It’s easy to negate the comfort of a pure handloom cotton sari unless you’ve worn one on a sweltering summer day. A handloom cotton sari unlike the more formal cousins never feels heavy for the wearer, is easy to drape and ensures a sophisticated beautiful look. As we approach torrid summer months, we suggest you skip your go-to suits and kurtas for a more comfortable and indigenous style.

Whether it’s work or work from home, a simple 50-people wedding ceremony or a family gathering, a handloom cotton sari always stands out in a crowd of jeans and dresses. If you look around you’ll see a host of Indian sari influencers and Bollywood celebrities wearing this style with élan and even running errands in them. With sustainability and shop local being the buzzwords of fashion, these cotton saris are the perfect way to promote Indian craftsmen and craft. So if you’re in the mood to slip into this desi classic, we have scoured the innerwebs for handloom cotton sari styles that are a breath of fresh air and easy on the pocket. 

EcoSaree Club

The simplicity of a handloom cotton sari is what entices us most to it. This hand woven blue Hamsasyam sari from EcoSaree Club reminds us of the summer sky and the breezy looks to follow.

Rs 3,800 

Image: EcoSaree Club 

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A depository for Indian art and craft, Tjori is an excellent place to shop for handloom garments that are designed by heritage craftsmen and made with natural materials. The Kota Doria Sari in off-white will draw alot of sartorial attention with its contrasting block printed flowers while the kota cotton fabric promises to keep you cool this summer.

Price: Rs 2,499

Image: Tjori

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Label Earthen

Inspired by the sweet smelling Indian flower, the Rajnigandha sari is made from handwoven Mangalagiri cotton with delicate floral embroidery, golden zari and scalloped edges. This ivory coloured sari with a high-neck, full-sleeve blouse creates a retro aesthetic.

Price: Rs 24,900

Image: Label Earthen 

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We love an outfit with a sense of humour, and this playful sari from Suta is exactly that. Named ‘Ye Dosti Hum Nahi Chodenge’ after Sholay’s famous song starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, it consists of artworks of the scene by Amrita and replicated onto the sari by Suta’s women artisans.

Price: Rs 3,500

Image: Suta  

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Looking for a silver lining for the months ahead, well, we found ours in this grey cotton sari with silver zari from Merakus. Pair it with a boxy blouse with thick stripes to create some visual contrast in this simple yet elegant style. 

Price: Rs 4,490

Image: Merakus 

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Ek Dori

Sorbet colours and summers are a match made in heaven. Ek Dori’s orange sorbet scalloped sari shines bright like the sun but comes with the added flavour of an all-over botanical hand print with embroidered bits. Crafted in the softest cotton, this piece drapes like a dream.  

Price: Rs 3,850

Image: Ek Dori   

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Fabindia’s new collection, Endless Summer is a treasure trove of handloom cotton garments with vivid and pastel tones, blick prints, ikat weaves and engineered stripes. Our pick from this breezy collection is this woven Ikat sari with a thin stripe palla and traditional black and red combination. 

Price: Rs 14,990

Image: Fabindia

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Kankatala Sarees

The Ponduru Handspun Cotton Saree from Kankatala stands out with it’s contrast zari temple pink border and self kaddi zari pallu with tassels.  

Price: Rs 11,000

Image: Kankatala Sarees 

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Akshita Nahar Jain
Sr Associate Editor
Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and shows with more style than script, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.