched bareback elegance. For those of you who can’t agree more and want to flaunt your indigenous style at the next social event, we have got you covered (pun intended).

Scroll down for some of the most exquisite saree styling ideas without your dear blouse.

Coorgi Style

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#Repost @myzarispritzer with @get_repost ・・・ I’m happiest in a #nivi drape as it’s most familiar but have been gearing up to take up challenge of #cocktailrani #socialsaree as I think it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and boy did I in this Greek toga style of #coorg. This is a formal drape worn by upper class Coorgi women ... sassy with a #cosmopolitan tagging @seemaskt cos I admire her style and @shonati who never fails to impress and @sareesandstories without whose enthusiasm I would not have ventured here. Perfect for that #cocktailrani party don’t you think ? #sari photo credit 📷 @rohanojw #sareeswag #sareeoftheday #mysareestory #100sareepact #beyondthepact #womeninmedicine #indianwoman #igmers #sareesofinsta #cocktails #colourscheme #cocktailcolours #mixology #sareeology #sariology #sareecocktails #sareefoodie #sarinotsorry #shorthairstyle #myzarispritzer #handloom #doctorsofinstagram #sareelove

A post shared by Red Earth / 1100 Walks ( onJul 4, 2018 at 12:31am PDT

Traditionally, this style has pleats at the back. The end of the saree is brought below the left shoulder, and secured over the right shoulder in a firm knot called ‘molakattu’. Are you taking down notes?


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Here is to "chunky arms"... #Repost @msppj (@get_repost) ・・・ I knew I was gonna wear this red for #Sashti but just yesterday, a challenge was made by, a person I've admired from afar via his IG. It was to wear the sari sans a blouse or petticoat just like the way it was worn before the Colonialism of India. This drape isn't an innovative one but just to be able to do it was very liberating! (Especially considering I am very used to hiding what I think are my flaws very well with clothes. Hello, chunky arms! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼) #HappyDussehra! #Navratri #FestiveFeels #ThePowerOfDrapesAndTucks #NoSafetyPins . . . . . . . . . . . #IndianBlogger #IndianFashionBlogger #DallasBlogger #DallasFashionBlogger #DallasBloggers #MsPPJ #ADesiInDallas #IGersIndia #IGersDallas #DallasStyle #DallasFashion #MadeInIndia #MsPPJAndASari #SariNotSorry #SareeNotSorry #IWearHandloom #Saristyle #SariLove #IndianHandloom #NavratriColors

A post shared by Red Earth / 1100 Walks ( onSep 26, 2017 at 1:18pm PDT

Madisaru plays an important role in Tamil Nadu’s culture. In this saree-draping style, the lower half is worn like a loincloth while the upper half is pleated like a normal saree.

Halakki Vokkaliga

It’s a traditional attire worn by women in Karnataka. The saree is first tied around the neck and then wrapped around under the shoulders, making blouse and petticoat completely unnecessary. Pair it with a necklace and some bangles and you’re all set to head out.

Himalayan Style

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Follow 👉 @menon.amritha #saree #withoutblouse #hot #deshi #photoshoot

A post shared by Photography (@deshi_photoshoot) onFeb 16, 2019 at 12:04pm PST

Wear a saree like you normally do and take the end of the saree and wrap it around your neck, covering your back.

Don't Miss: Take Cues From Karisma Kapoor And Amp Your Ethnic Wear Collection

Sarong Style 

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#Repost @nikaytaa with @get_repost ・・・ In my travels in the Himalayas, I've decided to do something new everyday; that could be going for a solo hike in the forest, trying a new dish, talking to strange neighbours at restaurants, and as in this photo's case, creating a new drape! I wanted to wear something gorgeous and outrageous for a dinner date with myself 🤗😍 My friends @arunajosyula @pleatsnpallu have inspired me with their recent drapes; some paired with belts. So I plunged into creativity and came up with this halter dress! I paired it with a belt made in Nepal and voila! I was ready for the date 😍 Totally loved the evening that was spent watching the rains in solitude ⛈️ This is the same Sari as in my earlier posts. Tagging my friends @esha.sapra @pragnyawakhlu and @jaya_kowley for 's #socialsaree #cocktailrani saree challenge 😍💓

A post shared by Red Earth / 1100 Walks ( onJun 15, 2018 at 4:55am PDT

It is a stylish way to glam up your look at a cocktail party. Just wrap a saree around the shoulder, hold the end of the saree drape and twist it around your neck and tuck it in a belt.