OUR STORY

“Let’s wear saaris to the Dean’s graduation dinner”, said my friend Umaima to me excitedly. Saaris on farewell parties were long established but saaris on other events were not so much a custom. We pitched the idea to our friends Shafaq and Fatima; both of them loved the idea and agreed exuberantly.

Now the real challenge - where do I find party wear affordable saaris?

Saaris at this time, in early 2019, costed a leg and an arm. I remember going myself to a few renowned shops in Lahore where the rates started from PKR 20,000/- for simply an unstitched fabric (talk about burning a whole in my wallet). Making such an expense was not something I could afford, especially not twice - once for the farewell and next for the grad dinner! Regardless, the will to wear saaris was as strong as ever.

Wherever I searched, I found saaris that were either too formal, or too pricey. Instagram & Facebook showed lovely designs but all from retailers either abroad or beyond our budget. I remember I even spoke to a retailer internationally who promised timely shipment if we could put a sizeable order for them. I gathered a bunch of friends and selected a few designs but the anxiety with custom processes discouraged me to follow through. But you see? Such was my desperation for a casual-semi-formal saari.

The concept of affordable saaris, in 2019 was novel, and definitely not one that existed online. I had searched every key word, every page, every location but to no luck. During this hunt, I found myself intrigued by the social frameworks that surrounded saaris as well, something almost inevitable given my training in Sociology, Anthropology and History. My searches found that there was an active curtail on saaris during the Zia regime, where the shalwar kameez was given precedence over the saari. The former was nationalised, where the latter was marginalised. I dug deeper and found that the saari was banned in many social spheres - on screen, in theatre, on official news broadcasts. It was perplexing, even heart wrenching, for a dress that had been part of our heritage since centuries to have received such criticism and dare I say, hate. The effects lingered onto day, as I clearly could not find many saaris - and none affordable - in the market.

With the grad dinner date approaching steadily, and these questions in front of me, I was fueled further. In this haste, I found myself working with vendors who offered textiles that resonated with the style I had in mind, and within my budget! Hallelujah! I wore my saari to the event and it was all praise. My friends, professors, families of friends all loved it. A few friends also wanted similars for themselves, to which I agreed. More saaris = more happiness, so why not!

As the saaris got more love, my uncle suggested I post it on Facebook to see if there was a commercial demand. It sounded a bit crazy to me. I had never been into retail, let alone that for clothes but saaris were a different love affair altogether. I took a leap of faith and posted on Facebook. The next morning, I woke up to my inbox overflowing.

It was amidst this chaos and excitement, that The Saari Girl was born.

Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday
January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Not enough items available. Only [max] left.
Add to WishlistBrowse WishlistRemove Wishlist
Shopping cart

Your cart is empty.

Return To Shop

Add Order Note Edit Order Note
Estimate Shipping
Add A Coupon

Estimate Shipping

Add A Coupon

Coupon code will work on checkout page