If you ever wondered what the women of India wear, then the answer is the traditional sari (saree). Majority of the Indian women wear it. Sari or Saree is worn in many different styles in India. The styles are either culture specific or region specific. A few styles are -
• Nivi style and Kaccha nivi style- It is commonly worn in Andrapradesh where the pallu hangs on the left shoulder. There is slightly different form of Nivi called Kaccha Nivi where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked back in the waist.
• Dravidian style- This style is worn by Brahmin ladies in Tamil Nadu.
• Coorgi style- The pleats are formed in the rear rather than in front and the pallu is worn from back to front on the right shoulder and pined.
• Gujarati style- The pallu is brought in front from back on the right shoulder.
• Maharastra style- The lower part is worn in the form of dothi and the upper part is worn on left shoulder.
• Bengali style- The pallu is draped twice over the torso and there are no pleats in this style.
• Gond style- The pleats are first drapped over the left shoulder and then the body is covered.
• Mumtaz style- After the pleats are tucked in waist the remaining fabric is wrapped twice before pulling the pallu over the left shoulder.
• Mundum Neriyathum style- This style is common in Kerala. It is essentially two piece sari. One the lower garment and the other is the upper garment. The upper garment can either be wrapped around the chest and tucked inside the blouse or can be worn over the left shoulder.
• Tribal style- The sari is tied and secured across the chest.
What is a sari
Saree (Sari) is the India’s national dress for females. The word sari is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘sati’ which means ‘strip of cloth’. The literal meaning of sati holds good for sari as it nothing but a piece of unstitched cloth which ranges from 4 yards to 9 yards. The size of the sari varies because of the different styles that a sari is worn in India. Depending on the style the length of sari required differs.
A sari has to be worn with two more essential garments which acts as lining to the main garment i.e. sari.
1) Legenga or the petticoat is the garment worn to cover the body from waist to toes. It has no bodice and it is tightly tied around the waist with the help of a draw string. To this under skirt/petticoat the sari will be tucked. It serves the purpose of holding the sari onto the waist and also acts as opaque underneath garment. It should be chosen to complement the sari that will be draped and should match the colour of the sari.
2) Choli or blouse is the garment worn to cover the upper body which has no midriff and ends just below the bust. The choli needs to be tight fitting and should complement the sari. The blouse is not an undergarment and is seen outside. It can be short sleeved or sleeveless with a range of neck lines.
How to wear saree – Step by step guide to wearing a sari
Here I will show you how to wear a sari in a casual fashion. There are different ways of draping the sari which I will mention later.
Step 1) Unfold the sari; tuck the least patterned/plain side of the sari inside the petticoat a little right after your naval. See to it that the whole length of the sari lies towards your left. The lower end of the sari should touch the floor after you tuck it.
Step 2) Now take the sari that is towards your left and bring it towards your right such that you are wrapped in the sari once. Maintain the height of the sari at the back evenly as in front.
Step 3) Hold the sari towards your right and make 5 to 7 pleats of about 5 inch each. Gather together all the plates neatly so that the bottom edge of the sari forms even plates and pin them firmly using a safety pin.
Step 4) Tuck the plates inside your petticoat at the center such that they open up towards your left.
Steps 5) Now drape the remaining fabric around yourself bringing it from your left to your right. Slightly raise the sari to drape it around your hips.
Step 6) Take the rest of the sari and pass it under your right arm and tighten the sari around your waist and hips by pulling the sari over your left shoulder.
Step 7) The part of the sari that falls behind your left shoulder to the level of knees or a little below the knees is called the ‘Pallav or Pallu’. You may fasten the pallu with a small safety pin attaching it to the blouse and thus prevent it from slipping down. Or you can even wear the pallu in the pleated form.
How to wear a saree video
There are many saree shops in every nook and corner of India. Feel free to pop in and try out the various colours of saris available. Now you know how to wear saree.