Designer Sarees – The Changing Trend in Chennai

The months of April-June seem to be the months of weddings what with one friend after another getting married! I don’t think I have ever gone for as many weddings as I have during the past couple of months! The one thing that is surely changing or rather has changed in Chennai is the popularity of silk sarees especially among youngsters.

Guys, you are most welcome to skip this post unless you want to read it for educational purposes like this person here. ๐Ÿ˜›

Gone are the days when every other person came to weddings showing off their silk sarees that had lots of zari. In fact, there is hardly any zari in the sarees worn by most of them these days. The designer sarees, especially the synthetic, crepe, tussar or raw silk designer sarees, are the ones that are in vogue now. With anything from simple thread work to stones, sequins, zardosi or kundan work done, the prices of these sarees range from 500 to 50K+. Of course, the expensive ones (say upwards of 5K) are reserved for the brides and sisters, cousins or other close relatives of the brides/bridegrooms. Oh yeah not even the brides wear ordinary traditional silk sarees with just zari alone for their wedding reception. It’s either designer sarees or ghagras/lehengas with lots of designer work done.

Coming back to the designer sarees worn by the people who come for weddings, the one type of saree that are so common are the plain synthetic sarees with simple or not so grand designer work in golden or silver colour threads done on the border and the pallu alone. Only some have simple dots kind of design done throughout the saree. And it’s mostly only the stones or chamkees that are there along with the thread work. This sort of work on some colours is sometimes a bit too dazzling – over paLa paLa those will be. Every other person seems to be having a saree like this in colours like light blue, light green, pink, lavender, orange, white, black or red. I have got bored of sarees like these.


Photos Source:, &

The other most popular sarees are the raw silk sarees which have borders in contrasting colours. These raw silk sarees priced anywhere between 500-1000 bucks with a particular design pattern printed throughout, with/without stones on each design pattern in the border, are the ones that seem to be popular for the past few years. These don’t interest me either.


Photos Source:

The pure raw silks in dark colours like red, pink, green and blue that are priced around 2K-3K with work done throughout are the ones that seem to have become the current rage, as I observed at a wedding recently.

There are of course, more expensive, grand sarees with intricate work done throughout in synthetic and raw silk sarees. But I don’t find anybody wearing it for wedding receptions.

Now, I too like designer sarees but I don’t prefer either the synthetic ones or the raw silk. One of the main reasons is seeing every other person wearing these. Go to Nalli or Kumaran Silks and see the designer sarees priced around 3K and above. I find these more elegant than others. Some of those sarees priced 5K+ that have a mix of kundan and zari work on them are so beautiful. But these kundan-work sarees are grander than all those above-said popular raw silk or synthetic designer sarees.

A sample kundan work:


Photo Source:

Even though one may like all these grand sarees and buy them, I wonder when they will get a chance to wear it. Imagine you being the only youngster dressed in a grand saree apart from the bride! Or the worst case may be you wearing a saree that’s grander than the bride’s since the most of the brides too don’t wear silk sarees! I am saying this from experience! I made the mistake of wearing a non-designer silk saree with a pallu that has beautiful designs in zari and my saree turned out to be even more grand than the bride’s herself since she was wearing only a synthetic designer saree! ๐Ÿ˜

Talking about the reception sarees/ghagras of the brides, I really don’t see the need for spending a minimum of 10K bucks and getting very grand sarees/ghagras for their wedding only to later keep those locked up in the cupboards! After all, they too wouldn’t want to be the only person dressed up most grandly in some other person’s wedding reception, would they?

But the silk saree seems to be losing its popularity among youngsters only in Chennai. I went to a friendโ€™s wedding at Sivakasi last year. I was the only one wearing a silk designer saree there and another friend of mine was the only one wearing a synthetic designer saree! All others, be it youngsters or middle-aged people, were wearing grand silk sarees, some that had zari a bit too much for my liking.

Is this rage for designer sarees here to stay? Will other places in Tamil Nadu also catch up with Chennai on this rage for designer sarees? Will zari be back in vogue?

P.S.: The sarees whose photos I have put might be grander/expensive than what I have mentioned in the post. I have put those photos here just to give you an idea of the type of sarees that I am writing about.

49 thoughts on “Designer Sarees – The Changing Trend in Chennai

  1. Sami

    yabba ! Chance-e illa ! Abaram !!!

    thalai suthuthu, after reading this post ! Ladies elllam room pottu yosipeengalo !!!

    Now i understand why the chairs have been kept in front of each floor of such shops esp for men ! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But quite educative for us ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Mathangi

    Even though i like designer sarees, somehow the typical kancheevaram saree with traditional zari work still catches my attention. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. vidhya

    Wow sarees ๐Ÿ˜›
    I attended a marriage in madurai last week, its not that they really don’t know about these designer sarees… During Janavasaam/ Reception all were wearing this paLa paLa designer sarees and the next day they were wearing the grand silk sarees ๐Ÿ™‚
    That too my cousin spent 25k for her Jaanvasam saree and 9 k for her Nagavelli saree and for reception designer saree 5k…
    I felt it was too costly!!

  4. Aparna

    rathrilaam thoongaama orkutting panna ipdidhaan aagum ๐Ÿ˜›

    LOL! Great to know that you found it educative ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Same pinch ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh. I still have lots more weddings to attend this year!

    Oh so the rage is spreading everywhere? ๐Ÿ™‚ But I don’t think those are as popular in small towns as they are in the cities.

    25K? :O It is indeed too costly! Anyway most of them seem to spend at least 8-9K for each saree!

  5. R.Saravanan

    Dear Aparna

    Not my detartment.

    Yellam Pengal samacharams

    so you decide for yourself.this blog is multi facet for sure.


  6. puranjoy

    There is a neat little sociological experiment hiding here. What makes Chennai go for synthetic and designer silks, while other areas stick to heavy traditional ones? That the metro will lead a fashion change is no brainer; what usually happens is that other areas catch up real fast. Here, places like Madurai and others deep south have had quite a few years to copy the Chennai fashion, but haven’t done yet.

    1) What’s unique about these places? Why are they not following the usual rule of fashion?
    2) What makes the relatively richer and upscale Chennai population go for low-cost alternatives, where one would think the need to show off would be higher?
    3) Playing the devil’s advocate, maybe Chennai thinks it’s just vanity to go for heavy expensive sarees, and have figured out synthetic sarees are the way to go. Is that theory correct?

    Any ideas?

  7. Aparna

    Now this is interesting. Good comment ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me try to answer some of your questions. Read it if you have patience ๐Ÿ˜‰

    >>1) Whatโ€™s unique about these places? Why are they not following the usual rule of fashion?

    Many people from down south think that if it is a silk saree, then it should have zari. From what my friend from Sivakasi said, they generally donโ€™t buy silk sarees that donโ€™t have zari. If they are buying a saree for some function, only those sarees with lots of zaris are considered appropriate.

    Now itโ€™s not as though people from Chennai donโ€™t buy such sarees. But unlike the people in down south who wear such traditional sarees for all the functions, people in Chennai seem to wear it only for their very close relativesโ€™ functions.

    Everything is done here in the name of fashion. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Besides, go to any shop and see the variety of sarees there. Itโ€™s just mind-boggling! Seeing so many varieties to choose from, one would be tempted to try out different kinds of sarees apart from the traditional ones.

    Also there are more and more exclusive designer sarees shops like Moksha, Manmandir, Rangoli, Gotewalas, Roshanlal, etc. that are coming up in Chennai nowadays. But all those places down south donโ€™t have such shops.

    >>2) What makes the relatively richer and upscale Chennai population go for low-cost alternatives, where one would think the need to show off would be higher?
    >>3) Playing the devilโ€™s advocate, maybe Chennai thinks itโ€™s just vanity to go for heavy expensive sarees, and have figured out synthetic sarees are the way to go. Is that theory correct?

    I donโ€™t think so. People here donโ€™t mind spending money for clothes. Go to any shop in T.Nagar and you will find all the sections there are always crowded! Btw, the kind of synthetic designer sarees that people here commonly wear will surely be in the range of 1K-3K. Add to it the matching accessories that seem to have become compulsory nowadays, the total cost of saree + matching accessories will be at least 4K which will be the cost of a pretty good traditional silk saree.

  8. Vijay Ganesh

    In my relative circle, the young crowd is wearing only designer saree and they end up spending a huge sum !!! As a person who purchases saree for my wife, i dont differentiate between designer saree or silk saree – after all – their cost is high !!!

  9. Vijay Ganesh

    Not like that., that was badly interpreted or sounded !!! I take care of the kid until the first filtering gets over, i do the second filtering – then it continues to 5-6 times. Finally, i end up liking something which is definitely costlier than what she filtered ๐Ÿ™

  10. Vishnu

    designer sarees are here to stay ..
    but the need for variety would drive them to all corners of india.. (i meant the varieties of various designers ๐Ÿ˜› )

    this is what most of the indian fashion designer are whacking they mind on.. to lure the indian buyers into their range of designer wears..

    i’d personally prefer a designer saree for my gf/sister/mother … since most of the time it comes along with the accessories .. and there is no need to spend a lot of time with them seeing if the accessories match with them ..

    its a kinda win-win situation for both the guys and gals.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dont bother about the rest of the junta .. lead the flock the rest will follow for sure..

  11. snehalcreation

    Snehal Creation is a Manufacturer and Exporter of Indian Fashion Ladies Garments, Designer Saree and Kids Lehenga Choli. Like Indian kurtis, Long Tunics, Printed Crepe Kurtis, Lenin Kurtis, Georgette Kurties, Cotton Kurtas, Designer Kurtis, Traditional wear Kurties, Embroidered Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Churidar and Children Wear. We have wonderful collection of Indian kurtis and Long Tuncis. Indian Kurtis are all the way comfortable yet elegant and easy to wear stuff. Indian kurtis are the latest trend in Indian fashion, Some are embellished with gorgeous embroidery work in pleasing designs, they manage to look smart enough to be worn for casual family gatherings, or even for a wedding cermony. Our designs are created keeping in mind the trends fabrics and colors of the season.

  12. Aparna

    >>i end up liking something which is definitely costlier than what she filtered

    Welcome to my blog!

    They don’t come with accesories generally. You should see people shopping for matching accesories for their designer sarees in T.Nagar! Getting accesories for non-designer sarees isn’t any difficult.

  13. rengarajiyer

    Hi Aparna…
    Got to ur blog just by searching dname Aparna which is my would be’s name… ๐Ÿ˜€ ….

    Anyways nice one…Quite educative.. ;)…. Keep ur good work going…

  14. rita


    Do you happen to have the websites for most of the designer saree shops in chennai? Would be great for some office surfing!

  15. sireesha

    I love silk sarees, my husband being British loves them more than I do, he feels silk sarees are the best and can never go wrong. I can vouch for that, b’cos I wear all types of silk sarees to whatever a occassion warrants for and I ‘ve always been looked at in awe by others. But I’m not saying wear silk sarees to b’day/lunch/dinner parties. One just needs to know what to wear and when. Paying 25K is absurd, I went to Kancheepuram for my wedding sarees and bought a beautiful saree for just 6K, and did very light embroidery in it, accessorise with diamond jewellery, that’s icing on the cake.

  16. vineetjain

    Operating from the heart of Jaipur (the Pink City of India), Parineeta Fashions glitters like a jewel in the crown of Saree/Sari Industry. Our collection truly depicts the rich cultural heritage of India. Jaipur is famous for its Rajwada culture and traditional costumes and also, it has created a space in the heart of every tourist.

    Since establishment, we have managed to acquire a large list of regular customers for our distinguished variety of saree/sari collection. We have been at the helm of elegance and fashion. One of the overriding factors that distinguish us from the other outlets is our quality of goods that are our hallmark. The outcome is a terrific combination of variety, fashion, and dependability for our customers.

  17. R Sathyamurthy

    I don’t get into the Saree aspects most of the time. Most of the time only “Sari, Sari” to my wife’s requests ๐Ÿ™‚

    Furthermore, I know for sure that after returning back from the shop within 24 hours my wife was going to make a trek back to the shop to change it for something else she liked but didn’t pick. Most of the time another “sari” from me and some more hit to the available limit on my credit card!


  18. subash

    Dear Sir / Mam,

    We have honor to introduce ourselves as exporters of Embroidered Bridal wear of all range,
    specially Bollywood Celebrities Dresses, Suits, Sarees,Achkan and Sherwanies, Cotton kurties,Pakistani Dresses etc.
    Are you original manufacture of these type of Bridal wear and suits etc than we are so interested to deal with you indeed.
    So, if possible, send your sample pictures by email or CD with prices so that we can go ahead fast as we have retail as well as bulk orders in hand.

    With Best Regards,
    Subash Jain

    Rajshri Designer Sarees
    13,Chinna Naicken Street,Sowcarpet

  19. Kavi

    aha..naanthan vettiya irukkennu nenachen..

    Hi Aparna & Co,

    Well i find this rather useful and has certainly shed some light into my little confused brain about how not to look grander than the bride( as i stumbled upon a very nice 20k + saree although i had no intention of shelling out more than 10k for my brother’s wedding.) yes. i could feel your reaction.. wat to do?..

    hmm..i’m going to sleep on it until i decide not to buy it or grrrrr NOT TO BUY IT..dont mind it..i’m saying that to myself.


  20. Deepika Rao

    Nice article – And well said about the wedding sarees – I got a very grand silk saree for my wedding (not for the day but for the engagement). Love the saree – But I never wore it other than the day of engagement. It is sitting safely tucked away in my cupboard. I like designer sarees.

  21. pauline

    I am from Sri Lanka. In Chennai where can I get white bridal sarees (designer wear). My daughter wants a light saree offwhite with heavy work

  22. Chinpack

    Saree has always been a timeless adornment of Indian Women. The eternal saga associated with this garment rules in every part of India. Possibly there is no other garment that captivates the beauty of women in such an essence of classic demeanor. Indian Sarees Online is an earnest attempt to unveil this very beauty and adorn every woman in an essence of quintessential style and fashion.
    Whether it is a printed material or a heavily embroidered zari work, we have it all in our trousseau. Whether it is a designer collection that you are looking for, or you want to revamp your wardrobe with exquisite bridal collection, Indian Sarees online is the perfect answer to your search.

  23. sahana


    naan homela irunthukitte intha disigner work pannittu irukken, sarees sudis la painting working nu pannittu irukken. ungalukku ethavathu idea iruntha naan ethavathu help panalamunu nenaikaren.


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