Saris declining in popularity
Tamil Nadu In South India
Chennai in Tamil Nadu is home to the famous Kanjeevaram Sarees. These saris are essential to an Indian brides' trousseau.
Here women wear it even when they do their grocery shopping. Saris are the preferred attire here and sari shopping is an important family outing.
Colours combinations, the count of the silk threads, the pattern of the zuree borders, the authenticity of the gold threads -- all have to be checked and re-checked.
Younger girls have for centuries worn what is known as the half sari. In Tamil it is called pavadai thavani, a skirt and half a sari draped over that.
It is very elegant and something that mothers and grandmothers wanted you to wear, especially at weddings.
But the thavani is no longer popular, not even the pattu pavadai or the silk long skirt.
A sure indicator is that new malls coming up all across Tamil Nadu no longer display saris or thavanis on their mannequins.
An entire generation of teenagers has taken to western and north Indian attire.In college campuses, jeans and salwar kameez can be seen everywhere.
"I am a professional so I have to make sure that I am in a professional way, so I don't think that thavanis are more into a uniform kind of thing...I would have worn thavani but nowadays the trend has mostly changed into modern dresses like shirts, pants, jeans, that sort of thing," one woman said.
Day by day the sari is becoming a rare commodity.
But go to a wedding or a music concert, rarely will you see women wearing any other outfit. Saris are now being reserved for special occasions.
The pattu pavadai, half sari can't be seen here.
That outfit is really gone. It is hot and humid all-most all year around in Tamil Nadu.
Wearing silk saris or long gowns is not really comfortable and even in tradition bound societies like in Tamil Nadu, women want comfort more than convention.
Saris have had to share the limelight with pant suits and salwar kameez's.