The blouse is a short upper garment that was traditionally meant to cover the shoulders, chest and under-bust of women while wearing a saree. The blouse is essential to most saree drapes as it is not only a necessary upper garment, it also have several functional uses such as supporting the pallu of the saree.
The material of a blouse of a saree largely depends on the fabric of the saree itself. Cotton blouses are often used for casual wear sarees and semi-formal wear sarees while those in silk are worn with traditional, occasion-wear sarees.
Earlier, the blouse used to be a simple garment, where its overarching purpose was to make the saree look grand and beautiful. Nowadays, there have been so many innovations in this garment, which it has become a statement of style and high-street fashion in its own right. Alterations in the traditional version of the blouse include modifying the cut of the neck or the back of the blouse, adding embellishments and embroideries, mixing and matching the fabrics of the blouses with that of the saree as well as altering the style, length and fit of the sleeves.
Depending on the occasion, the blouse styles can have a simple neckline or a number of other styles such as sweetheart neck, boat neck, backless, low-back, halter neck and more. The afore mentioned styles are inspired largely by Bollywood fashion and are apt for parties and other formal get together. The fabric of the blouse too depends on the occasion as well as the fabric of the saree itself. While silk sarees demand silk blouses, lighter fabrics like chiffon and georgette are paired with brocade fabrics. The embellishments on the blouse can be in the form of zari work, colorful threads, prints, stone work, sequin work and other modern forms. Designer blouses have recently become very popular among the younger demographic.