Our reader, Deepa had sent us a picture of Sonam Kapoor in a dhoti drape sari by Tarun Tahiliani. While Gigi and I tried our best to figure out the drape, we thought we should leave it to an expert! So we got celebrity sari draping queen, Kalpana Shah to give you a tutorial on how to drape the sari – dhoti style!
Kalpana Shah has been in the business for the past 30 years and and has draped some of the most loved celebrities, actor and society stars. She can tame the sari in over 100 ways. So here’ s how to drape Sonam’s dhoti style sari!
Now that you’ve seen the tutorial, here are a few pointers to ace the drape. Be warned, draping this style can get tricky if you don’t pay attention to the little details.
The Perfect Sari: Choose a 5 meter long sari in a light drapey fabric like chiffon. A printed sari will camouflage the drape. Pick one in a solid color with a simple contrasting narrow border and no fall. This will enhance the drape and fold lines which are key to this style.
The Right Innerwear: You will need a non traditional blouse and a pair of lycra tights
Plastic Clothes Clips: Kalpanaji swears by them. Its her simple yet genius solution to control and keep the drape in place!
Sturdy Safety Pins: Choose pins that are strong and sturdy enough to pierce the pleats without tearing the sari. You’ll needed to keep all those pleats secure in place.
Sky High Heels: Pick a tall and slender pair to complement the dhoti. Wear you shoes before you start draping.
1. Drape the sari at the lower waist, leaving 1.5m to the non-pallu end. Overlap the two ends and pin at the centre. Remember to keep the longer (right) section over the left (1.5m excess).
2. Take the longer section leading to the pallu around your back from the left and bring to the front. Fold the pallu into pleats 2-3 inches wide.
3. Use the plastic clothes clips to secure the pleats in place and toss the pallu over the shoulder. Maintain the line of the pleats and adjust where necessary. Secures the pallu at the shoulder of the blouse with a safety pin.
4. Follow the pallu to the lower waist, take hold of the pleats here and continue to drape around the hip. While keeping a close eye on the neatness of the pleats, bring the drape to the front and pin at the center to the tights. Make sure to smoothen the pleats before and after pinning – They must rest neatly around the hip and be prominently visible.
5. Take the 1.5 meter that was initially left aside and pleat along the width to form beautiful cowls for the dhoti. Secure with a pin.
6. Take this end between your legs, tuck in at the back and pin. Don’t forget to manage the pleats neatly.
7. Pleat the last droopy section in the front, starting from the center outwards. Tuck in neatly at the centre waist. Readjust your pleats and pin.
8. Pin the front of the drape to the pleats on the hip to prevent the sari from opening while walking.
9. Finish up with the right accessories. We picked a wide back tie up blouse for a that added jolt of drama and topped with with some bling drop earrings and a pair of anklets
Kalpana Shah is also the author of ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, a coffee table book and guide to draping the Indian sari. She has recently launched a her sari draping app on the App and on Google Play stores. For more information on Kalpana Shah, check out her Facebook and Twitter page.
Now that you know how to drape the dhoti sari from ‘scratch’, we’d love to see your versions. If you have any fashion queries you’d like us to help you with, comment below and we’ll find you a solution!