How to Wear a Sari (or Saree)

Many women are baffled on how to wear the sari (or sometimes spelled saree).

The sari  is a rectangular piece of cloth about 5 to 8 yards traditionally worn by South Asian women. Varying in different fabrics from cotton to silk, different colors, and different work (also known as zari), you wear the sari with two other pieces of clothing:

  1. Blouse- this is the short top that has different necklines. We have another post that talks about the different necklines and styles for a blouse.
  2. Petticoat- an undergarment that goes from your waist to the floor and that you tie around the waist. Petticoats closely match the color of the sari so it is not visible.
  3. Safety pins (optional)- to help keep the sari in place

Because the sari is a single piece of cloth draped around the body, it fits women of all shapes and sizes with minimal tailoring.You can drape the sari in different ways. (Check out our other post on how saris can be draped.)

The steps to wear a sari/saree are the following:

  1. Wear the heels you intend to wear with the outfit. Based on your height, you will determine where to tie your petticoat around your waist and drape your sari.
  2. Tie the petticoat around your waist tightly; this is where you will be stuffing the top part of your sari.
  3. Take one end of the sari and begin stuffing the top part into the petticoat and continue stuffing the top part of the sari into the petticoat.
  4. Then start forming the pleats. You can do this by hand or use a pleat maker called sari saheli, which is available in limited stores.
  5. The last step is making the palu or the drapery that will hang on your shoulder. You can drape your sari differently in different styles. We have separate blog post on different draping styles.

If you are like me, its probably easiest for you to learn through a video. Below is a YouTube video on one way to wear a sari/saree. Check out our selection of sarees/saris in our store.

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