Fashion & Beauty

Real Women Take Choli To The Next Level!

By TGB Desk / On November 21st, 2016

This is definitely an exciting time to be a woman in India. They are taking huge strides towards gender equality and acting as catalysts in achieving social change. With the change in the attitudes and lifestyles, women’s fashion too underwent a change. Indian women have embraced western wear with open arms and the six yard wonder lost a bit of sheen. But of late the saree has made a comeback, and what’s more women are willing to experiment with new styles & drapes. This has sparked renewed interest and re-invention of the quintessential choli. From crop top to a button-down shirt and bell sleeves to halter necks, the humble choli takes many different avatars these days!

We wanted to know how real women style their sarees and came across this amazing platform called Choliholic. It’s a facebook group for choli enthusiasts. And there, we found some super stylish women who are elevating fashion quotient to another level with chic cholis and lovely sarees. We have put together a list of such fashionistas who can give professional models a run for their money. And they have come forward to share their style secrets with you. All set to take down notes?? Yes?? Go on…
Ammisha T Shah
“It’s a beautiful thing when career and passion come together!”

Occupation: Image Consultant and Stylist
Hobbies: I love going to gym, running, practicing Iyengar Yoga and dancing. I de-stress myself by working out.
Style Mantra: My style mantra is “Comfort”. One has to be comfortable in whatever he / she wears, only then one will be able to carry that outfit with grace, style and confidence.
Fashion Inspiration: I get inspired by things and people around me. For me fashion is all about attitude.
Style Tips: A unique top / blouse and an interesting style of drape can make a very simple saree look amazing. So it’s all about the selection of a choli and choice of the drape!


Kamala Iyer
“As long as you enjoy the style, just have fun with the drape.”

Occupation: Marketing professional
Hobbies: I love designing clothes & accessories for self / friends. Movie, food & fashion blogger and a critic on social media. Avid listener of Hindi film music.
Style Mantra: Look & feel good; Comfort & Style; Elegance & Grace; Timeless appeal
Fashion Inspiration: There is no one person. I like to watch and learn from many people. My tastes with fashion change so am constantly learning.
Style Tips: Experiment with choli styles. Try a tee, a lycra top, a buttoned shirt, a peplum top or a kurta with saree. Try different designs in a choli. Get bold with back patterns and necklines. Mix and match, play around with cholis.
With sarees try different draping styles. Wear it with a belt, a pocket or a jacket.
Kasturi Guha
‘Style should be all about you…as they say “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”

Occupation: Founder owner of Ethnikyarn (a fashion brand that combines contemporary fashion with age-old skills and traditions)
Hobbies: Graphic designing, sketching, meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, photography, bird watching, cooking, reading and draping a saree in different styles.
Style Mantra: 3S of Style – 1. Story Telling…It showcases who you are and what you love. 2. Simplicity 3. Brings your-Self out
Fashion Inspiration: I get inspired by all women. But if you ask me to name one then it would be Mrs. Indira Gandhi. She has been a huge inspiration throughout my life. I think the elegance with which she carried herself wearing a saree made her a style icon among people of that era, and continues to do so. From simple cotton and khadi sarees to silks there was something remarkable about her style that has always been in vogue, timeless and uber classy…till today.
Style Tips: For that chic look blend modern and traditional….crop top with a khadi saree, a gamcha blouse with a linen or shibori jacket with a silk saree. Whichever style you choose, stick to handlooms. Don’t support lifeless textiles. Don’t drown your tradition, the craft and your people in waves of modernity.

Meghna Kohli Vachher
“I can survive without food for a few days but not without my daily dose of fashion and style!”

Occupation: Creative writer for an online magazine, Polka café.
Hobbies: When I am not nurturing my passion (writing) which is very rare these days, I prefer nurturing my plants. Yes, I am an ardent gardener. I also love reading and exploring new places.
Style Mantra: I don’t follow trends blindly though I am a keen observant of the trends in the field of fashion.
Fashion Inspiration: There are many in fact. The Late Maharani Gayatri Devi for her “Pearls and Chiffons” look, Kirron Kher for her Kanjeevarams and bold statement jewelry, Shabana Azmi and Sushma Swaraj for their handlooms, Queen Rania of Jordan and Kate Middleton for their regal styles and Sonam Kapoor for her innate style & her ability to carry anything with panache. Finally, my mom! Yes, whatever style quotient I have is because of observing and admiring her all my life!
Style Tips: Just be yourself and everything will automatically fall in place. I also advise the younger generation to not believe in hoarding stuff, buy one or two less but collect exclusive pieces which you would never regret picking up in your entire life and can be passed on as heirloom too.


Neelima V Kamrah
“There is something about the saree that lends lady-like grace and maturity to the wearer!”


Occupation: Registrar of KIIT Group Of Colleges, Gurgaon
Hobbies: I love reading and I like keeping up-to-date with professional development
Style Mantra: My style mantra is don’t follow others blindly. You should be comfortable in what you wear.
Fashion Inspiration: Late Maharani Gayatri Devi was my fashion icon and my all time favorite. And now it’s Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.
Style Tips: Your clothes should be an extension of your personality and not the opposite. To make your saree interesting choose a choli that’s eye-catching and not over powering.
Nandita Pilania
“Wear sarees often!! The more you wear them, the more they grow on you and then you find/evolve your own style.”
Occupation: Marketing and communications head for a consulting firm
Hobbies:I love to travel. I enjoy the planning phase of the travel as much as the actual travel! I love reading as well.
Style Mantra: Comfort is paramount. I like styles that are classic and can stand the test of time.
Fashion Inspiration:I don’t have a particular style icon as such. I get inspired by real life women who carry themselves elegantly in any outfit and add their own touch to it.
Style Tips: Mix and match cholis. Fit of the blouse is important. Crop tops can replace traditional blouses very well.
Neha Sharma
“Style can’t be copied! Either it’s there or not!! This is something one is born with !!!”
Occupation: Home maker
Hobbies: Coming from a textile background (used to work as a merchandiser) I’ve a keen interest in anything related to garments and the whole idea of dressing up ! My hobby includes styling that I’ve been doing for my friends and family but aspire to take it up full time .
Style Mantra: My idea of fashion is vintage with a right mix of modern and contemporary.
Fashion Inspiration: I derive inspiration from everyday life, the culture, architecture..anything that catches my fancy. As I said above, love everything vintage.
Style Tips: I just can’t stand when women drape their sarees sloppily in the name of being quirky . Sari is a beautiful piece of unstitched garment that looks good as is . Blouses for me are the best accessories one can never go wrong with. I pay a lot of attention to the fit and design of a blouse. One can experiment with the neckline and cuts to make the look interesting.
Nirmoyee Brahma Bora
“I am a designer by profession and a homemaker at heart!”
Occupation: Fashion designer and a homemaker
Hobbies: I love cooking and love exploring my creative self, so I try my hands at stitching, painting, embroidery and jewelry making. Basically love to do anything and everything related to designing.
Style Mantra: Fashion for me is being your own self! I love trying different cholis with my sarees and Chadar mekhalas (Assamese traditional attire) . I usually do not prefer matching jewelry with my attires, one or two statement earrings or bangles are all what I need.
Fashion Inspiration: I get my inspiration from women on streets to celebrities. From a labourer wearing a beautiful handloom saree to a celeb wearing a dazzling saree, everyone who dresses up in a unique way is my fashion icon. And, of course, my mom! Have grown up watching her wear beautiful sarees hand woven by herself!
Style Tips: Be open to different options available – crop tops, kurtis, t-shirts, peter pan collars, shirt collars and many more. Explore and experiment until you come to know what your style is. Play with colors, cuts, embellishments and patterns. For instance, I am someone who enjoys the freedom that comes along with less revealing clothes and so I choose my styles accordingly. So know what you are comfortable with and go for it. You will love it!
Swati Mukund
“The way a particular attire or garment looks on a particular person, is entirely up to the way they have accepted it and made it their own.”
Occupation: High school Teacher; A trained Carnatic classical musician who has sung for couple of Hindi films, Gujrati theatre, Hindi serials and done voice overs.
Hobbies: Reading, travelling, running and actively involved with Pinkathon, India’s biggest marathon for women.
Style Mantra: It has always been ” wear what you like and be comfortable in that”
Fashion Inspiration:My fashion inspiration has always been real people. My mum, my grandmother, my teachers, women on the street, women I’ve come across during travel and so on.
Style Tips: When it comes to saree, the more often you wear it, the more comfortable you become, and you start carrying it off beautifully. Cholis are a very interesting part of the entire ensemble. They carry the power to change your complete look. Choose a blouse that offsets the saree, it’s not always necessary to match them perfectly. You can experiment the way you like. I hardly ever wear the blouse that comes with the saree!
Priya Krish
“I love the idea of mix & match and the magic it creates!”
Occupation:Business operations manager working for Cisco
Hobbies: Dancing and cleaning 🙂
Style Mantra: Dress for the occasion and always have confidence in your choices.
Fashion Inspiration: My mom! She is a shopaholic for good fashion from anywhere and everywhere.
Style Tips: I love the trend that is now in vogue, of mix and match blouses…again, that is something that I have grown up seeing my mom wear 😉 Shirt type blouses with buttons is something I would love to see more of 🙂
Sreerekha Kumar
“Sarees never fail you!!!”
Occupation: A homemaker
Hobbies: I Occasionally model for sarees
Style Mantra: My style mantra, is trendy and fashion is enjoyable if it discomforts you!
Fashion Inspiration: My inspiration for fashion is my entire life, the cultures and traditions I grew up with and most importantly my family and friends who never stopped me from doing what i want to!
Style Tips: Don’t be afraid..when it comes to saree and blouse there’s no perfect all boils down to the confidence with which you carry it with!
Deepthi Ramakrishna
“Make a fashion statement with your confidence!!”
Occupation: A homemaker (Mother of three wonderful kids)
Hobbies: Dancing! Learning Bharatnatyam
Style Mantra: Confidence!! Just carry yourself with confidence and be comfortable in what you wear whether it’s in fashion or not.
Fashion Inspiration: I get inspired by a lot of people I meet in my daily life! From the youngest to the oldest!! Each one has their own kind of fashion sense. The effort of the younger lot to look cool to the effort of the older lot to look elegant and it all!!!
Style Tips: Saree is an interesting attire!! I have tried the high necked and funky cholis but my personal favourite is cholis with deep back patterns!! I love contrasting sarees and blouses!! And not to forget the heavy embroidery on the blouses!!
Radhika V Prabhu
“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades” – Audrey Hepburn
Occupation: A happy homemaker
Hobbies: Cooking and Designing
Style Mantra: My style mantra is “Being simple and elegant”
Fashion Inspiration: My sister Sujata! She is the one who advises me on all fashion related issues and designs my wardrobe.
Style Tips: Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable irrespective of fashion trends!
We want to thank each of these lovely ladies for not just sharing their pictures but for letting us into their closet and revealing their wardrobe secrets – Thank you!
So many beautiful patterns, styles, and combinations, right? Take a cue from these gorgeous ladies and get some classic cholis made that would suit your tastes and personality!
Have a wonderful week ahead!
Stay Happy!!

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