Saturday, 8 June 2013

Different ways of wearing a Saree | Tips

     Sarees are elegant, beautiful and confusing as hell. While this rectangular piece of fabric may look simple enough, there's an art to skillfully placing each corner, border and pattern. Don't let your tangled textiles get you down follow these simple steps and you'll be wrapping yourself up in no time.

 Before you Start

      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.

  

Tips

  • Wear the sari long, so that only the tips of your toes show. A short sari with visible ankles does not look very elegant. Think of a sari as you would an evening gown.
  • For your first time, choose a sari of synthetic material that is easy to drape and wear.
  • The pallu should come over from your left shoulder and fall on your back.
  • Wear it with elegant sandals, boots, or any other elegant shoe. No sneakers please !
  • You can get a beautiful lace-embellished petticoat or add lace to an ordinary one. It looks sexy when accidentally exposed while climbing steps, etc. Such petticoats were worn in India by wealthy women in the times of the British empire.
  • Normally, the sari is a bit longer in the back than in the front. In the back, your sari should almost reach the floor.
  • Accessorize more with simple or plain saris, and less for saris that are heavier and a little more fancier.
  • Try wearing bangles with your sari to bring attention away from your bare arms.
  • You can wear an embellished blouse, and expose it a bit for a more attractive look.
  • There are many other ways to dress in a sari. For example, you can be creative when you are taking your pallu. You can take it from the back of your right shoulder and let it fall in front, or take it back and let it fall after draping it on your neck.
  • You can attach the pleats to your petticoat with safety pins.
  • Some tuck in the pleats right in the center front, and some place them so that they begin at the front and end on the left side. Both ways are correct.
  • You can pin your sari to your petticoat just below the right armpit (the side opposite to the shoulder on which you have the pallu), or better a little bit to the back. This prevents the sari slipping off your left breast.
  • You can get someone to kneel on the floor before you and make sure that your pleats are even at the bottom. Then, with them holding the bottom of the pleats, tuck in the top part into your waist.
  • === Fashion Tips ===
  • Wear a tank top below it. The strap showing on the exposed shoulder looks great.
  • Most people can never get the first pleat just right. So, after tucking in the pleats at the waist, pull out the first pleat, pull the material towards the right and tuck it behind your back.
  • Similarly, there are innumerable ways of draping a sari. Be creative!
  • On the pleating, you can "cheat" and make your first pleat by just folding and then start winding.
  • The sari will look better if it matches your shoes.

 

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.

These innovative and traditional ways of wearing a saree should give you some fresh new ideas. Have a look and try them out. I wouldn't recommend all the styles for everyone, but see which ones can work for you. Also, pick a style depending on the texture of your saree, the style of your blouse and the occasion.
Here are some styles that shouldn't need a 'how-to' guide.



I would recommend a belt or belly chain or some kind of ornament for the waist so as to hold the pleats in place. Also, keep the pleats in the pallu quite small in order to give it a more feminine feel.


Check out the pleats!

Basic Gujarati style.

This style doesn't go well with the blouse. However, this style will go well with a spaghetti strap or strapless saree blouse. It might even work quite well with short sleeves, as long as the neck is cut wide and square.

I love the way the pallu is tucked underneath the strap of the blouse.

This style only works because there's a belly chain to hold everything in place. You can try pinning, but the effect is much nicer with a bejeweled waist.

Another style that employs an ornament (in this case a broach at the hip) to hold the pallu in place.


The side pleats really give this look a unique and trendy feel.


Creative use of a floral pin really makes this easy to create look stand out.

Nice way to show off the saree blouse.

It's simple, yet very effective.

I don't think this style of wearing a saree will really work without a belt/belly chain.

This style doesn't really suit the saree, but would look really nice with a two-tone chiffon or georgette saree.

I love this look. It's sleek, it's simple and very, very sexy!

A combination of a couple of different styles.


Very similar to another one above, but with the pallu inverted and tucked in at the waist.

Try these out, create your own style of wrapping or just perfect the style you prefer. Just remember to wear your saree neatly, custom tailor/alter your blouse and be confident in what you're wearing.

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