How to Wear Saree? The Art of Draping 6 Yards of Elegance

Written by: Hardik Jethva

Last Updated: July 4, 2023

how to wear saree
A portrait of a young Indian girl wearing a blue saree.

A saree, with its aura of timeless elegance and charm, is a quintessential piece in the wardrobe of Indian women. This traditional Indian garment has stood the test of time, and with each passing day, it continues to reincarnate itself in versatile styles. While the beauty of a saree is unmatched, draping one can seem daunting. Fret not, as this guide on how to wear saree will take you through a simple and elaborate process of wearing a saree. Let’s unfurl the fabric of grace together.

1 Types of Fabrics and Choosing the Right One

Before delving into draping a saree, it is essential to understand the types of fabrics and choose the one that suits your occasion and comfort.

  1. Cotton: Ideal for daily wear and comfort, but may require starching and ironing.
  2. Silk: Best for weddings and festive occasions, silk sarees are rich and elegant.
  3. Georgette: Lightweight and easy to drape, Georgette sarees are perfect for parties or semi-formal gatherings.
  4. Chiffon: With a slightly transparent texture, chiffon is perfect for a graceful look.
  5. Crepe: Known for its crinkled texture, crepe is suitable for both casual and formal occasions.
  6. Linen: Linen sarees are breathable and ideal for summer wear.

Choose a fabric that not only suits the occasion but is also comfortable for you to carry.

2 Materials Needed

  1. Saree
  2. Petticoat
  3. Blouse
  4. Safety pins
  5. Heels or Shoes
  6. Accessories (Earrings, Bangles, etc.)

3 Step-by-Step Guide on How to Wear Saree

saree
A cropped image of a girl wearing green saree.

Prelude – The Foundation

Before draping the saree, it is essential to wear a fitted blouse and a petticoat. The petticoat should be tied firmly at the waist as it will hold the saree in place. Choose a petticoat color that matches or complements the saree. It’s also a good time to put on your heels or shoes, as this will help in draping the saree at the right length.

Measure and Tuck - Beginning the Drape

Take one end of the saree and make about 5-7 neat pleats, each about 5-6 inches wide. Tuck these pleats into the petticoat slightly to the right of your navel, ensuring that the saree falls just an inch short of the floor.

Around We Go – The Wrap

Now, gently wrap the saree around your waist from right to left. As you reach the navel again, ensure that the lower border of the saree is even throughout and at the same height as in the previous step. Use a safety pin if needed.

Crafting Elegance – Making the Pleats

Hold the saree at the part that opens from the left and start making pleats. The pleats should be equal in width (about 4 inches). Make about 6-8 pleats or as needed depending on the saree fabric and your preference.

The Navel Tuck

Tuck these pleats into the petticoat just below the navel. Make sure that they are turned towards the left. You can use a safety pin to secure them at your waist or through all the pleats to keep them in place.

The Pallu – The Crowning Grace

The remaining fabric will be used to create the pallu. Bring it around your back to the front from the left side. Now, put this section over your left shoulder, letting it fall behind. The length of the pallu can vary – it can be short or long, depending on the style you prefer.

Setting the Pallu

You can either pleat the pallu or let it fall free. For pleating, make neat pleats of the section that comes over your shoulder and pin it onto your left shoulder. For a free-fall look, just adjust the pallu to have one corner fall behind your back while the rest drapes naturally over your left arm.

Fine-tuning and Secure

Go through the drape, ensuring everything is even and secure. Use safety pins wherever necessary but ensure not to overdo it as it might damage the fabric.

Accessorize

No saree look is complete without accessories. Wear matching jewelry, bangles, and if desired, add a waistband (Kamarband). Don’t forget the Bindi – it adds grace to your forehead.

Strut with Grace

Lastly, practice walking in your saree. Take small steps and move with grace. Do not think that you will fall, you won’t, confidence is the key!

4 Different Draping Styles

different draping styles
4 photos of different draping styles
  1. Bengali Style: Instead of regular pleats, make box pleats and drape the pallu over the left shoulder. Bring the pallu back to the right shoulder and secure with a brooch.
  2. Gujarati Style: Similar to the traditional style, but bring the pallu from the back over your right shoulder, and spread it across your chest.
  3. Lehenga Style: Make multiple pleats across the waist to give the saree the appearance of a lehenga or full skirt.
  4. Pant Style: Wear fitted pants instead of a petticoat and drape the saree with narrow pleats, giving it a modern fusion look.

5 Maintenance of Sarees

After learning how to wear saree, it is equally important to learn how to maintain a saree.

  1. Storage: Always store sarees folded in a cool, dry place. Use soft muslin cloth to wrap silk sarees.
  2. Washing: Always check the washing instructions. Hand-wash delicate fabrics with mild detergent. For silk sarees, dry cleaning is advisable.
  3. Ironing: Always iron sarees at low heat and ideally through a thin cloth to avoid damage.

6 Wrapping up

Draping a saree is an art that requires patience and practice. As you master this, you can experiment with different styles of drapes and accessories. A saree is not just a garment; it’s an expression of your personality and a tribute to a rich cultural heritage.

So go ahead and drape yourself in the elegance that is a saree. With each pleat and drape, you’ll be weaving in poise and grace. Embrace the charm, as the world takes a pause to admire your timeless beauty.

Also, check out our blog on how to wear dupatta on lehenga. Happy draping!

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About This Article

Hardik Jethva
Written by: Hardik Jethva author

Hardik Jethva is an experienced author of the BestCheck family. Working from scratch, he has developed an amazing interest in testing and writing about different products in a transparent manner. His writing skills got more audience for BestCheck. Apart from his professional life, Hardik has his eyes on travelling, meditation, eating healthy food, socializing with people, and car rides.

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Updated: July 4, 2023
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