How to Drape a Saree in Dhoti Style and Types of Dhoti Sarees Online


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How to drape a saree in dhoti style

How to Drape a Saree in Dhoti Style and Types of Dhoti Sarees Online

What is Dhoti Saree?

Dhoti style saree is an innovative style of draping the saree. It has become increasingly popular among women of all ages as a contemporary and stylish alternative to traditional saree draping styles. The dhoti saree trend gained momentum when Bollywood celebrities started sporting this look at various fashion shows and events. 

With their influence on fashion trends, the dhoti type saree became more mainstream and desirable among fashion-conscious women. The unique draping style of dhoti sarees adds a vintage vibe. It is no wonder that the dhoti saree has become a popular choice for weddings, parties, and other special occasions.

How to Wear Dhoti Style Saree Step by Step

Before we see how to drape a saree in dhoti style let’s see the things needed:

1. A six-yard saree is enough for this dhoti style drape, but if a Nauvari style is what you want, you need a nine-yard saree.

2. Get a saree that is flowy which will make draping it easier. You can try out with slightly stiff fabrics, but if it’s your first time trying to drape a saree in dhoti style, choose a saree that drapes easily. It can be georgette sarees, chiffon sarees, soft silk sarees or crepe sarees.

3. Sarees with a medium-sized border are preferred for a dhoti-style drape.

4. Although in the traditional Marathi style saree draping, there is no need for a petticoat as the saree will act as the waistband, you can wear leggings or skin-tight pants if you aren’t comfortable. 

5. Safety pins to secure the saree drapes.

Here’s the step-by-step method on how to drape a saree in dhoti style:

Step1 - Wear your Blouse & Legging (Pants)

To begin draping, wear your preferred blouse and skin-tight pants. Ensure that the pants stay at your waist firmly otherwise the pleats will not sit properly.

Step 2 - Pleating the Pallu

The basic saree draping doesn’t necessarily require pre-pleating the pallu but in dhoti style drape, it is necessary to pleat the pallu before draping the saree. This will save you from the messy drapes that don’t look good. Pleat the length of the pallu according to your personal preference and secure it with pins one at the end and one at the beginning.

Step 3 - The Drape

Source: Tia Bhuva

This step will decide how the rest of your drape will look, so do it patiently. Take two-thirds of the saree including your pallu on the right and one-third of the saree on the left. Now drape it around your waist and tie a knot below your navel point ensuring it is strong. 

After knotting it, hold the part of the saree on the left (shorter side) and take it under your left leg bringing it to the back or simply said, wrap it around your leg. Then take the length of the saree at the back and pleat along its breadth just as you do for the pallu. Making sure the pallu is pleated neatly tuck it right at the centre and if needed secure it with a pin.  

Now for the right side of the saree that also has the pallu, hold the pallu in front just as how you would drape it and then take it under your right leg bringing it to the other side and thus giving the dhoti drape. Since the pallu is already pleated just drape it over your shoulder and adjust the pleats along the right side. 

That’s it! You’re done. 

Step 4 - The Setting

This is easy-peasy, just check if the dhoti drape on both legs looks symmetrical. If not, adjust the saree between your upper thigh by pulling the side with more volume to the other side. You can add a belt to enhance the look.

And now, you are totally ready to rock the dhoti drape. 

You might be interested in "How to drape a silk saree for a wedding?"

Dhoti Style Sarees Online

If you’re so in love with the dhoti drape but find it hard to get the drape done yourself, don’t worry, you can buy readymade dhoti sarees online. But it won’t look as vintage as you hand-drape a saree in dhoti style. 

With the increasing fad for dhoti sarees, they now come readymade, thus, saving time to drape a normal saree in dhoti style. You can buy dhoti sarees online and choose from various designs, fabrics, and colours, making them suitable for different occasions and personal styles.

4 Types of Dhoti Style Saree Draping 

1. Nauvari Saree

This is the original dhoti style saree. Nauvari which means nine yards is the saree length required to drape in dhoti style. It is popularly worn by Marathi women and has become famous among today's generation because of its representation in movies. The traditional Nauvari saree is worn without a petticoat and includes beautiful drapes that can be complicated to drape.

Kashta saree is very similar to the Maharashtrian dhoti drape and the pleats are tucked neatly at the back. Kashta sarees are also referred to as Nauvari sarees.

2. Koli-Style Dhoti Drape

The Koli tribe women are also known for draping the saree in dhoti style, except that the saree is cut into 2 pieces. One for the lower part of the body and one to cover the upper part. Typically they drape a nine-yard cotton saree which is slightly similar to that of the Marathi-style dhoti. 

3. Dhoti-Pant Style Saree

The dhoti-pant saree draping is similar to the regular dhoti saree style and includes the visibility of the pant on one side. Dhoti pant style is loved by women who love to create looks that are a fusion of two different outfits. It can be worn with dhotis, jean pants and shirt collared tank tops or with designer pants and a blouse. Many celebrities have donned this look at events and parties. You can buy dhoti pant sarees online.

4. Readymade Dhoti Saree

This is an ideal option for those who are inexperienced in draping a dhoti style saree or want a hassle-free way to get the dhoti saree look. Readymade dhoti sarees are pre-stitched you can wear them as easily as your jeans. Readymade dhoti saree comes in a plethora of fabrics like georgette, satin, heavy chiffon and crepe. 

Importance of Dhoti Saree

The following reasons can explain the importance of dhoti sarees:

1. Versatility - One of the key reasons for the popularity of dhoti sarees is their versatility. They can be worn for a variety of occasions, from weddings to casual gatherings and parties.

2. Comfort - Dhoti sarees are typically comfortable and stylish at the same time. The dhoti draping style allows for increased mobility and ease of movement.

3. Cultural Significance - The dhoti is a garment with a long history in Indian culture, and the dhoti saree pays tribute to this cultural significance. Combining the look of two traditional Indian outfits, the dhoti saree represents the rich cultural heritage of India.

4. Trendsetting - Dhoti sarees have gained popularity as a fashion statement among celebrities and fashion influencers.


In conclusion, dhoti sarees are a stylish and contemporary take on traditional Indian attire. With their unique draping style and wide range of designs, fabrics, and colours, they are a must-try for women who love exploring styles and drapes. If you're interested in trying out this style of saree draping, there are plenty of options available online, from traditional silk sarees to trendy party wear sarees

Read our other blogs to know more about sarees - the tradition behind trends!