The Art of Draping a Saree – Six Yards of Sheer Elegance

How to drape saree

An unstitched rectangle piece of sheer elegance is how you define a saree. A normal saree measures 6 yards in length, which is draped around waist in such a way that anyone who wears it looks so feminine. The length of saree gives wearer an ample scope to creatively experiment new styles of draping a saree. A saree can be worn in various styles. In India, the draping style differs from region to region and state to state.

A woman draped in saree looks sensuous, elegant and graceful. Saree is the only outfit in India in which a woman is draped all over and still looks super sensuous and not vulgar at all. Saree reveals as much as it hides. A perfectly draped saree can make you look perfect and out of the world but a clumsy draped saree will make you look hideous and will bring down your personality.

Saree draping is considered as an art and requires a lot of practice. The experienced person takes about 5 – 10 minutes to drape whereas a first timer can take a lifetime. A saree is such an outfit that adds to the style, attitude and confidence of the wearer.

With time came in various modern styles of draping saree. A successful experiment with the 6-yard rectangular unstitched piece of cloth gives birth to a new style. Because of this experimentation, today there are hundreds of styles.

However, it is a traditional outfit for Indian women, but it is never out of fashion and is always an evergreen dressing for Indian women. Today in the hectic lives of Indian working women, it has become an occasional dress, but the love for saree has not decreased at all. Their wardrobes are still packed and full of their possessions.

It is considered the most sensuous, stylish and sophisticated attire even today. From Shimmering Silks and Elegant Chiffon to Flowing Crepes and Georgette, available in vivid colors and embellished with the most intricate embroidery work, saree comes in the most mesmerizing avatars one can imagine. Such wide-ranging variety makes it suitable for all occasions – from weddings to formal functions and official meetings to social get-togethers. Moreover, it looks gorgeous on women of all ages and builds.

he saree is worn in different ways in different states of India. However, the most common method is wrapping the cloth around the waist, making pleats in the front and draping the final length around the shoulder. The remaining fabric that is draped over her blouse and shoulder, falling behind her is called the pallu.

What you need?
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 Saree 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, commonly 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.

All saree does not suit every one. It depends on the body structure of each woman. The only thing that you should keep in mind is that the saree should suit you and your body. Its not the beauty of the saree alone that matters. Its suitability is that which matters.

  • For fat women:
    Georgette and chiffon saree will suit you. Thick sarees like the Mysore silk will make your fat body look much better. Organdy, tissue, cotton sarees will make the fat woman look more fat. So please abstain from using it.
  • For plump women:
    You can stick on to stiff sarees such as starched cotton sarees because the plumpness of the body will be highlighted if you wear the georgette or chiffon sarees.
  • For slim women:
    To look a bit fat try using tissue sarees, embroidered cotton sarees or organdy sarees. You will look more beautiful in this.
  • For short women :
    Short women, stick on to small bordered or non-bordered sarees. Also avoid big prints and highly width bordered sarees.
  • For tall women :
    You can choose big flower printed or big prints sarees, also with high borders. Width bordered Kanchipuram saree with beautiful munthani will be awesome for you.