Saree has been the traditional wear for almost all women of India from centuries. Saree is one garment that is of one size and fits everybody. It is a long fabric of about 5 meters with defined borders and patterns which can be worn on all occasions including weddings.
A saree is just a long rectangular piece of cloth that is worn by women in the Indian Subcontinent. There is no age limit, anybody can wear. It is six-yard long cloth and can be draped in numerous different styles. Different continents wear different styles of draping a saree. There are many different styles to wear a saree like to wrap around the waist, with the loose end of the drape to be worn over the shoulder, baring the midriff. The best things about saree’s is that it’s a one size fits all. They don’t have an ageless charm that it fits any size in any occasion like a cocktail party or wedding.
[ Hindi version ]
Traditional saree draping varies from region to region. Some of the saree draping styles are lehenga, butterfly, or mermaid styles which are the latest trends. Anyone with a little creativity can come up with innovative ways to drape a saree.
Lehenga saree draping style
It is a modern style that combines two elegant Indian costumes of the saree and the lehenga. Saree is draped to look like a lehenga with the help of pleats. The ulta pallu is usually used in this style. There are pre-stitched lehenga sarees are also available. It is well suited for celebratory occasions.
Steps to drape a saree in lehenga style
- Drape the saree from the center back; tuck in the non-pallu end of your saree at the waist. Bring it forward through your right side. Stop it at the right hip.
- Make a single pleat and tuck it in. Make more pleats and tuck them in till you reach the left hip. These pleats will give make the saree look like a lehenga skirt.
- From the left hip, tuck in the top border of the saree till the center back, you started the drape.
- Pick up the pallu and make pallu pleats. Bring it over your right shoulder to the front.
- Take the end corner of the inside pleat and pin it up on your left hip to cover your waist.
- You can also wear a long choli, double drape the pallu and hang it on the back, over the left shoulder.
Nivi saree draping style
Nivi saree draping styles are simple and most widely accepted wearing style. It can be modern or daily wear, and Partywear of north – south. Nivi style is native of Andhra Pradesh, which is a universal way to wear a saree today.
Steps to drape a saree in Nivi style
- This starts with one end of the saree tucked into an underskirt at the waist.
- Saree is wrapped around the lower body once from right to left.
- Collect the saree into 6-7 even pleats of about 5 inches and tuck them into the skirt, just below the navel. As these gives the saree a feminine grace that can be compared to flower petals.
- The saree is draped around once more over the right hip.
- The loose end is then taken diagonally across the blouse on the upper body and draped over the shoulder.
- The loose end called pallu can be left to hang down the shoulder in pleats or without. The pallu is usually the most elaborately decorated part of the saree.
- If you want, you may also wrap the pallu around and tuck it in at your waist. Drape it over your right shoulder or cover your head with it.
Butterfly saree draping style
The butterfly saree draping style is similar to the usual Nivi style, except for the pallu. In this style the pallu is pleated very thin to reveal the midriff. This is ideally worn with a statement blouse with heavy embellishments. The pallu should be decorated lavishly. Light weight sarees like chiffons and nets are ideal for this modern saree draping style. Also, there are sarees with pre-pleated and stitched butterfly pallu are available in the market.
Steps to drape a saree in Butterfly style
- Start your draping saree from right side tuck in the top border of your saree around the waist. Make sure that the bottom border is touching the floor.
- Make 5 to 7 pleats and tuck them, the pleats should face left.
- Take the pallu around from your back, make small pleats and pin it over your left shoulder and hang them back.
- You can partially cover your chest by spreading the pleats or leave the pallu thin to reveal the navel.
- You can pin up the pleats in the front of your blouse.
Mermaid saree draping style
The mermaid saree draping style is well suited for any body shape. It is easy to execute and does not require any pleating at the waist. Half and half or double toned designer sarees with heavily decorated borders and pallu are ideal for this style. This makes you look slimmer with the diagonal pallu drape and fitted look. The lower portion looks more like a skirt rather than a saree and is ideal for curvaceous looks.
Steps to drape a saree in Mermaid style
- Start from the left as usual and tuck in the saree at the waist to take a full round from left to right.
- Allow space for easy movement; tuck in some pleats at the back while you bring the saree over to your left. Tuck the saree till you reach the right side of your waist.
- Make pallu pleats and bring the pallu over to the front from your right shoulder. The pallu should hang about 4 inches from the floor. Pin it up to your blouse.
- Take the inside pleat, wrap the pallu around you to bring it back to the front and pin it up to your underskirt. The pleats in the front should cover this.
- The wrap around giving you a snug fit and curvaceous look.
This is the most popular draping style of a saree. In this style the decorated end of the saree or pallu comes over the right shoulder in the form of pleats. A part of the pallu is pinned on the left side or left hanging in the front. The heavy pallu is well spread in front and gives a graceful look to the saree as well as to the wearer.
It is the origin style of saree draping of Bengal. This style is draped with two large pleats in front and the pallu wrapped twice around the top. A large bunch of keys is tied on the end of the pallu or aanchal as it is popularly known. This style has less folds and less tucks. The best Bengali style sarees are brocade, handloom and cotton sarees which give a very elegant and unique look when worn in this style.
Maharashtrian or nauvari style
It is a 9 yards saree and so is also known as nauvari saree style. This saree does not require a petticoat to drape it on as it is worn around the lower body. The accessories with this style require gold jewellery comprising of a nath (nose ring), kamar bandh (around the waist), bangles and flower garland round the hair.
Kerala Saree Style
It is a traditional style worn in Kerala which looks sophisticated. This consists of two parts –. ‘Neriyathum’ which is the upper one that is draped over the blouse and ‘Mundu’ which is the lower one draped around the body and tucked at the back. These sarees are usually white with broad zari or golden border.
[ Hindi version ]