It was a common “college” dress when I was a kid. Girls mostly wore the langa-blouse till their tenth, but college demanded the half-sari. My eldest sister went straight from long skirts to the sari, but I remember my cousins donning this attire quite frequently. I guess it was good practice for the big one — when they graduated to a sari, it was easy.
I wore a beautiful purple silk half-sari for my sister’s wedding. I remember feeling oh so grown up! During my engineering days, there was one girl who wore half-saris all the time. She would wear it so elegantly, the pleats of her dhavani all neatly aligned and pinned up. Whenever I think of this dress, she immediately comes to mind.
Of course, now this South Indian dress has been almost completely replaced by the salwar-kameez. One does not see girls wearing this at all. Maybe Sonam et al. will change that, and make it a fashion statement whose time has come!