How to Drape a Bengali Style Saree - Quick Guide
Hhe time has been so different. Earlier it was people who could have popped once you called them to help you drape with a saree - but with more and more video tutorials and people doing social distancing (even before the pandemic) that closeness and attachment is slowly turning digital.
Yes, people cannot visit your home to help you with draping but with Zoom calls or Teams chat, the miles of distance becomes crunched in a few minutes.
But keeping all the traditional and thought aside I thought to develop a kind of handy blog series for my dear saree lovers. I call it the DRAPE SERIES. Here, in this series you are going to find some savvy video tutorials to steps to drape a saree in various Indian style.
As you know style of the sarees varies in India, so I will try to capture most of them. These guides will be compact and your go to companion if you intend to style your saree in various formats for the upcoming parties.
Now being a bong (Bengali) by origin it is obvious for me to begin the series with the Bengali Draping style and I wont let you down.
So, cut short all the chit chat and let's hit it.
Preparing for the Drape
Well, the process is quite straightforward, which is good if you are looking for an easy approach.
In general, there are two ways of draping a Bengali saree, the traditional and the modern, with few differences between them. The main basis of the Bengali style in both approaches is quite similar to the regular style, also known as Nivi.
What are the items with which you need to be ready to get started with my saree guide?
1. A traditional Bengali saree (Jamdani, Tussar Silk, Katan Banarasi or may be a Baluchari)
2. Blouse with puff sleeves
4. Bangles of your choice
5. A keyring or trinket
6. Round red bindi
7. A pair of heels
8. Staple filigree jewellery
9. A lot of safety pins
10. And, around 4 Minutes of your precious time
5 Quick Steps to Wonder
I seriously wanted to name this section as something like this as I wanted to create a no-fuss guide which is handy and pro to the users - no matter whether they are a beginner or a pro.
Well a touch of video tutorial is to be find at the end of each and every blog. But trust me the way I will enlist the steps it is not going to take much of your time.
Okay, we begin with the tucking at first, slightly above your navel. It is simple enough to tuck the top border portion of the saree and begin tucking in from the right side of the hip. Then the saree will go round to arrive at the front near your navel again, and completes a circle around your waist.
PRO TIP: The tucking should be neat and the height of the saree on bare feet should cover the feet but when worn with heels should be just grazing the top of the feet.
After having taken the saree once round the body you are now at your navel. Now take the saree to your left hip and tuck it there. Now take the saree, check that the reverse side of the saree will show in front. So now, take it towards the right hip. Tuck it there and take the saree once again and bring it to the left hip and again to the right side and tuck again. This means that now two very broad pleats cover the front.
Now take the rest of the saree from the pallu side and begin making pleats. When you are done with the box pleats and their formation, you can remove any wrinkles or crinkles in the saree, making sure it is smooth.
PRO TIP: In order to make clean pleats, use both hands to hold the box pleats, and stiffen the front of your saree to make sure it is flat, and this will result in a clean and neat finish.
Take the saree pallu across your left shoulder. And make sure that the entire length goes across the left shoulder. I know this is slightly tricky, but this will ensure that the front part of your body is well draped. Pin the sarees at the shoulder to keep it secure at the places.
Now take the rest of the saree from the back and bring the pallu in front from the right-hand side just under the arm. You have two ways to handle the pallu - considering that front of the body is already covered, you could take the pallu corner, tie a keyring-or chabhi Gucchha- and make that corner heavy. Now you could either throw that across the right shoulder or simply bring it from the back of the left side and throw it over your left shoulder itself.
Walaah and you’re done!!!!!
PRO Tips to Rock Your Look
In order to enhance the Bengali draping style, you can use these PRO-TIPS:
1. Use a bunch of keys, tie a knot using the pallu and the key ring. For added convenience, you can take the corner of the pallu that has the key, drape it, and allow the pallu to fall to your back from your right shoulder.
2. For neatness, consider wearing blouses with long sleeves (even if not a full-sleeved blouse). Avoid the sleeveless blouses or the ones with very short sleeves.
3. Having minor imperfections in the pleats is great, because it helps to add some charm to your appearance.
4. Always look for sarees that have beautiful borders if you are going to use the Bengali draping style
5. For married women, you can enhance your look through adding Pola (coral bangles) or Shankha (Conch bangles).
6. Always wear this Saree without a fall lining.Wear your heels beforehand to get the right length of Saree at the ankle.
Reference Video Tutorials Going Gaga Online
Here are my recommendations which I found to be suitable enough to watch to be a wear a great drape in any Bengali occasion. The one which you can access right now from my blog is the one by the Fashion Blogger, Abha Jaiswal - with more than 3.3 million views I think she rocked the draping style.
Sumana Bhattacharya completed her Masters in Economics from the University of Calcutta & was working with the Department of Education, Govt. of West Bengal to provide training to the teachers in Government Schools. She moved to USA in 2005 after getting married & is the mother of 2 kids. She is the one that drives IndyVogue every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Salute to her and her undying spirit.