These 10 Bollywood Inspired, Offbeat Saree Draping Styles Will Give Your Usual Saree A Makeover

While the saree is that one garment that suits every personality and body type, it can quickly get boring to style a saree in the same old traditional way.

While the saree is that one garment that suits every personality and body type, it can quickly get boring to style a saree in the same old traditional way.

The traditional way of wearing a saree is undoubtedly very elegant, but for those of you who are willing to experiment a bit and take your saree-styling game up a notch, these ideas will be really helpful.

There are specific fabrics that are best suited for each different type of saree draping. Each state in India has its signature way of weaving and crafting magic with six yards of fabric. So here are some interesting draping styles courtesy Bollywood and our fashion industry, that you can try with different kind of sarees from

The front pallu drape

The Gujarati style of wearing a saree has always been popular. The front pallu drape is something similar to it, except that the pallu is much longer in this version. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan carried off the exact same look on the Cannes red carpet a few years ago. Crepe silk sarees would be a perfect option to try out this look.

The skinny jeans drape

Want to show off some leg in a saree? Try draping it over a pair of skinny jeans. This is a good solution for people who aren’t that accustomed to wearing sarees. Draping it over a pair of jeans, palazzos or slim trousers gives you a little more freedom to walk comfortably without the fear of tripping. My pick is a lovely mauve cotton saree that would go perfectly well over a pair of light blue skinny jeans.

The Dhoti Style drape

Sonam Kapoor has been the Queen of saree draping in Bollywood. One of the most versatile styles is the dhoti style for which Sonam has been the biggest brand ambassador. This is a very quick and easy look to adorn, as long as you have a good fitted blouse and a pair of tights to hold the look in place. The best kind of saree to try out this look with would be a chiffon or a cotton blend saree.

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The Belted Drape

This probably is the easiest way to amp up your desi look. Traditionally ‘vaddanams’ (in Telugu) or ‘Kamar Bandh’ (in Hindi) have been worn by women since ages. They are the perfect accessory and ornament to give your body a shape, and show off your waist. This can not only act as a fashion statement but also give your saree the right kind of shape. A plain saree with a statement belt works best for this style.

The Cape/Jacket style

Yet another style that SonamKapoor has worn and smashed out of the park every single time is the cape/jacket style of draping a saree. A lightweight saree, which doesn’t have much work or design going on to begin with, can be accessorized with a delicate cape or a long jacket. Intricate work, embroidery, embellishments, zardosi work – anything will work. This kind of style would work on almost any type of saree like cotton, silk, cotton blend etc.

The twisted winter drape

The beauty of this garment is that it can be twisted, tucked, pleated and draped in numerous ways that can keep you cool or warm depending on the weather. Instead of pairing your saree with a regular kind of blouse, all you need is a ‘jacket’ style blouse with a high neck, almost covering your hips. The pallu is inside the right half of the jacket, and outside the left half and over the left shoulder. Choose a lovely silk saree for this and you’ll be cozy and warm all throughout!

The loose sideways style

Having the pallu drop loosely to the side is also a popular style of draping. If you are wearing a saree with a pretty border or design that you want to show off, this kind of drape looks really good. You might have to be a little careful to make sure it looks well put together and not sloppy. Try this out on a pretty art silk saree, since the fabric has a natural ‘fall’ to it.

The scarf drape

Imagine running late to work or a family function, and simultaneously struggling to get those saree steps/pallu pleats right. Chuck the careful pleating and pinning, and just wrap the pallu around your neck. Whether you do a tight neck wrap, or something more loose like a scarf is up to you. It’s a chic and sophisticated look that’s done in a matter of seconds. Try this with a cotton saree or a georgette and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

The hijab drape

The beauty of a saree is that there is something for every culture! Similar to the scarf look, all this requires is that you wrap the pallu around your head and neck to create a hijab. If this is your cultural preference, you can easily imitate this style by using a crepe or tissue saree.

The knotted pallu drape

This is a slight upgrade from the butterfly pleat, which we can all agree has been done and dusted multiple times. Instead of neatly pleating the pallu into steps on your shoulder, throw it into a knot such that the knot sits just below your shoulder, and push the pallu over your back. This look works best with an art silk saree. has a lot of varieties of sarees from Andhra Pradesh’s traditional pattu silk sarees to the iconic Kanjivarams and Banarasis. In an attempt to celebrate the spirit of India, they have brought together sarees of contemporary hues, traditional textures and classy crafts.

They have also partnered directly with the artisans and weavers so that the customers get exactly what they have been looking for, giving you the authenticity of a handloom saree.You can follow them at Facebook, and at Instagram too.

Let us know which style of draping is your favourite and which saree is your pick for the same!

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About the Author

Chandana Munipalle

Artist. Writer. Travel buff. Style enthusiast. Finance graduate. Aspiring entrepreneur. Reads too many books for her own good. Laughs at inappropriate times. Hoards too many shoes and dreams about beaches constantly. Fashion and lifestyle blogger read more...

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