How to wear a saree?

I tried explaining one of my friend what a saree means and how to wear it:

Saree is a 6m long and 1m wide drape with beautiful weaving, stones
and embroidery, which Indian women wear. First you wear a blouse and a petticoat.
Then wrap 3 meters of this cloth around a waist like a long skirt,
fold the rest of the saree along the width in 8-10 pleats and tuck it in from the front side,
Finally turn around again, bring it round your hips to the front and finally diagonally across your side over your breast to your left shoulder allowing the excess cloth hang behind your back.

Pathetic descriptions, isn’t it… Finally gave it up. A picture is worth a thousand words, so send her links to these 2 websites.

Well if you still could not get it, then here is a nice youtube video to help you out (courtesy DDeden)

Inspired I even browsed for Dhoti. I always wanted to wear one, but never had a chance to try my hands on it. The instruction manual read something like this:

How it is done:

1. The dhoti is one long piece of cloth. Start by folding it in half so that it is half its original length.
2. Drape the dhoti behind you. The stripe should be vertical and held at the top by the left hand. The top of the folded side should be in your right hand and the dhoti should drape almost to the ground behind your heels.
3. Bring together in front of you the folded side in your right hand to meet the stripe side in your left hand.
4. Hold both the folded and stripe side in your left hand and bring them at even tension directly to your left side, keeping the bottom of the dhoti level and near the ground.
5. Hold the stripe side in your left hand as you accordion fold the fold side with your right hand until it is even horizontally with your left leg.
6. There should now be a folded bunch in your right hand. Slightly lift this bunch in your right hand as you bring the stripe side over it to your right side. The dhoti is now wrapped around you. What is left is adjusting the tightness and rolling it down to hold the tension in place.
7. Take the bunch in your right hand twist it slightly together and to the left and slip the top side of the dhoti just over the bunch to hold it in place.
8. Even up the stripe side so that the stripe is vertical and the dhoti drapes level just above the floor.
9. Roll the top of the dhoti down to a comfortable waist level, somewhere below the belly button.

Scary 😦 I read all the 9 steps, yet it made no sense. Let me try once more, maybe there is somewhere a step by step pictorial procedure that might be more informative.

PS: thanks to Sathiyan for providing me with the link on Dhoti wearing.


29 thoughts on “How to wear a saree?

  1. How to wear saree Opinion

    I am working women age 36 height 5.5 and coloured not black and white. wehight 58 Kgs.

    Now a days we seen every where woman wear saree below thier navel in serials movies and working women’s.

    I also like to wear saree below my navel and also in our some working partners in school and all staff members are woman and in some wear this type, but in our residential areas no one wear. When I am on working place try to adjust saree to below my navel and cover with pallu. Some my staff members like it and appreciate me, but some say not good, because they not expose due to their body structure or personal opinion or society fear.

    In our residential area no one wear below her navel, how its tolerate and ok. Few days ago my relative comes my home her ages is around 52, and she wear saree below her navel, so I ask her about her opinion, she told me due this type of wear saree my health remain good, and wear saree below navel, if don’t want to expose navel, cover with your saree pallu, but wear below navel saree or dress also.

    My husband encourages me to wear saree below my navel and when we go he tell me to wear only saree below my navel. Suggest us wear saree above navel, on navel or below navel. When i wear dress i always wear below navel and feel comfortable. awaiting your reply on my email on

    await reply from advisors.



  2. hey…wear it the way you are comfortable..
    it’s all about carrying off what you wear with confidence…
    and if you are so concious about it and still want to wear your saree below the navel…carry a shawl along..
    who knows you might set a new trend in your residential area


  3. I am making ur email id not visible to the public.

    The most important in saree or any other dress for that matter is what you want and what makes u feel comfortable and good about yourself. Anything clothes that attracts unwanted attention (more than what you desire to have), or makes you feel too conscious about yourself should be discarded without giving it a second thought. So the best judge of how high or low you should wear your garments should be you. In the month of Nov/Dec you can always carry your shawl/cardigan around so that you can cover/reveal based on the situation. In other months, as you rightly said pallu is good.

    Coming to movies/ serials. I often feel the garments there are too short/revealing to depict the real Indian society. So do not get influenced by them for your sarees and esp. blouses selection.

    I am of a very strong opinion that you blend into the culture when you are at office. Unless you want to become the focus of attention, do not wear any revealing clothes.
    When you alone or going out with your husband, try to look as gorgeous and tempting (in a cultured manner) as possible. There is no better way to boost the ego of a 40something husband.

    I hope it helps.


  4. I am 30 years old ,short,plump and fair and have a bit of a stomach.When i used to wear a saree previously i always used to wear it above my navel as i felt self-conscious to wear it otherwise.but i used to feel uncomfortable as the string felt extremely tight and made a deep red line across my stomach.It was my husband who first suggested to me that I wear my saree below my navel.i was afraid of looking trashy but he assured that wearing it one or two inches below the navel would not make me look so.he asked me to keep it covered always with my pallu if i felt uneasy,but wear it below all the same.
    One year later,i now feel it’s much better this way.The line has almost disappeared and i have a smooth,soft stomach now.Previously i used to feel a very tight and suffocating feeling at my middle but now my stomach feels quite free and cool…and the thing i was most afraid of…it’s nothing ultimately,people do not treat me trashily.
    I can can ultimately end up by saying that I’m a short and plump married woman who wears her saree two inches below her navel…and i like it this way,bcos it’s much more comfortable and cool.wearing the saree below the navel is not the same as flashing your navel in public…you can keep it covered with your pallu all the same and other people would hardly know the difference…but this way it is more comfortable and healthy.I would advise other women to do likewise.


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