The Pins and Tucks of Wrapping A Saree - A Jamaican's Cultural Lesson in India

Contributor: Diedre McLeod

Globetrotter at heart, I amplify my Cultural Voice through travelling and indulging in customs very different from my own.
One of my most awe-inspiring experiences was celebrating Diwali 2011 in Mangalore, India. Known as the “Festival of Lights,” everyone lights up the skyline with fireworks and firecrackers – excited that darkness was overcome and celebrating the dawning of light. No house or village is spared the festivities.
But what was most exciting for me was seeing all the beautiful Sarees on parade and ultimately wearing my very own.
The traditional Indian dress for females, the Saree, reveals as much as it conceals. It is also as complex as it is simple – especially when wrapping it! This delicate, free form dress requires a bit of practice (and a whole lot of pins) to get the ‘perfect wrap’.
It took about 20 minutes to wrap (this was partly because I brought the wrong pins). The style my Saree was wrapped in is called the Nivi Style and it’s the most popular style. In the Nivi Style, my saree was pleated in the front with one end of the saree tucked into the waistband of my Lehenga (petticoat) and the other end was thrown over my shoulder. 
What you need:
Choli – bust length blouse worn with saree,
Lehenga – petticoat or skirt worn under saree, and
The Saree of course!

After 20 minutes of undoing and redoing my wrap, I was finally ready to go out and celebrate - firecrackers in hand, YAY ME!!

Source for saree instructions:

Diedre McLeod is a Jamaican committed to cultural exploration. Though a business major, she follows her heart and dreams. Diedre lived in India for 6 months, and currently lives in Lyon, France.  


  1. I love it! I will be in India in 2 weeks and I'm going to get a sari now! It's gorgoeous! But question, besides India, where are you going to wear it upon return to USA or JA?

  2. Have a great time in India! The first time I wore a Saree was actually in Ja at a culturally mixed wedding celebration of a i guess special occasions like that or cultural mixers...

  3. You're gonna have such an experience in India! Where abouts are you going?

    Like Steffi says, a cultural mixer is a good place to start. But you could also buy a shalwar [blouse+leggings outfit] or a kurta [indian top]. These are easier to convert into everyday wear.

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  11. Thanks for sharing this nice post awesome keep sharing
    Happy New Year DP for Whatsapp

  12. I like your explanation regarding wrapping of saree. In india, nowdays according to latest trends many women mostly prefer to wear saree with different sarees draping styles from which they can steal the limelight among the crowd. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. nice information. Thanks a lot for sharing it.

  15. nice information. Thanks a lot for sharing it.

  16. Nice post. I love to drape saree in different styles. Now I wants to drape in lehenga style saree. This make me perfect look. I always love to buy banarasi sarees and bhagalpuri sarees.


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