Sari forever

Pastel floral sari

For some official events here in Nepal wearing a sari is a must for all the invited women including foreigners. I love sari, it is such a feminine, elegant and undoubtedly beautiful variant of traditional Indian dress. Literally speaking the sari is just a piece of fabric of about 4-8 m long and about 120 cm wide. And it is amazing that by draping it around the body it can be transformed into such a beautiful item of women's clothing. Of course, draping a sari requires experience and skills. And that is exactly what I lack. Theoretically I know how to drape it but practically it just doesn't work that smoothly and I have to re-drape it again and again. As a result draping a sari takes so much time for me. And I get tired and often annoyed in the process. But the final look is worth all the effort I guess.

Party black sari

The commonly known and popular nowadays way of draping a sari (most of the fabric is pleated at the waist and then wound round to make a skirt with the remaining few yards swept across the upper part of the body covering the left shoulder and the end hanging down the back) is called the nivi style and was actually adopted in most regions not that long ago - in the 1920s-1930s. It became so widely spread that many people are not even aware that there are dozens of other ways to drape a sari. Different regions, ethnic and tribal groups all have their own sari styles and draping methods. One of the most unusual and complex ways is the kachchha style when saris are draped to look and function like a pair of trousers. This style requires the longest piece of fabric, 8-10 m.

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Floral sari
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Traditionally tribal, peasant and low-caste women have always worn short saris in order to allow movement. Among wealthier women saris are expected to sweep the floor because exposed ankles are considered to be a sign of belonging to the labouring class.

Silk handwoven sari
This silk handwoven sari costs around 100 000$ and it is one of the most expensive saris. Its endpiece depicts "Lady Musicians" painting by Raja Ravi Verma. It is embellished with gold, diamonds, platinum, silver, rubies, emeralds, yellow sapphires, blue sapphires, cat's eye, topazes, pearls and corals. Photo source

 Though the sari is an untailored length of cloth, it is not just any cloth: the fabric specifically structured and desighned to be a sari. It is divided into three areas: the border; the endpiece; and the field. Borders usually extend the full length of the sari. Most regions, and even towns and villages, have their own traditional distinctive borders. The endpiece is the part of the sari that is draped over the shoulder and left to hang over the back of front. In many cases it is the most embellished part of the sari.

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photo  source

It is not precisely known how old the sari is. One of the earliest depictions of a sari-like drape dates back to about 100 BC. Many sculptures of 50BC - 300AD period show a variety of different sari draping styles. And isn't it amazing that today, so many centuries later, the sari still exists, untouched by historical events and global fashion.


  1. Wow!!! Such beautiful saris!!!! You look very graceful and elegant in both saris!!!! You managed to drape them well :-D

  2. Don't you look pretty? Love wearing them but have to be dressed, i haven't a clue how to fold them myself.
    The last one is incredible, I love it! x

  3. You look beautiful:) have a lovely weekend!
    ~Anne xx

  4. Olga, that is just wonderful, thank you for sharing! I had no idea how gorgeous they can be, although I adore seeing them on Indian women here. You are such a beauty in your saris!

  5. How wonderful your saris! I love both. The first one has a wonderful soft color and is so fine. The second looks so precious and has so wonderful butterflies. I love butterflies on fabric.
    The review you show us is very interesting. I never thought that saris are so versatile and can be worn in so many different ways.
    Have a fine weekend my dear Olga!
    Sabine xxx

  6. Another interesting read, Olga. Since my stay in India I know a bit more about saris and saw so, so many sorts and styles! Many are just gorgeous!!! And I often wondered how the very poor or the ones in slums still wore impeccable saris, looking clean, with vibrant colors and shiny crystals. Amazing.

    You look gorgeous in both saris. I particularly like the pink one. What can I say; I love pink and pastels and the colors of this sari are just poetry!

  7. You look amazing!!! Very beautiful pieces of clothing. It's like wearable art :)

  8. Wow, such lovely photographs! Thank you for sharing the history and education about the garment. Honestly, my favorite are the ones of you. You chose such gorgeous fabric and draping, and the garment suits you so beautifully.