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Mastering the Art of Saree Draping

Whether you are trying to buy Indian wear in USA online, or buy Indian wear in Canada online, one of the biggest deterrents from young generations buying more traditional South Asian silhouettes is the inexperience in wearing them. The most applicable? The saree. 
Bollywood fashion romanticizes the saree in many ways, and when done correctly, the saree can be the most iconic outfit in a crowd. Simplicity mixed with precision enhances the body’s natural curves and creates a flattering look. In this era of Drape Sarees, knowing how to properly tie a saree the traditional way is nothing less than skill. There are people charging a bomb to do the same for special occasions. 
Wearing Designer Sarees  is nothing short of a dream for a girl blooming into adulthood, across the world, but it comes with the inherent ability of not knowing  how to drape them.The beauty of the saree is timeless, and is something truly extraordinary if done correctly.
Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor - Silver Tonal Embroidered Drape Saree
Vaanikaa Malik - Off White Victoria Saree
The Aesthetic of a Drape vs Non-Drape Saree show the Modernistic take on a traditional shillouette
Unlike a lehenga, the Saree is a much more complex outfit to wear, as there are numerous variations and styles to wear the garment, to accentuate different aspects of the saree itself. Each region of India drapes the saree in its own way. For example. The Nivi style from Andhra Pradesh, is the most iconic style of wearing the saree that is seen across the world. 
Maharastrian style is work without pleats and the pallu is draped from the back over the right shoulder. Bengali style is draped over the left shoulder with intricate pleats showcased in the front. Over time, you can learn all these different styles and each of them can elevate your look in a myriad of ways.
Today, Meherbaa will teach you the Nivi style of draping as it is the most well known across the world.
Pre-Draping Procedure:
Draping a saree properly is crucial for achieving an elegant and sophisticated look. The pleats of the pallu (the loose end of the saree draped over the shoulder) should be neatly arranged and evenly distributed to provide structure and definition. The way the saree is draped not only adds a touch of femininity but also ensures comfort and freedom of movement for the wearer. Proper draping prevents wardrobe malfunctions and showcases the craftsmanship and design elements of the saree, such as intricate borders or embellishments. Different draping styles can highlight various aspects of the saree, enabling the wearer to make a statement with their choice of apparel.
Before draping a saree, it's essential to consider the occasion and choose the appropriate fabric, color, and design. The saree, blouse, and petticoat should be coordinated in terms of color and style. Additionally, it's important to have safety pins, bobby pins, and other necessary accessories on hand to secure the pleats and pallu in place.
To prepare for saree draping, follow these steps:
 Select the right saree for the occasion, considering fabric, color, and design
Choose a matching blouse and petticoat that complement the saree's color and style
 Gather safety pins, bobby pins, hair ties, and a waistband to secure the saree
Prepare any additional accessories, such as jewelry or footwear, that you plan to wear with the saree
Start with a lightweight and easy-to-drape saree like chiffon
If possible, learn with a saree that comes pre pleated so you can focus on mastering the tucks and folds in the saree itself.
By following these steps, you'll be ready to drape the saree with ease and confidence, creating a flowing and formal look that enhances your natural curves and showcases the beauty of the traditional Indian outfit.
Draping the Saree:
Now comes the part that you will perfect by practicing a few times: the actual draping of the saree.
Here's an 8-step process for draping a saree:
Step 1: Prepare the Foundation
Begin by wearing the blouse and petticoat. Adjust the petticoat to a comfortable height, ensuring it's secure around your waist. Decide whether you prefer to wear the saree above or below the navel. Take the non-pallu end of the saree and tuck it into the left side of the petticoat, wrapping it around your back and bringing it to the other side.
Step 2: Create the Pleats
Gather the saree on your right side and start pleating. Hold the fabric between your index finger and thumb, creating pleats that are approximately the length of your index finger. This technique helps achieve a slimming look. Aim for 5 to 8 pleats, depending on the fabric's thickness. Tuck the pleats neatly into your petticoat, either in the center or slightly toward the left, and secure them with a safety pin.
Step 3: Drape the Pallu
Now, take the remaining portion of the saree after pleating and drape it around your body, bringing it to the right side. Drape the pallu (loose end) over your right shoulder and secure it with a pin. Ensure that the saree is pulled taut, creating a flattering silhouette.
Step 4: Choose the Pallu Style
At this point, you have two options for the pallu: a floating or pleated style. If you prefer a floating pallu, you can leave it as is, either holding the end on your right side or allowing it to drape loosely over your left shoulder. Alternatively, if you want a pleated pallu, create vertical pleats (approximately 5) and secure them with a pin on your left shoulder, ensuring that any border or embellishment remains visible.
Step 5: Adjust and Secure
Take a moment to assess the drape of the saree and make any necessary adjustments. Ensure that the pleats are evenly distributed and the pallu is securely pinned in place. If needed, use additional safety pins to secure the saree to your petticoat or blouse, preventing any unwanted slippage.
Step 6: Accessorize
Once the saree is draped to your satisfaction, it's time to accessorize. Add any jewelry, hair accessories, or makeup that complements your overall look. Consider the occasion and choose accessories that enhance the elegance of your saree draping.
Step 7: Final Touches
Take a final look in the mirror and make any last-minute adjustments to ensure a polished appearance. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases in the fabric, and ensure that the pleats and pallu are arranged neatly.
Step 8: Embrace Confidence
With your saree perfectly draped, it's time to embrace your confidence and grace. Walk with poise, allowing the fabric to flow naturally with your movements. Remember, the key to wearing a saree is to carry it with elegance and a sense of pride in your cultural heritage.
After you get the hang of draping the saree in the Nivi style, go ahead and try other styles! 
 
Vaanikaa Malik’s gorgeous Rani Pink Dupion Silk Saree
 
There are so many traditional and even indowestern styles to drape a pallu, and that type of creative flexibility is up to you. From the mermaid style to traditional Gujarati to even the double pallu, the world is truly your oyster. Also do not be afraid to add western accessories to elevate your look. Belts, brooches, bracelets, jackets, all are up for grabs. Whatever you feel most confident in is exactly what you should wear.
Whether you are looking for your next haldi outfit, or want to buy new Indian wear in dallas or buy Indian wear in Houston or Indian wear in austin, the saree is a timeless yet creatively pliable shillouette that can make you stand out in a crowd. Mastering the draping skill can take time, but in the long run, you’ll be better off for it.

Meherbaa is your one stop shop to buy such Indian clothing. We have a wide breadth of both drape and non drape sarees that you can choose from. Feel free to give us a call and we would be more than happy to work with you to find the perfect outfit or even teach you how to drape a saree. Meherbaa is with you every step of the way. 
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