How to wear a saree

"rani mukherjee saree"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.

"Types of Saree"
Types of Saree

• 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.

"How to wear saree"

 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.

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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.

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46 thoughts on “How to wear a saree

  1. Once I saw a kind of handbook like thing at airport (probably in Delhi) with hand drawn illustrations. It was probably for the air-hostesses. It had fantastic illustrations.
    I searched that book at college street many times. Your post reminded me again.
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  2. Saree is my favorite ethnic wear but I hardly get a chance to wear it, all thanks to modernization! Its so amazing that a piece of cloth can be draped in so many different styles.
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  3. Very interesting – I had no idea there were so many different styles! I swear I an Indian woman in my last life, because I feel very connected to anything I learn about your culture.

  4. This is the national dress for Indian women and it is a really beautiful style compared to the other national dresses. One thing that makes it beautiful is the meaning and legends behind the styles to wear them, and there are a lot. Thanks for sharing this interesting article!

  5. Sarees are the most beautiul attire for indian women . without a saree any indian women’s attire in incomplete . Thanks for sharing this information that how to wwear saree with us . It will help me alot because i like to wear saree but i don’t know how to drap it . So this is so informative information for me .

  6. It¡¦s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I¡¦m glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Suman, for those who are very thin can wear 2 petticoats for chiffon sarees. Those who have wonderful figures don’t need to. Sri Devi was always seen in chiffon sarees as she had a good figure. Remember chiffon sarees are more thinner. Hope this helps.
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  7. A fantastic tutorial! I’m thrilled that you used pictures as a guide. My fiance will be travelling with me to India within the next few months and she was very curious as to how to wear a saree in the right manner!

  8. I have heard about Gujarati Style, Coorgi Style, Bengali Style & Maharastha Style but learning first time about Dravidian style, Gond style, Mumtaz style, Mundum Neriyathum style…

    Thanks for share the info about how to wear a saree.

  9. Its very wonderful post. There is lots of information about various types of indian sarees which defines different indian traditional culture as well.The steps of wearing a saree really very helpful.

  10. Awesome article I really enjoyed reading this one.very informative.Great Share Mam. But feeling sad because our new generation is not giving preference to such clothes.

  11. oh well done, i think the sari is one of the attires yet to circulate round the world. I use to see materials pretty much like that of the sari here in Africa but its not yet worn by many because of its cost. But I kind of like the attire and wish i can lay my hands on one.

  12. Sounds very simple, but i agree with shalu sharma’s post, most of us unknown how to wear saree so perfectly. In fact its an indian tradition to tie saree. Thank you so much for sharing us such informative article and putting down what exactly saree is, and pretty we can wear it.
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