Spice up your sari with these offbeat draping techniques

Sari stylist Ashwini Narayan shows four different ways you can style and drape these yards of elegance.

Published: 20th July 2021 12:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2021 12:45 PM   |  A+A-

Give your sari a twist with offbeat draping styles.

Give your sari a twist with offbeat draping styles. (File photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Saris are a staple in an Indian closet. Almost every household has an overflowing pile of them in their almaries. But like everything else, they get boring to look at after a few uses. It’s always the same style for every event you attend.

But not anymore. Here are a few different styles you can try out to give the sari a twist. Ashwini Narayan (who goes by @winnynarayan on Instagram) is a sari-stylist and shows four different ways you can style and drape these yards of elegance. 

A casual look that’s chic & comfy
This is a fuss-free, short drape with only one or two pleats, a short pallu -- paired with a casual tee/sweatshirt. You don’t need a petticoat for this if your sari is thick or opaque. If it’s a bit sheer, you can use any skirt that works with the colour of your sari. You can begin by tying a knot on the right side of your waist and proceed to drape it like a regular (nivi) sari. Tuck the sari in a bit more to take it higher from the ground. I like it a few inches above the ankle or on the ankle. It’s convenient to walk around in and perfect to show off a nice pair of shoes too or anklets. Make a single large pleat or two (tutorial available on my IGTV) and throw the rest of the sari over your shoulder for a casual drape. Pair with an easy sweatshirt or a tee and sneakers for a comfortable look that allows you movement and looks chic!

Cinched with a harness belt
Move over OBI belts - the harness is here! A harness belt is an edgier version of the regular belt and can be just as easily paired with your saris as an OBI or any other belt. Wear your sari as you would and as you reach the end of your drape, collect your pallu, place it over the shoulder and cinch it all together with the harness belt. You can adjust both the ends (borders) of your sari to have the edges placed however you would like them to sit. Make sure your top is fitted and has clean lines (not too many ruffles or not too much fabric) so that the harness sits well. Make sure the pallu hangs freely at the back, don’t tuck the tail end into the harness. Enjoy the edgy look and the compliments from everyone around.

A voluminous skirt for a soiree
Drooling over a voluminous skirt or that ghagra you have been contemplating buying? Just make your own. You will need a flared skirt for wearing underneath this drape. Pick a length that is 2-3 inches shorter than the result you’d like out of the drape. Start by tucking the sari at the right side of your waist. After tucking in a span, make a large pleat and tuck that. Continue making large pleats at about six-inch intervals and tucking them in at your desired height. After you’ve completed one round, you will have about a pallu length of sari left over. Fold it in half (widthwise) and bring it around your waist to create an interesting wrap around the waist. Tuck any remaining bit inside the waist. Pair it with a sheer black top or even a white shirt knotted at the waist and some statement jewellery.

Statement sleeves for the win!
A trend that has been highly popular across the globe and shows no signs of abating, statement sleeves are here to stay for a while more. Why not pair your sari with statement sleeves? I have worn my chiffon sari in an asymmetrical drape and paired it with a statement-sleeved top. For the asymmetrical drape, wear a shorter skirt underneath -- about knee-length is fine. Start the tuck on your right side and as you go along, tuck it in higher so the second round is much higher than the first. It’s also the perfect style to flaunt a gorgeous pair of shoes that usually get hidden under the pleats of a sari. I’ve added layers of jewellery in mixed materials and a vintage clutch to complete this look.


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