As a part of my 30 before 30 list, I learned how to drape a sari well. Special thanks to my mum, and the internet!
I love the sari, it is a beautiful garment,makes me feel elegant and grownup. I learnt to drape it fairly late in my youth, and even made a little comic about it. The only problem is I don't love it on myself. Post-wedding, I accumulated a lovely collection of silks and chiffons and net saris. But something was still amiss, saris always seemed a little "off" on me.
That's when I realised I need to learn how to drape it well. There are a few little tricks of how to do it, and you need to adjust it to your own body type.
For instance I am a small person, with a few extra pounds in the middle. I have slim hips and broad shoulders. I don't have the typical large hipped small-waisted Indian figure(which looks so amazing in saris). So I made up a few tenets for myself, especially when it comes to the traditional silk saris.
1) No long pallus for me, sadly. I stick to neatly draped accordian pleats, that is the only way I will not look over-whelmed by the sari. The folded section of the pallu cannot extend too much beyond my shoulder blade. Otherwise I look like one of those rugby players.
2) A tiny bit of waist exposure is essential, for people who are blessed with no hips & a paunch. This falls nicely in line with a gathered pallu.
3) Front pleats are a bit of an issue for short & not-very-wide-hipped people. Especially since some saris these days seem to be long and tall and make up for a nice "pouf" right in front of your tummy. My solution(courtesy my mum) is to move them ever so slightly to the right.
4) Heels! Buy(and wear) the most comfortable high-heels you can find. Wedges always work for me. Many people dislike the look of wedges,but I like to think that having small feet can let you get away with chunky shoes.Wearing heels under a sari elongates the lower part of the sari, and makes you look elegant.
So these are my four observations for draping a sari well. There was a wedding in the family recently, and I think I managed to pull off the sari pretty well.