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Different Ways to Drape a Saree

Different Ways to Drape a Sari

Before you Start

Two essential parts of attire, that go along with the Saree, need to be chosen carefully to compliment the Saree. These are:

A petticoat which is a waist-to-floor garment, tied tightly at the waist by a drawstring. The petticoat color should match the base sari color as closely as possible. No part of the petticoat, of course, is visible outside the Saree, after having worn it.

A blouse which needs to be tight-fitting and whose color needs to be chosen keeping the look of the saree in mind, can be short sleeved or sleeveless, with a variety of necklines. The blouse ends just below the bust.

Wearing a Sari the Traditional Way

* Step 1. Around your body. Starting at the navel, tuck the plain end of the saree into the petticoat and continue tucking till you take a complete turn from right to left. Adjust the lower end of the saree to the height required. Ideally wear your footwear so that you drape the saree to the right length.

* Step 2. Measuring the pallu. Hold the top edge of the saree where the pallu is and bring it around your hips to the front and over your left shoulder, thus measuring the length of the pallav or pallu. The pallav should hang down the back to the knee. You may pin your pallu to your sari blouse provisionally.

* Step 3. Making pleats. Create pleats with the saree. Make about 7 to 10 pleats and hold them up together so that they fall straight and even. Tuck the pleats into the waist petticoat slightly to the left of the navel, taking care to see that the pleats are turned towards the left.

* Step 4. The pallu. The remaining portion of the saree must be turned once around the body and then draped over the left shoulder. Arrange the pleats on this part of the saree and then pin them up on the left shoulder to prevent the pallu from falling off.

This is the most common method to wear a saree. With matching bindi and jewellery you feel like a complete Indian woman.

Different Ways of Wearing a Sari

Different regions of India have their own distinct forms of draping a Saree. Some of these are outlined below:

Gujarati way: This version of draping, ccommonly known as the seedha pallu way, is also found in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. Instead of opening to the left, the pleats are tucked so that they open to the right. Then, the pallu is taken to the back and brought over the right shoulder. It is then spread across the chest, and the left edge is tucked in the petticoat at the back.

Maharashtra method: Instead of the usual five-and-a-half meters, the sari in this version measures eight meters. One portion of the sari is drawn up between the legs and tucked in behind at the waist, while another portion is draped as a pallu over the bosom. Thus it forms a kind of divided sari, allowing greater freedom of movement.

Tamilian version: Like the Maharashtra version, the sare in this version, too, measures eight meters. After wrapping around the waist, the pleats are positioned along the left leg. The rest of the sari is taken over the left shoulder, wrapped once again round the waist and tucked on the left side.

Bengali style: The saree is worn pleatless; it is wrapped around the waist, brought back to the right side and the pallu is thrown over the left shoulder. The pallu is then brought up under the right arm and once again cast over the left shoulder.

These innovative and traditional ways of wearing a saree should give you some fresh new ideas. Have a look and try them out. I wouldn't recommend all the styles for everyone, but see which ones can work for you. Also, pick a style depending on the texture of your saree, the style of your blouse and the occasion.

Here are some styles that shouldn't need a 'how-to' guide.

I would recommend a belt or belly chain or some kind of ornament for the waist so as to hold the pleats in place. Also, keep the pleats in the pallu quite small in order to give it a more feminine feel.

Check out the pleats!

Basic Gujarati style.

This style doesn't go well with the blouse. However, this style will go well with a spaghetti strap or strapless saree blouse. It might even work quite well with short sleeves, as long as the neck is cut wide and square.

I love the way the pallu is tucked underneath the strap of the blouse.

This style only works because there's a belly chain to hold everything in place. You can try pinning, but the effect is much nicer with a bejeweled waist.

Another style that employs an ornament (in this case a broach at the hip) to hold the pallu in place.

The side pleats really give this look a unique and trendy feel.

Creative use of a floral pin really makes this easy to create look stand out.

Nice way to show off the saree blouse.

It's simple, yet very effective.

I don't think this style of wearing a saree will really work without a belt/belly chain.

This style doesn't really suit the saree, but would look really nice with a two-tone chiffon or georgette saree.

I love this look. It's sleek, it's simple and very, very sexy!

A combination of a couple of different styles.

Very similar to another one above, but with the pallu inverted and tucked in at the waist.

Try these out, create your own style of wrapping or just perfect the style you prefer. Just remember to wear your saree neatly, custom tailor/alter your blouse and be confident in what you're wearing.


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Basic Steps of Saree Wearing

HOW TO WEAR A SAREE : Step 1 Start with the Inner Edge(least patterned plain end) of the Saree, with the Fall (lined border) falling along the inside of the bottom edge. Tuck the Inner Edge into the waistband of the Petticoat slightly to the right side, with the rest of the saree wrapping round to the left. The amount you tuck in depends on how tall or short you are or how long you want to wear the saree. Step 2 Measure the length of the Pallu (the fanciest patterned end of the saree that falls on the outside so that the design can be seen). This will be on the other end of the Saree from the end you have just tucked in. Take this measured Pallu Length (approx. 1 metre) and take it behind you from your left and forward again from your right. Step 3 Take the Pallu that you have just brought forward from your right, and fling it over your left shoulder for the time being, so it is out of the way. This is done to see how much of the Saree should be pleat