Every time we see an Indian woman wearing a brightly-colored saree, we can't help but be amazed by how graceful and womanly they look. We marvel at how the cloth's colors and the way the saree drapes and falls in folds about an Indian woman's body, seem to embody her femininity. We gape and can't help but be awed at how even the slightest movements of their bodies seem to speak volumes as they move about almost sensuously despite the voluminous quality of the saree's cloth wrapped around the waist. Then, we wonder, what is exactly the mystery behind the saree?
A saree or sari, as it is commonly known, is a piece of clothing traditionally worn by Indian women that is as long as nine yards in length. Aside from the cloth though, an Indian woman wears an upper garment that is made of the exact same cloth or has the same design or depicts one of the colors of the saree. This upper garment could either be cropped short baring some skin from the midriff down to the navel or longer, that which it could be tucked in to the saree's waist. From the waist down of the saree, an Indian woman wears a petticoat, to lessen the sheerness of the saree's fabric, which is mostly woven cloth or silk.
The allure of the saree comes not only from the way it hints at a body's curves but also in the way it is draped on an Indian woman's body. This draping could actually be done in several ways. The most common way is when an Indian woman winds or wraps the saree around her waist and then drapes the extra cloth over her shoulder and lets it fall down over her right breast.
There are other ways or styles to drape a saree and one of this is the kaccha nivi style. An Indian woman who uses this style will have to pleat the saree cloth and pass it through her legs before tucking it into her back at the waist. This type of draping is used by an Indian woman, who would like to have her legs covered while she moves around freely. This style is more of the traditional way of draping a saree although there is now a modern nivi style that is used by most Indian women.
The modern nivi style is done by an Indian woman tucking one end of her saree into her petticoat's waistband. She wraps the fabric of the saree from her hips down just once and gathers it into pleats below her navel. She also tucks these pleats into her petticoat's waistband. This type of pleat is called as kick pleat in the West and makes movements especially walking, easier. The Indian woman then drapes the saree's loose end over her shoulder, from her right hip over to the left shoulder. When wearing a cropped blouse, the Indian women show a peek of her midriff through this draping style. Sometimes, this type of saree draping calls for an Indian woman to just adjust the loose end to either show or hide her navel for a more sultry look.
There are still other types of saree draping that an Indian woman uses. These styles differ though are based on what part of India she is from and on what traditional style of draping she is following. An Indian woman sometimes wears a saree not only as a piece of clothing but also to show where she comes from.