Choosing the perfect saree to wear to any event can be hard with all the different styles available to choose from. What I love about wearing a saree is the variety of different ways you can make the same saree look by doing different drapes. As much as it may come naturally to many south-asian women, draping a saree can still be quite daunting, so here's our guide on how to drape a saree to make it much easier for you.
Before you start, you need the three important components to wearing a saree:
- The blouse,
- The petticoat
- The saree.
To ensure that your final look comes out looking clean and amazing, ensure that your petticoat is worn firmly at your waist. This is done so that the saree can be secured and tucked in properly without it falling off. Always make sure that you are wearing the footwear you want to wear to the saree before you start draping as it is much easier that way and also this ensures that the perfect length can be draped around the body. Finally, ensure that you have some safety pins to hand so that you can pin the pleats and other areas you want to secure when wearing the saree.
- Starting from the right side of your waist and moving across to your left waist, tuck the top border of the saree into the petticoat.
- Wrap the drape around your waist with your left hand, tucking it in from the back to the front centre.
- The remaining drape must now be made into 6–8 pleats, each measuring 5–6 inches, and tucked into the petticoat with the pleats facing to the left.
- Without tucking it, pull the open drape from your right side over your back to your front. You can tuck the border of the drape until your left side waist and pin up the pleats in the centre to keep them in the centre place.
- Holding the width portion up, make incomplete width pleats every 5 to 6 inches, making certain the border lands on the first pleat so it may be draped over the shoulder.
- Holding the pleats vertically, draw the drape up and over your left shoulder from behind the right armhole.
- Keep the pleats at least one metre away from the point of your left shoulder while placing them there, and pin them in place to secure them.
As much as it can seem scary trying to drape a saree yourself especially if it is your first time, remember there are so many different ways to drape and you never know, you may think you have messed up but created a whole new style and look. If a gen z like me can do it, there is definitely hope for everyone out there!
Follow our tiktok (@kanyalondon) to see our Kanyä community on their journey on learning how to drape a saree.
Written by Joyce Fernando