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Traditional vs. Contemporary Saree Draping Styles

by Busines Newswire
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India, a nation known for its rich cultural diversity, has a history of festivals, cultural traditions, and even clothing styles, including sarees. Every Indian state or community has its unique saree-draping styles. For many years, sarees have been a crucial part of Indian culture, and the variety of draping styles makes the art of saree draping look elegant.

The Indian market has a variety of saree materials and colours. You can select from soft colours to bright shades, rough and tough cotton fabrics to chiffon, and rich silk. This is a magical piece of clothing, as the different draping styles make it look unique. The draping style of sarees depends on your comfort, the length and width of the saree, the fabric, and your personality.

If you are looking for saree draping styles to enhance your look but are confused about the styles, here are the traditional and contemporary saree draping styles you should look at.

Traditional Saree Draping Styles

1.   Nauvari Style

Popular among the Marathi community, sarees in Maharashtra are draped using a traditional method. At festivals and weddings, you can see Marathi brides draped in this manner. The saree’s upper portion is worn when the saree is tucked into the waistband at the back and wrapped around the legs, like a dhoti or lungi. Pallu, used to cover the head, is worn with the end of the saree. This approach to draping sarees allows for easy leg movement and gives you comfort.

2.   Seedha Pallu Style

This is one of the most popular draping styles of sarees used by the people of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha. This drape is easy to carry, and the pallu’s style makes the Gujarati saree drape distinctive. The pallu is draped over the left shoulder, and it falls in the front, making it known as Seedha Pallu. This style is the most refined, gorgeous, and elegant saree draping style.

3.   Atpoure Saree Style

Also referred to as Bengali saree, it is distinguished by its unique draping method. This draping style of sarees features two pallus that extend from back to front. Bengali women accessorise their traditional cotton saree by tossing the pallu’s ends over their shoulders and hanging many keys on it. This is symbolised by the red and white Atpoure drape. The classic Bengali saree is known for its royal appearance, making it popular among ladies from all groups. It traditionally includes white sarees with a red border.

4.   Nivi and Kappalu Draping

Southern Indian states, especially Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and some regions of Tamil Nadu, are the main regions that follow Nivi saree drapes. This is a unique approach to draping sarees that demands ladies to drape a saree from left to right. You can choose to either wrap the pallu around the shoulder or leave it hanging on the right shoulder. In the Kappalu style, the saree is pleated from behind and twice wrapped, which is another feature that makes people try this draping style.

5.   Mekhela Chadar Style

The Indian state of Assam is home to the saree draping style that is popularly known as the mekhela chador. It’s a classic handloom saree consisting of two sections: Mekhela portion, the waist-spanning pleated bottom portion, and Chador, the top portion. The length of the chadar is ideally 2.75 metres, while the length of the mekhela is 1.75 metres, making it extremely short. You can easily find these sarees online at various e-commerce stores.

Contemporary Saree Draping Styles

1.   Dhoti Style Saree Draping

This draping style of sarees is one of the most popular drapes, usually during the pre-wedding shoots. It can be compared to the pant trend, which blends traditional and contemporary styles. It is easy to give it a try. For better draping, you can wear leggings instead of a petticoat.

2.   Neck Drape Saree

This draping style of sarees is quite modern. Another name for it is “Scarf Style Saree Draping.” Draping this style is as simple as wrapping a Pallu over your neck like a stole or scarf. You need to ensure that your pallu’s length is longer to get this effect. It is your choice to attempt as many different scarf styles as you like if you enjoy trying new things. This style changes the way you look and gives it a Western flair.

3.   Belted Saree Drape

This draping style of saree is one of the newest saree draping trends that is becoming more and more popular among fashionistas. This allows you to quickly give your traditional saree a modern touch by wearing a belt around your waist. When you carry this saree style, it allows you to move with confidence and ease while highlighting your pleats in place. The first step involves wrapping the saree around your waist to create the belted saree drape. After fastening the pallu over your shoulder, move forward with the next step and cross it over your chest. Gently tuck the end of the pallu into the waistband, letting it drop naturally. Lastly, tighten the belt to the appropriate level around your waist, and you will have an elegant look.

4.   Cape Overlay Saree Draping

One of the best options to give your sarees some drama is to add a cape overlay. The first step is to wear the saree around your waist and also ensure that the pleats are placed perfectly. After pleating the pallu, you throw it over your shoulder and let it drop freely. Now, wrap the pallu over a jacket, letting it fall naturally rather than letting it hang loose. Make use of brooches to avoid any pallu and cape, and add a style to it. You can also choose a jacket or cape that contrasts with the colour of your saree.


No matter how you wear or style it, sarees are a representation of elegance and grace. Wearing it gives your personality more flair. Modern saree draping styles have completely changed how you view and wear this Indian textile. You can easily add your creativity to the sarees with trendy and experimental drapes, creating styles that are on-trend. Now that you know about a variety of saree draping styles, choose your favourite style for the next event.