Different styles of wearing a saree

Written by marissa decker
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Different styles of wearing a saree
Knowing how to wrap and wear a sari is an art that is mastered over time. (Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)

The way a sari is draped and how it is worn tells a lot about the woman who is wearing it. A simple sari can make a woman look and feel beautiful inside and out. There are different ways of wearing the sari for various occasions, but if not wrapped correctly, it can look sloppy, rather than elegant.

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Nivi Style

Nivi is the most widely-known style of sari draping used amongst the Indian culture. In this particular style, the sari is wrapped around the torso three times and tucked into the petticoat. Having the sari wrapped around so many times creates pleats at the bottom of the sari, which add to the design. The remaining decorated material from the sari, also known as the pallu, gets draped across the left shoulder.

North Indian Style

Another common style of wearing a sari is the North Indian Style. This style is quite similar to the Nivi style, but with a few differences. One difference is the pallu is draped across the right shoulder instead of the left. Another noticeable difference is the pallu is draped from back to front, rather than front to back. How the sari is draped around the torso and where it is tucked into the petticoat are exactly the same.

Mundum Neryathum Style

The style of this sari is worn in two pieces. The top piece, also known as the neriyathu, makes up the top piece of the outfit. The neriyathu can be worn two different ways. Traditionally, the neriyathu would be tucked into the blouse, but in more-modern times the neriyathu has been draped across the left shoulder instead. The bottom part of the outfit is known as the mundu and is wrapped around the waist and tucked into the petticoat.

Maharashtrian Style

The Maharashtrian style is mostly worn by the Brahmin women. With this style, the centre of the sari is placed in the back of the waist and the ends are tied securely in the front. The sari is then wrapped around the legs and then draped over the shoulder. The Maharashtrian style sari is worn without a petticoat since it is draped between the legs.

Bengali Style

Bengali-style saris are mostly worn in East India. The saris worn in these regions are hand-loomed. Hand-loomed saris are made of a lightweight material, which is easier to drape and has fewer pleats than other styles. The look of the Bengali style sari is said to be graceful and elegant. A Bengali-style sari looks best when made with a Bengali drape.

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