Ethnic Mama-3 : Different Styles To Drape A Saree

As promised I’m back with another article on sarees. This time it’s all about draping the saree – traditional and modern styles.

There are many ways to wear a saree. Many states in India have their  own popular style. One of the most popular way is the one shown in the picture.




My beautiful friend, Meetu is a pro at draping sarees.


Click here to learn how to wear the above style.




Few essentials needed to wear a saree :

Saree, blouse, in skirt / petticot, appropriate footwear, accessories.

Saree pins are optional as their use depends on what kind of drape you are trying.


Different Styles of  Saree Drapes:

The list of styles I’m sharing here is not exhaustive. There are so many different styles to drape a saree but I’m sharing the most popular ones. If you want to learn the style, just click on the name of that style and it will take you to a you tube link where you can actually see the tutorial.


Marathi Style -1  , Marathi Style -2

Instead of an in skirt / petticot,  usually cycling shorts/ slacks are worn and then the saree is artfully draped.


Nauvari Style

Nauvari / Marathi Style


My virtual friend, Ashwini, who is a Marathi, wearing saree in a typical Marathi style.

My virtual friend, Ashwini, who is a Marathi, wearing saree in a typical Marathi style.


 Bengali Style

The Bengali style is quite popular. If you really know how to wear it, you don’t need even a single pin to tie the saree. The pleats are also different- they are quite broad and hence they don’t look like pleats at all . Check the tutorial to learn more.

bengali saree

Bengali Saree Drape


Gujarati Style

I’m always awestruck when I see my Gujarati friends wearing sarees in Gujarati style. One of my personal favorite styles.  Again no pins needed if you are a pro. I couldn’t resist sharing my friend, Gauri’s picture. She is a Gujarati and truly knows the art of draping a saree.



Isn’t she looking gorgeous ?? The yellow one is a lehnga worn as a  saree. The green one is a saree only worn as Gujarati style.



With new fabrics and designs coming up, the modern Indian woman is trying out all the possibilities when it comes to draping a saree. These days you can even buy a ready made saree which comes with built in pleats. It saves you a lot of time.

Here are few of my experiments with different kinds of sarees. All three  sarees in these pictures are my mother’s sarees. And I feel proud every time I wear them. These sarees are about 35 + years old.



I wore the pallu around my neck to give it a modern look. And I just loved wearing it like that.




The occasion was my friend’s silver wedding anniversary.




Mumtaz style drape. Try with any light weight bordered saree. This one is pure chiffon with real silver border. This is from my mom’s trunk 🙂



Here , I wore the saree in the regular style and wore a belt around the silk saree in the end.


Few tips :

Always wear your makeup before draping your saree.

Wear your shoes/sandals to get the right length of the saree.

Wear your jewelry in the end.



What do you think of above styles? Which one is your favorite?

Do read Ethnic Mama 1 and Ethnic Mama 2 in case you missed reading them earlier.

Dont’ forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.




  1. Pingback: 2015 – Year End Reflection – Polka Dots and Curry

  2. You’re gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Lovely ladies. This is what I absolutely love about India, your culture, not to mention the fashion, is beautiful. 🙂

  4. I love this article! You look gorgeous in chiffon!

  5. THanks, my sister just bought me a saree and I didn’t know how to wear it so this could be very useful 🙂

  6. So colorful, wow! Very nice.

  7. Is it really true that short heighted ones can’t wear sarees?? According to your opinion?

    • Srena, in this age and time, saree can look graceful on anyone. Let’s not underestimate the power of high heeled sandals;)) And I know many short height women who refuse to wear heels and still rock in a saree ! Hope this helps 🙂

  8. Never knew you could manage to put on a saree without pins! Beautiful pictures

  9. Such an insightful and sweet post. Love having a view into the traditional wear of another culture. It’s nice that you can wear the same wrap that your mom wore…and to pass such down within a family. Beautiful post!

  10. I love to see women wear Sarees. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to try. Do you have any fabric suggestions?

    • For beginners, I would suggest pure fabrics like cotton, silk, handloom. They set easily and once set, they don’t need to be fixed every other minute. The lighter fabrics like chiffon, georgette are difficult to carry as these fabrics are more flowy and slips easily.

  11. Great article! I had no idea that there were so many beautiful ways to wear sarees. It’s so helpful that you’re showing how to wear them, as opposed to just displaying the pretty pictures. I always found sarees to be so feminine and beautiful Thank you for this post!

  12. Beautiful sarees and great photos! I’ve always wanted a saree. Thanks for the tips and for showing us how to wear them. Great post!

  13. Very pretty saree n ladies. Thks for various ideas. U carry off the drape around ur neck so well! Wanna try Bengali way this season- never worn like that before!

  14. Such beautiful material. Rich colours I love too.

  15. As always love ur blog…m planning to go with Bengali style this Karwachouth btw u look so elegant in every style from Modern to Mumtaj.

  16. Awesome post Monika. And you look gorgeous as ever. Love your style. You rock 👍😊

  17. wow u look so beautiful ,saree has always been my favorite outfit to wear but i dont know how to drape it …my personal fav styles are the gujrati and the normal one ..thank u so much for uplaoding this it was really helpful for us beginers.

  18. Hey loved the post ! There are variations even within the nauvari drape it changes with the cast or in the olden days was based on the profession or status ! Like the patils or the mukhiyas of the village would have their wives or daughters wear nauvari draped tight and fitted at the ankles and they would usually wear pairhani and silk whereas the worker class ( in olden days ) would wear cotton and drape it short till just below knees so they could work effectively !
    Various regions in goa and Maharashtra have different draping lengths and styles ! A saree is truly unique

  19. I love sarees, makes a woman’s body look so beautiful.

  20. I am so jealous of my Indian friends who get to wear saris, not only on special occasions but because they just feel like it.

    Unfortunately I’d look silly 🙁 Your photos are beautiful and the tutorials very clear.

  21. They all look very nice on you. Great post. 😊

  22. Those look amazing! I always admire the Sari fabric when I go to the fabric store, and wish I had a Sari but would never have any place to wear it. I have always also wondered if Saris are purely for fashion purposes or if they have another significance? When would it be appropriate for someone like myself who does not share the culture, to wear a Sari? Sorry if my questions are a bit ignorant, I’m just very fascinated by your culture and your posts inspire me to want to learn more.

    • In India, we don’t need a reason to wear a saree. It’s an everyday outfit. Only the fabric and design changes for special events when they are rich in color and design. Here in US, we wear sarees only on special events/festivals. My friends here borrow sarees from me to wear at costume parties or even Christmas parties. Im happy to know that you are enjoying this Ethnic series . And please don’t be sorry. Im always happy to answer any of your queries:)

  23. Very informative and the pictures look beautiful!!

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