Saree Wearing – The Contemporary Way


  1. The Free-flowing Style
  2. The Pinned pallu Look
  3. The Pant Style
  4. The Belted Saree
  5. The Stitched Saree
  6. The Unblouse Look
  7. The Double Drape
  8. The Tucked in Drape
  9. The Neck Wrap Style
  10. The Conservative Style
  11. The Mumtaz Style
  12. The Dupatta Style
  13. The Front Pallu Style
  14. The Lehenga Style
  15. The Dhoti Style

Women are blessed because they have so many options to choose from when it comes to clothes. Whether they want to go for the Indian or the Western option, they are always spoilt for choice. And to top it all, they even have an Indo-Western alternative.

But though there are so many options, I feel there is nothing to beat a saree. Saree is a form of attire that flatters a woman like no other. It makes her look elegant, graceful and sensual all at once.

Yet some women believe that it is a cumbersome form of attire and choose not to wear it; they prefer other more convenient forms of dressing.

As far as I am concerned, I don’t feel it is cumbersome at all. It is just a matter of getting used to something and making it a part of your style, your routine. And when the result is so good, why wouldn’t you want to do it?

Saree as a form of dressing has undergone many stages of evolution. And what is best is the fact that it continues to exist in all its various forms.

While some women swear by the traditional, tried and tested ways of wearing a saree, others don’t mind the new and contemporary styles.

Though I am all for traditional, I do feel that the modern styles add a bit of freshness and novelty to the saree draping experience. And so, there is no harm in trying out the new styles.

The fact that there are so many ways of draping a saree makes it all the more irresistible. And in both the styles traditional and modern, there are many, many options.

So take your pick and rock the world. Don’t let preconceived notions or other people’s impressions hold you back.

Here are some contemporary ways of donning the six-yard wonder

1. The Free-flowing Style

This style can never go out of fashion; it is a timeless look. We have grown up seeing our moms and other women wearing saree this way. It is that graceful classic look where you let the pallu of your saree just flow. You could pin one end to your blouse and then leave the rest to flow. 

So as you walk into the room, you feel as though you are gliding in. The style is simple yet so elegant. And, as the name suggests, it is flowy, which adds to the grace.

But this style depends on the fabric of your saree and the occasion. So generally, when you are wearing silks, chiffons, georgettes and crepes, this is the style to adopt.

2. The Pinned pallu Look

This is again a classic look preferred by working women. The pallu is gathered up into pleats and then pinned onto the shoulder. This is a great way to wear cotton sarees, where the pallu may not flow that easily. And if you do let it flow, it can get crushed during the day. So if you want a neat appearance, which I prefer, then this is the look for you.

A variation could be that if you are really comfortable wearing a saree, you could pin one end of the pallu, pleat up the rest, and let it rest on the shoulder.

3. The Pant Style

A style that I find very chic and comfortable. And what’s more, it looks quite stunning. So you don’t wear a petticoat under this saree. Instead, you wear a pair of pants with a pallu, and then you take that pallu around as you would in a normal saree. The result is an outfit, half of which looks like a saree and the other half like a pair of pants.

4. The Belted Saree

This is another style that is becoming quite popular. It is a simple style in which a regular saree is made to look different. You wear a saree the usual way and then enhance the look by wearing a belt on the waist. You have the option of pleating the pallu and pinning it, or you could leave it free-flowing. It’s best to try this style with a plain saree in satin or crepe to show off the belt.

5. The Stitched Saree

This is for those who feel that draping a saree is a tedious process. I can’t entirely agree with this view, but I think that a stitched saree is a great way to get people on board with draping a saree. This kind of saree is like a gown. You wear it and zip it on, and you are ready.

6. The Unblouse Look

Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t wear a blouse with a saree. It just means that you don’t wear the conventional blouse with it. Instead, you wear your saree with a crop top, a t-shirt, a spaghetti top, or even a corset; the choice is yours. Depending on what you choose, you get a different look each time. You could even wear a long jacket with the saree to give it a dressy look.

7.  The Double Drape

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This is another innovative way to go the saree way. Here you wear two sarees at the same time. So if you can’t choose between two of your favourites for a special occasion, you can wear both. You take both the sarees and get a double drape as Sonam Kapoor did.

8. The Tucked in Drape

This is an excellent look for the winters. It can leave you feeling snug and warm and take the winter blues away. So for this style, all you have to do is take the pallu around your neck and let it be there. Then you could wear a jacket or a sweater or even a phiran on top with the blouse, and the pallu tucked inside. The look is chic and different.

9. The Neck Wrap Style

This is another simple and easy to adapt style. Take the pallu and just wrap it around your neck, and Voila !! The same saree can be made to look different. The pallu looks like a scarf, and you get to look stylish.

10. The Conservative Style

In the modern world, the conservative drape can make you stand out. Dress and feel like a Maharani by wrapping the pallu around you. So rather than letting the pallu flow, you drape it around you. You look elegant and also get to show off your beautiful neckpiece without anything getting in the way. This is again how you achieve a different look with the same saree. 

11. The Mumtaz Style

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This is not a modern innovation but pretty much a retro style, but the best part is that it is still in vogue. For this style, you need a chiffon or georgette saree with borders, a style made famous by Mumtaz; it looks stunning, especially on women with a curvy figure.

12. The Dupatta Style

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Another innovative style that has been made famous by Sonam Kapoor. All you need for this look is a bordered dupatta that goes with your saree. Wear your saree the normal way and wear the dupatta around the neck and knock out everyone.

13. The Front Pallu Style

This is a simple but innovative way to drape your saree. You wear the saree the regular way but with a difference. Instead of taking your pallu to your left shoulder, which you normally do, you take the pallu from the back towards the right. Again it could be pleated or free-flowing though I prefer the pleated look. This is another extremely contemporary look.

14. The Lehenga Style

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This style is another modern way to wear the traditional saree. The difference between this style and the conventional style is that one does not need to form any pleats in the front in the lehenga style. The pleats are replaced with embellished panels which give the saree a lehenga kind of a look. So you get the look without actually wearing a lehenga.

15. The Dhoti Style

This is a great way to dress up for an occasion and look different from everybody else. You wear dhoti pants with a pallu which give you the half and half look. This style works best with fabrics like chiffons and georgettes. The dhoti pants make it a very comfortable wear.

Also Read: Sarees and Women – Part 1

No longer is saree a garment to be worn by older women. Women of all ages can wear it by choosing one of the many styles. So whether you are a young girl, a middle-aged woman or even an older woman, you can make saree a part of your wardrobe.

Also Read: Navratri – Nine Days, Nine Colours, Nine Sarees

No other form of attire can offer so much versatility as a saree, so go creative, play around with the pallu and get a new look each time.

What do you think?

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  • Priya Saxena
    April 2, 2022

    Interesting. Never realised that wearing a Saree had so many options. Thanks for the insight.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      April 7, 2022

      Glad you liked it!

  • Kavita
    April 7, 2022

    Ooh!! Now who better to make the saree an absolutely tempting proposition! Sangeeta, you have given the saree it’s due credit with this article! Enjoyed reading!

    • Sangeeta Relan
      April 7, 2022

      I am so glad you liked it!