10 ways to drape a Saree - How many do you know?

Indian women are obsessed with the nine-yard strip of cloth called the ‘saree’ which can be draped around the body in many ways. A woman in a perfectly wrapped saree having a crisp pallu (loose end of the saree which normally hangs over the shoulder) or storm of pleats is a dreamy vision. Wearing a saree in same old school style can make a fascinating and expensive saree look a tad boring. If you are scouring every tutorial on internet to get that perfect look, then this blog will certainly help you out with unique and fun ways of draping a saree.


1. The Dhoti Style

Dhoti style saree is highly popular and trending draping style among fashion lovers. If you fear toppling in a saree, then it’s time to give “Dhoti” style drape a try. You only need an attractive blouse and a pair of Lycra tights to hold the drape. This style is very easy and quick to adorn. Make sure to go for the fabric like chiffon to neatly display the drape of this style. Also, don’t opt for printed saree since this will blur the look of the dhoti like drape.

The Dhoti drape looks cool and sassy as well as keeps you comfortable all day long. Women in Maharashtra have been draping the saree in Dhoti style for ages; you must also try it out. Follow these 7 steps to achieve the dhoti style using your saree:

  • Drape the saree around your lower waist and leave about 1-2 m to the non pallu end. Keep the right section over the left, overlap both ends. Now, tie a pin at the centre. Drape the pallu with pleats of about 2-3 inches and enfold it around your back. Toss the pallu over your shoulder and bring it to the front. Tie it to the blouse with a safety pin and ensure that the pleats of pallu are in line and neatly tied.
  • Hold the lower part of the pallu following to the lower waist and make sure it renders clear vision of the pleats. Wrap it around your hips and bring it to the front. Make sure to fix this with a safety pin at the centre. Make sure the neat lining of pleats rest nicely around your hip and are visible clearly. Take the leftover part and drape pleats from end to make dhoti like drape. Fix the pleats with a pin.
  • Bring pleats to the back between your legs and fix it there. Ensure that the lines of pleats maintain the neatness.
  • Pleat the last falling section in the front starting from the center to outwards. Tuck it at the centre. Manage pleats neatly and fix it with a pin.
  • Manage the front drape with the pleats so that they cover hip and bring them to front.


2. The Belt Style

You only need to wear your saree as you normally do and add an intricate belt slightly below or above your waist. This will give your style of saree draping a modern twist. Belts add an edgy flair to your conventional saree draping style. They help define your waist and make your body look more aligned and graceful.

Adding an embellished metallic belt around your waist will give you the look of an ornament called Kamarbandh. The belt style saree look is the easiest to achieve. Don’t forget to complete your look with kohl rimmed eyes and matching accessories. Many bollywood actors have been spotted wearing this popular style of saree draping. You should also try this one.


3. The Double Pallu

This is a very innovative drape which makes the use of two sarees that are smartly wrapped seamlessly. The double pallu saree dressing style is a mix of modern and traditional style of wearing saree. You need two sarees in contrast, a matching blouse, a petticoat, a pair of matching footwear, some jewellery, few safety pins and just 4 minutes. The Double Pallu style is best when you can’t decide between the ulta (reversed) and seedha (straight edge) pallu.

  • Let’s begin with the first saree: pick one end of the Saree and then make 6-7 pleats. After making pleats tuck them in the centre of the petticoat.
  • Make sure the tucked saree falls just about an inch short of the floor. Now, take the end part of pallu and make pleats.
  • Hold the pleats and bring it to the front from around the back.
  • Place the pleated pallu over the left shoulder and pin it up neatly. Let the pallu hangs.
  • Now, time to take the other saree, make around 6 to 7 pleats and tuck them in the center of the petticoat by overlapping the former saree pleats.
  • Now, make the pallu pleats by taking the pallu end.
  • Bring the pleats from around the back from the other side to the front over the right shoulder. Secure them with a safety pin.

4. The Mumtaz Style

This style saree drape has been a rage from old Bollywood era. Mumtaz style came into limelight when the veteran actress Mumtaz draped her saree in a unique body-hugging style in popular song “aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche”. This retro look became so popular that it went on to make a draping style by itself. This unique yet glamorous style involves draping of the saree firmly throughout the lower body numerous times. It is done to highlight your figure in the greatest way possible. This style may not appear very relaxed to many, but it offers oodles of style plus sensuousness to the wearer.

  • Hold the saree end from topside of the edge. Secure it with safety pin in the petticoat beginning from the right side of your waist across your left waist.
  • Using left hand bring the drape around your waist from the back right to the centre front tucking it in.
  • Now take 2 pleats of 5-6 inches and tuck them in facing the left-hand side.
  • Picking up the longer edge of the saree from the centre pleat wrap around the left side to back until it is brought forward at right side waist.
  • You must tuck it 5-6 inches above the normal toe length of the saree. And do the same until brought on wraparound in same till right side again.
  • Again, tie in above the level of another 5-6 inches and continue in the level and wrap around the waist of right side.
  • Consider making pleats of a width section, in 5-6inch and then taking it under the right armhole, bring it across the front to left shoulder and throw it falling backwards.
  • Arrange the front bodice drape to make it narrower than the usual drape and pin in position at the shoulder.


5. The Mermaid Style

The mermaid drape style is evolved from the basic drape that gives the curvy effect on the hip section. The style up the mermaid look, you need to use blend of a close-fitting hip section to flared bottom hem section renders the perfect mermaid style look. You can pull off this style with grace in parties and weddings to feel comfortable as the pallu is not hanging around to carry it properly always. Here are a few steps required to achieve this look.

  • Firstly, you need to repeat the basic draping steps till the step after placing the edge on front level centre petticoat tuck, no pleats, and then tuck the edge till your left side waist.
  • Take the open edge and hold up the width section to form pallu pleats of the entire width in 5to 6 inches by placing the top border on top when you make the first pleat.
  • Bring the pleated drape come across your left hand to your back and right side. As hanging on your right, throw it from right back side to right shoulder front.
  • Make sure the length of your pallu should reach 5-6 inches above the toe level and secure the pleats at shoulder with a safety pin like the Gujarati drape style.
  • Hold the first pleat edge and spread it to your front bodice, wrap it around till back side, and bring it forward again till the left side in full stretched fitted form.
  • By holding the corner, pin it up underneath the drape across, on the left side by the thigh. Finally, you are ready to flaunt your mermaid avatar.

6. The Pant Style

Pant style drape is indo western style of wearing a saree. Pant style drape not only makes you look modern but also offers a quick way to drape a saree. It only requires you to wear ankle length pants or leggings. A well fitted blouse stylish blouse is apparent to ace the look. Here’s a sneak peek about the steps of this draping style.

  • Make pleats by taking the saree pallu end and throw it over your left shoulder.
  • Hold the other end of your saree and turn it back from your right side and tuck it to the left side of waist.
  • Quickly make pleats of the remaining loose hanging saree and tuck it to the centre of your leggings or pants.
  • Adjust your pallu pleats in a way that it covers your front body and fix at the shoulder.

7. The Lehenga Style

If you don’t have a lehenga but you want to wear it without wasting money, then fake the look by wearing the lehenga style saree. It only requires a decent amount of effort and patience to achieve this look. If you also want lehenga styles saree, here is the draping process explained for you.

  • Start by wrapping saree on a petticoat; begin with the basic tuck on right to wrap once around.
  • Now from the right side begin making small pleats of 2 inches faced on left side and tuck in waistline.
  • Keep making pleats on the lengthwise section and tucking forward each time you pleat.
  • Keep doing this exercise until you reach the pallu and fold it and tuck inwards to the right side. This completes the whole saree draping exercise and you just made a Lehenga out of the saree.


8. The Gujarati Style

Gujarati drape is also known as ‘Sidha Pallu Saree Drape’. In this style, the pallu comes in the front and is highlighted. This style is often spotted in weddings or other merry making ceremonies. Here’s what you need to do to achieve this look.

Cotton Chanderi Saree Ravishing Red Cotton Silk Saree Mustard Yellow Banarasi Silk Blend Saree

  • To drape this style, start with the basic way of wearing a saree till you tuck the pleats in the centre.
  • Make pleats of about 5-6 inches and bring it to the front on your right shoulder by twisting around your back.
  • Let the pleats fall in the front, this will highlight the intricate work in your saree.
  • Fix the pleats on your shoulder, take out the first border and pull it to your left side. Tuck the end at the back of your waist on the left side. And you are ready to grace the occasion by flaunting Gujarati style saree drape.

9. The Butterfly Style

This style is the Bollywood way of wearing a saree, the “Butterfly style”. Butterfly style is a just small twist to the regular style of wearing saree. The simple difference here is that the pallu is prepared very thin, such that the navel is visible. Here are simple steps of wearing this style. You must wear a petticoat, embellished blouse, and don’t forget to wear your favourite heels.

Salmon Pink Self Textured Silk Saree with Embroidered Border Bright Yellow Satin Silk Embellished Saree Peach Multi-Color Silk Digital Printed Traditional Saree

  • Start by tucking your saree into the petticoat and make pleats at the waist and fix them at the centre.
  • Wrap the saree around your waist and drape it across your chest. Now take another round and wrap once again. Pin the sari to your blouse.
  • Start pleating your pallu by bringing it to the front. Keep its length short.
  • The portion of the saree that’s draped across the chest should be pleated and pinned at the centre. This would end up in two front flaps that would resemble the wings of a butterfly.

10. The Bengali Style

This is one of the easiest and finest ways to dress a saree while the final look may seem to be extremely hard to get! This look requires two wide pleats plus a large key ring by keys to grasp down the double-wrapped pallu. Bengali style looks best in handloom sarees, light cotton ones and brocade sarees.

  • Bring saree wrapped around from right to left to centre before taking the pleats, tuck it in the petticoat.
  • Hold the open edge tuck it in the left side of waist, then tilt it and bring it to front right waist by tucking it.
  • Repeat the process by tilting it again, bringing it across left waist from front tuck at waist and again tilt and bring back to right side of waist from front and tuck it.
  • Hold the width section and make pleats of the width in 5-6inches where border comes on front and first pleat. Secure it in position form falling off.
  • By holding pleats, vertically throw the pleated drape on your left shoulder, front to back so as it hangs at back.
  • Spread the first pleat edge across your back to the right side and bring the corner in front under your right armhole. Take it to the top of your right shoulder and make it fall back on the right shoulder. Attach a tassel or hanging to the corner and left in position.

The Bottom Line

Draping a saree won’t be a turbulent love affair for you anymore. Yes, indeed! Try out these unique saree draping styles that enable you to stand out among the crowd and create a lasting impression. Initially it may take more than a few attempts before you can nail these draping styles, but they are worth every bit of effort that you put in! As elegant and flattering as the nine-yards is, make sure your saree hugs all the right curves and gives you a feminine appearance. Once you learn the right technique of draping your favourite saree style, your fear of unravelling it will go away with it.

Note: Always remember to wear footwear before draping your saree to avoid any length issues. To avoid all that tripping and falling on rough surfaces, it is best to opt for comfortable footwear. If you want to wear heels, then go for wedges or block heels as these will help you stand taller yet stay comfortable.

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