It used to be disrespectful to tamper with traditional outfits like the saree. But designers, Bollywood celebrities, and pop culture icons are eschewing old-world trends. They’re using contemporary styling techniques to elevate the saree. But how do you wear a high-waisted saree?
To wear a high-waisted saree, pair it with cropped tops and ruffled blouses. Short jackets and snug sweaters also work well with a high-waisted saree. Belts, sashes, and capes are fantastic saree accessories that can elevate your look.
There are many ways to wear a high-waisted saree. With this garment, you never again have to worry about revealing too much. It covers just about everything the original style reveals, especially the navel, so take advantage of this feature and our tips below for how to wear it properly.
The Saree’s Versatility
What can six to nine yards (5.49 to 8.23 meters) of fabric do to an individual’s appearance and confidence? You’ll never know until you’ve worn a saree!
When draped around someone, a saree enhances the wearer’s looks and gives them an air of mystique. It’s like a magic cloak. It can highlight different areas of the body, or hide them. It’s an exceptionally versatile garment that you can wear at any time.
With each tweak of the saree, it becomes suitable for all occasions. Home, travel, office, social gatherings—even PTA meetings look better with a saree. The right saree not only hides flaws but also makes the wearer feel remarkable. So does the type with a high waist: it makes her look like royalty.
For a lot of people, preparing to wear a saree can be cumbersome. They find the draping and the pleating too much trouble. Those who have been wearing the garment all their lives say it takes a bit of getting used. Remember, practice makes perfect!
How To Wear High-Waisted Sarees
Tuck It In
High-waisted sarees look best when blouses and shirts are tucked in. The high waist combined with a tucked-in top creates the illusion of a cinched waistline. Variants with knots tied in front also beautify plain sarees.
The tucked-in top, whether a dress shirt or a delicate blouse, must be snug. Otherwise, you’ll experience unintended bulging, bunching up, or gathering into folds. Thinner fabrics do this when tucked into sarees. Remember this when choosing a top.
Designers recommend loose, flowing blouses for the top-heavy. But these should be tucked in as well. Some tops are better untucked, but this depends on what body type wears them. Experiment to see which flatters yours.
Crop the Top
Wearing a cropped top or a tank with a high-waist saree could be perfect for summer. It allows confident wearers to bare their midriffs.
Cropped tops, however, might not be best for full-figured individuals. Still, if you’re confident, feel free to experiment with different types. You’re bound to find one that works best for your body type.
Add Flair With Cover-Ups and Accessories
There are many types of cover-ups. These include wraps, fur throws, kimonos, capes, shawls, stoles, and dupattas. Cover-ups and accessories like barrettes, purses, and bags should match the saree.
Alternate Blousons With Blouses
To the uninitiated, a blouson is a short, loose jacket, typically bloused and ending at the waist. It goes exceptionally well with a high-waist saree. A dressy blouson with ruffles paired with denim creates a distinctive contrast.
Just because you’re wearing a high-waist saree doesn’t mean you have to stick with short blouses. Go long with tunics, kurtas, kameezes, and anarkalis.
Frame the Neck With Collars
High necklines speak elegance. Collared shirts and high-necked blouses add class and sophistication to any saree. Examples of these are Victorian blouses and Nehru jackets. Adding these to informal high-waist sarees upgrades them for use during formal events.
Enfold Attire With Waistbands, Sashes, and Belts
These allow you to customize high-waist sarees and add a distinctive look to outfits. Contrary to stereotypes, these accessories make anyone look more slender. The trick is where you tie them. Adding waistbands or belts to high-waist sarees cinches the waist (or seems to do so). Add one just a few inches above the navel to create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
Pointers on Color and Design
- Draw attention to a tiny waist with a statement belt. A brightly colored one or a model with a one-of-a-kind design achieves the same result.
- A belt of the same color as your skirt creates a seamless hourglass silhouette.
- A belt that’s darker than your skirt creates a more prominent cinch.
- Traditional waistbands with gold or silver filigree look great on lighter-colored fabrics.
Shield Sarees With Coats or Jackets
An extra layer over a high-waist saree completely changes an ensemble’s vibe. In colder weather, consider wearing a jacket, coat, or blazer with your saree.
A stylish denim or leather jacket gives an edge to any saree, high-waisted or not. But a blazer makes a saree look professional without making it too stiff.
Team Sarees With Open-Fronted Smocks
Examples are shrugs, kaftans, cardigans, anarkalis, buttoned-down or zipped-up sweaters, and laced-up smocks. A fitted cardigan that falls above your waistline highlights your natural curves.
Gussy Up Sarees With Heels
Heels further accentuate the lengthening effect of the high-waisted saree. Wedges and close-toed, skin-toned, and strappy heels pair well with sarees. The last kind is an excellent choice for spring and summer.
High-waisted sarees don’t often go well with flats and flip-flops. These shoes are too informal. Regular winter boots break the saree’s dignified line with their clunk and bulk. However, delicate ankle boots work great with high-waist sarees. If you dare to wear flats, choose a more casual, softer, flowing saree.
Borrow From Vintage Looks
Look to yesteryear and its icons for style inspiration. Megastars Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe are known for their high-waist numbers.
Watch their movies and musicals to copy their outfits. You could also pair foundation garments with modern frocks and accessorize them. The crucial thing is to make them your own.
Cast Your Eyes Toward the Stars for Inspiration
Net some insight from celebrities, current and historic. The last couple of decades have seen them showcase high-waisted styles.
Recreate the outfits and styles of pop culture icons like Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga. Glamorous accessories almost always pair well with sarees.
Tops and Accessories for High-Waisted Sarees
- Match high-waisted flare sarees with any light or pastel-colored linen or polyester top.
- Avoid matching them with very loose tops.
- Linen and polyester also work well with high-waist pencils. Choose blouses with puffed long sleeves, ruffled numbers, and loose chiffons.
- Tunics, especially the Nehru type, frame high-waisted flare sarees really well.
- Mimic Audrey Hepburn by pairing your saree with a boat-neck knit top and ballet flats. But only if you’re tall and slender. Petite people should veer away from wearing full-length bottoms with extended trails.
- Create an ensemble with a masculine vibe by matching your saree with a sweater and ankle boots.
- Partner florals with sarees for a feminine vibe.
- A flared voile top with a high-waist saree makes a breezy addition to your summer collection.
- Team black skirts with vibrant, multicolored or printed pallus or dupattas.
- Snug-fitting black tops like crops and tanks display toned midriffs.
- Try a cute cut-off cropped top that ends at the top of the saree.
- Pair a red saree with a sleeveless white cropped top with tiny black polka dots.
- High-waisted sarees complement low-waisted individuals because they make the waist appear higher.
- White goes with most colors and transforms informal attire into formals, so try a white chiffon shirt to make your casual saree office-appropriate.
- Don a body-conscious top with a snazzy saree to look less severe.
- While mall-shopping, look at the mannequins in the display windows. They are brilliant sources for ideas.
- Other high-waist saree combos include a high-neck shirt and a shoulder bag, or an off-shoulder top and beret. You can also choose a high-neck blouse and a fitted jacket. An off-shoulder number with a choker or an all-purpose top with a long jacket are bound to look great.
Factors Affecting the High-Waisted Saree’s Look
The high-waisted saree is here to stay. That’s excellent news, both for people who want to look slimmer and those who wish to hide love handles. The high waist covers the navel and exposes only the waist—and you have the option of covering this up too.
But, if you have a tiny waist and want to show it off, wear a shorter blouse and use sheer fabric. High-waisted sarees enhance most body types and can be spruced up or dressed down.
Styling a high-waisted saree is easy with our fashion guidelines. Consider these critical factors when wearing them:
Draping and Pleating Style
How you choose to drape the saree influences how you’ll look. If you drape a saree incorrectly, high-waisted or not, it will look frumpy. An efficiently draped saree is one with uniform pleats tidily tucked in.
Patterns and Prints
Large prints on sarees can make wearers appear plumper and chunkier. So, the vertically challenged and the heavyset should avoid these. But anyone can carry off small prints like florals and other plant-based motifs. These can also be used to create a slimming effect.
A saree’s borders play a vital role in its constitution and identity. A woman’s choice of saree reveals her personality. The borders of the design she chooses to reveal her taste. She should also be aware that borders should be selected according to one’s height.
Most designers recommend choosing sarees without borders. Shorter borders are also a smart option for petite wearers. And if tall, sarees with wider borders are more appropriate (to diminish some of the height). This is particularly significant with high-waisted sarees.
Color and Artwork
Fashion stylists normally recommend dark colors to plus-sized people for their slimming effect. This is true, not only for high-waisted sarees but all other outfits.
Artwork includes the embroidery, zari, and stonework used on sarees. Crystals, sequins, embroidery, and stonework contribute to their exquisiteness.
Sarees with heavy embroidery work best for slender people. Sarees with delicate detailing are more suitable for the more buxom. The prints and tiny features draw attention away from the obvious.
Structure of the Tops
Any attractive piece of clothing can make you feel confident about your body. Most of this is psychological, and many people are unaware of this effect, but it works.
Consider the latest trends in saree accessory design when choosing a top. Blouses with various necklines, sleeve options, and back or tummy exposure are popular.
Another thing to consider is the length of the blouse. Short tops diminish height, and long ones add to it, elongating already tall physiques. The height-challenged should avoid long tops.
The Lehenga (Petticoat)
The saree’s petticoat or inner skirt must complement the color of the saree. This is especially true of light-colored sarees.
Darker shades change the color of the saree’s back part. The petticoat can be seen through a layer of the drape, particularly if this is made of sheer material. When shopping for sarees, check the lehenga by viewing it through one layer of fabric.
The petticoat’s structure is not as important when wearing a heavier saree. But when the skirt is longer than the saree, it could peek out as you move. So take note of this before you buy.
High-waisted sarees flatter most body types. But if you’re tall and lanky, pick fabrics that don’t cling to the body, such as tissue and organza. Those with bulkier profiles should avoid handlooms and cotton. Choose georgette and chiffon instead.
Wear the correct size saree based on your physique. This may be easier said than done, as most people buy them off-the-rack. But you can always have a tailor alter it according to your measurements.
A well-fitted high-waisted saree emphasizes the waist-to-hip ratio. As such, the correct size lehenga is essential.
If it is too small, it will tug at your lower body and cause lumps and folds to form. This will bring attention to unflattering body parts. Too big, and it beats the purpose of wearing a high-waisted garment in the first place. It won’t define the waist.
Petite and buxom individuals should pay particular attention to the above feature. That’s because skirts worn high on the waist diminishes the torso’s appearance. If the distance between the breast line and the belly button is short, the torso appears even shorter.
To the untrained eye, all saree skirt bases look like they’re all one shape: just flowing straight down. After all, they’re supposed to be simply foundations on which to drape the saree fabric around. But various saree styles determine the shape of the lehenga.
Peasant-style saree ensembles need the lehengas to follow the shape of the skirt. Saree styles tight at the hips and thighs but flare out below the knees need a tube skirt. Any saree style with complex draping and pleating benefit from a pencil skirt.
A-line skirts tend to look flattering on nearly every body shape. But you should also consider solid black high-waisted sarees, which are incredibly versatile. You could combine them with various top types.
Pay attention to skirt shape because this will guide you to the appropriate top. For instance, a chunky sweater or a bolero each requires a different skirt shape. Pair the wrong one with either, and the outfit will look strange. If you want to play it safe, keep in mind that a snug-fitting shirt in black or white goes with any skirt shape.
The saree’s fabric dictates how you will look. Most choose a thick crepe over a sheer georgette to achieve a slender profile. But you can do the same with any fabric, as long as you style it properly.
If you have wide hips and you want to accentuate them, choose a skirt with stretchy material. If you plan to show less, choose a fabric that hugs the physique without revealing too much, such as linen or cotton. For a regal look, velvet is the best fabric.
Where To Buy Sarees Online
Purchase beautiful sarees online from these leading Indian stores:
- Unnati Silks: They have an extensive collection of ethnic handloom sarees. They also have salwar kameezes, kurtas, as well as fabrics. They dispatch orders within 24 hours of placing them.
- India Bazaar Online: An online retailer
- Peachmode: An online retailer
- Flipkart: They specialize in high-waist sarees and shorts.
The saree has a compelling background, not just in the fashion world but also in history. Most South Asians are aware of its cultural significance, but not everyone knows its role in world events. However, this topic is beyond the scope of this article and will be tackled later.
The high-waisted saree has emerged only recently vis-à-vis its ancient counterpart. By wearing one, you embrace a piece of history wherever you go. Now that you know how to glamorize it, you and your saree can be a showcase for both culture and heritage.