All You Need To Know About Saree Blouses


Hi, this is Karishma, the author of this blog. I am a saree enthusiast and incorporate all that I advice here in this blog in my personal life too. I have been writing about blouse designs since 2009 in Hubpages and since 2014 here at Saree Blouse Designs.

This blog post is different from my other posts in the sense that here I will impart timeless advice that I have learnt throughout my long years researching, writing and wearing sarees. Unlike other posts, I will be regularly updating this post with any important and needed advice on blouses and sarees. With this post I intend to help not just veteran saree wearers but encourage new generation young adults to sum up the courage to wear sarees. If you are considering wearing saree for the first time and you want to learn more about it then this is the right place to start. In fact this post will also come in handy for anyone who is from a different culture wanting to learn about sarees and blouses.

all you need to know about saree blouses

What is a Saree?

Saree is a south east Asian traditional attire worn by women. Women from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Srilanka and Nepal wear it. The saree itself is a long piece of cloth anywhere between 5 yards and 9 yards in length and about 45 to 50 inches in breadth. However, generally the saree tends to be 6 yards in length with 1 yard extra for making the blouse. Generally the saree has no stitching except to secure the two ends to stop fabric frays.

How is Saree Worn?

Although historically saree was worn as a standalone garment, it has long changed since then. It is now worn with two other pieces of clothing for ease of draping and modesty. The petticoat and blouse are those two pieces of clothing that are required to wear a saree. Since the saree is a piece of fabric that is draped around the body, the petticoat is required to hold the saree in place by the waist. The petticoat is like a skirt with drawstring to tightly hold the saree in place. The blouse acts as a canvas on which the end part of the saree, known as achal/achol/pallu rests on. The blouse is a crop top made either with the extra 1 yard provided with the saree or any other contrasting or matching fabric.

Image showing how to wear a saree

How to Drape a Saree?

That cannot be answered with one right answer as there are 100s of ways in which this versatile garment can be worn. Most people think of saree and think of the ‘Nivi’ style. Nivi style of wearing saree requires the end part of the saree (a.k.a achol) to be draped from the front torso leaving it handing at the back from the left shoulder. There is another style that is very popular where the end part a.k.a achol hangs at the front of the torso from the shoulders from behind.

Saree is such an ancient garment that different styles of draping it has been adopted or created by different regions. In fact, in recent days millennials drape it in whichever fashion they like and create new statement looks. Women have worn it with a pair of pants too instead of the petticoat.

Video Tutorial on How to Wear a Saree

Below I am sharing a video of how to wear a saree for beginners. Out of all the videos out there this video perfectly shows how to drape a saree in an easy fashion. You don’t even need to understand her language to learn how to wear it, she’s that good.

An Attire That Evoke Strong Feelings

Ask any women from saree centric countries as mentioned above regarding their thoughts on sarees and most likely than not you will hear her say that saree is a feeling. It’s a feeling of love, nostalgia, fond memories. It is an emotion. I do not know if any other garment on earth invokes such deep sentimental feelings. Most girls from these countries have at least one image of them draped in their mother’s wedding saree as a toddler or young girl. The first time a girl wears the saree is forever captured in photographs.


image of baby girl in red saree first time

It is not a rare occurrence to walk in a drawing room to find the achol/pallu of the wedding saree of their grandmother framed and hung on the wall. That is how much this attire means to us who love sarees.

Why is Saree So Special?

What can I say, there are endless reasons but I will try to sum up the most important ones below:

  1. It is one such garment that can cover a woman from neck to feet and still highlight all the curves and crevices in the most alluring way.
  2. It is a versatile piece of clothing. It can be worn as a daily wear, office wear, formal wear, casual wear and even as a wedding attire.
  3. It is an egalitarian outfit. Anyone, whether she be poor or rich can wear and afford a saree. This is one outfit that transcends social structures and social separations.
  4. As I have mentioned above, there is no end to ways in which this adaptable garment can be draped. There is something for every generation in it. It is timeless.  
  5. It can be made from any fabric imaginable, from the sheerest muslin to the thickest khaddi fabric.
  6. Sarees come in all price ranges and is an inclusive garment.
  7. It is special because everyone has to learn to drape it at some point in their lives and till then it is an event of joy to be draped in it by aunties and mothers.

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