Femenine fashion trends

How to Wear Saree Without a Blouse or a Petticoat

Priya Panwar
By Priya Panwar. Updated: March 20, 2024
How to Wear Saree Without a Blouse or a Petticoat

The saree, a timeless garment from India, drapes elegance and tradition around the wearer. Traditionally, it comprises a three-part ensemble. These are the drape of the saree itself, a snug-fitting blouse (known as a choli) for the upper body, and a petticoat worn underneath to enhance comfort and provide structure. However, in urban settings, a reimagined approach to the saree is gaining popularity: ditching the blouse and petticoat for a modern, breezy style.

The following oneHOWTO article provides a guide to wearing a saree without a blouse and petticoat.

You may also be interested in: How to Wear a Saree in a New Style

Steps to follow:


History of the Saree, blouse and petticoat

Traditionally, sarees were worn without a blouse and petticoat, especially in hotter climates and rural areas. Their introduction is traced back to the British Raj in the 19th century.

During the Victorian era, British sensibilities deemed the traditional way of wearing a saree (without a blouse) to be too revealing. The British influence led to the adoption of the petticoat and the blouse, particularly the puffed-sleeve style popular in Victorian fashion. This trend was most prominent in regions like Bombay and Bengal.

Over time, especially among elites, the blouse and petticoat became increasingly common. Today, the blouse and petticoat are widely considered integral parts of the saree. It's rare to see a saree worn traditionally without them, especially in formal settings or urban areas.

The blouse complements the saree, adding another layer of design and visual interest to the overall outfit. Blouses can be made from various fabrics like cotton, silk, velvet, brocade, or net. Traditional blouses are typically short-sleeved or sleeveless, with a snug fit. Modern options feature diverse styles such as halter necks, sweetheart necklines, cap sleeves, long sleeves, and backless designs.

On the other hand, the main purpose of a petticoat is to provide structure and a smooth foundation for the saree. They are typically made from lightweight fabrics like cotton or satin for comfort and ease of movement.

How to Wear Saree Without a Blouse or a Petticoat - Step 1

History of the Saree, blouse and petticoat

For a saree look without a traditional blouse, consider these options:

  • You can wear a well-fitting tube top or bralette for upper body coverage. Choose a style that complements the saree's fabric and design.

  • A peplum top can create a stylish silhouette that complements the saree's flow. Opt for a fitted top with a flared bottom that sits high on the waist.

  • A bandeau bra can provide minimal coverage while adding a touch of bohemian flair.

  • For a more daring take, consider an embroidered bra. This approach works best with opaque sarees or for a fashion-forward evening look

There are a few draping styles that work without a blouse, but be aware they might not fully cover your midriff. This means your stomach might be visible depending on the style and how you drape the saree.

When wearing a blouse, the saree is draped over a fitted blouse that covers the upper body, providing structure and support. However, when wearing a saree without a blouse, the upper body remains uncovered, and the saree is draped directly over the skin or undergarments. A well-known method for draping a saree without upper body coverage is as follows:

  1. Start by tucking one end of the saree into the waistband of your skirt or petticoat, if you're wearing one. Wrap the saree around your body, making neat pleats at the front.

  2. Leave a portion of the saree loose at the shoulder to create the pallu (the loose end). Adjust the length according to your preference.

  3. Drape the loose end (pallu) over your shoulder, and secure it in place with a decorative pin or by tucking it neatly into the waistband at the back.

  4. Smooth out any wrinkles and adjust the drape to ensure it looks elegant and comfortable.

Feel free to experiment with different draping styles and accessories to personalize your saree without a blouse look. For example, you could explore different draping styles like the Nivi drape, which can work well without a blouse.

Safety pins are crucial for keeping the saree securely draped, especially when there's no blouse to provide additional support. Opt for opaque fabrics that provide some level of modesty even without a blouse. Sheer or translucent fabrics might be too revealing for these styles without a blouse.

Make sure whichever method you choose ensures you feel comfortable and secure throughout wear. Carefully consider the social setting where you plan to wear the saree without a blouse. While these styles can be beautiful and unique, they might not be appropriate for all occasions.

This guide explores some interesting tips on choosing the perfect saree color for your next occasion.


How to wear a saree without a petticoat

There are a few ways to wear a saree without a petticoat, but it's important to consider the fabric and desired look. In this sense, the first step is to opt for opaque fabrics like cotton, silk (with a lining), or synthetic blends that don't reveal your undergarments. Sheer or translucent fabrics like chiffon or georgette will require a slip or different approach.

If you'd like to skip the petticoat, there are several some alternatives to achieve a smooth and flattering saree silhouette.

  • Body shapers or shapewear shorts can provide a smooth base and help control saree pleats. Choose comfortable, breathable options.

  • Opaque leggings or tights can act as a base layer for the saree. This can be a good option for colder weather or a more contemporary look.

  • Another option is to tuck the saree into an elastic waistband for added security. Alternatively, you can attach a band to the saree itself to ensure it stays in place.

  • Consider wearing a tight belt around your waist to help hold the saree in position.

  • Swap the petticoat for a comfortable salwar (churidar or straight-legged pants) that complements the saree's color or pattern. This adds a touch of ethnic fusion and allows for more leg movement.

  • Palazzo pants or flowy trousers create a breezy and stylish alternative. Experiment with bold prints or muted tones to create your unique look.

  • Elevate your saree with a lehenga skirt. This adds volume and a touch of royalty, making it perfect for festive occasions.

Safety pins are your best friend for securing the saree without a petticoat's structure.

Certain traditional and regional saree styles, such as the Dhoti style, Andhra puja style, Maharashtrian Nauvari style, and various Tamil and Telugu styles, are traditionally worn without a petticoat. Exploring these styles can provide inspiration for your look.

Experiment with these methods to find the one that suits your comfort and style preferences best. Remember to practice and adjust as needed to achieve the desired look without compromising on comfort or modesty.


Styling tips and tricks for stylish saree look

Now that you've explored different ways to wear a saree, let's delve into how to elevate your look. Here are some tips and tricks to make your saree shine:


Choose jewelry that complements the saree's color, fabric, and occasion. Opt for elegant statement pieces like chandelier earrings, choker necklaces, or bold bangles for an evening look. For casual settings, choose delicate earrings, a statement ring, or layered bracelets can add a touch of personality.

Finally, avoid overwhelming your look with too much jewelry. Let one or two pieces take center stage. Experiment with scarves, clutches, or statement earrings to add a personal touch to your saree look.

Cinch your saree with a statement belt to define your waist and add a modern touch.


Opt for a classic bun for a timeless choice for a formal saree, the bun keeps the hair neat and allows the jewelry to stand out. Variations like a braided bun or a messy bun can add a touch of personality.

An updo with loose tendrils adds a touch of sophistication and works well with sarees of all styles.

For a more relaxed look, consider loose waves or curls that cascade down the back. This pairs beautifully with sarees in lighter fabrics.

Experiment with braids. A braid along the hairline or a fishtail braid can add a unique touch to your saree look.

Looking for hairstyle inspiration? We've got you covered! Check out our guide to simple hairstyles for sarees.


Stilettos or pumps add a touch of elegance and elongate your silhouette.

For a comfortable and stylish option, choose embellished flats, juttis (ethnic footwear), or kolhapuris (Indian sandals). Don't be afraid to experiment! Sneakers or statement boots can create a unique and trendy look with a saree.


Explore draping techniques from different regions of India, like the Nivi drape (Andhra Pradesh) or the Gujarati drape. You can also look for contemporary saree draping styles with asymmetrical pleats, cowl drapes, or pallu variations.

Remember that the beauty of the saree lies in its versatility. Don't be afraid to experiment with these tips and create a saree style that reflects your unique personality and confidence!

Prefer a saree without pleats? While classic pleats are beautiful, there are other ways to drape a saree. Keep reading for styling tips and tricks.

picure: https://storiesofworld.com

How to Wear Saree Without a Blouse or a Petticoat - Step 4

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without blouse n bra n petycoat wearing sari for pooja pourpose finw
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How to Wear Saree Without a Blouse or a Petticoat