Styles of draping
There are more than 80 recorded ways to wear a sari. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape to be worn over the shoulder, baring the midriff.
However, the sari can be draped in several different styles, though some styles do require a sari of a particular length or form. The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher Chantal Boulanger categorised sari drapes in the following families:
- Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.
- Bengali and Odia style is worn without any pleats.Traditionally the Bengali style is worn without pleats where the saree is wrapped around in an anti-clockwise direction around the waist and then a second time from the other direction. The loose end is a lot longer and that goes around the body over the left shoulder. There is enough cloth left to cover the head as well. The modern style of wearing a saree originates from the Tagore family.
- Gujarati/Rajasthani/Pakistani – after tucking in the pleats similar to the nivi style, the loose end is taken from the back, draped across the right shoulder, and pulled across to be secured in the back
- Nepal – Nepali sari is worn in various forms of traditional nivi style, saris are worn with Nepali blouse known as cholo.
- Maharashtrian/Konkani/Kashta; this drape is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti, though there are many regional and societal variations. The centre of the sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the centre back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth of nine yards is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. The style worn byBrahmin women of differs from that of the Marathas. The style also differs from community to community.This style is popular in Maharashtra,Goa,parts of Karnataka.