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Sarees may be a centuries-old style of traditional Indian dress, but that doesn't mean that the colorful, beaded frocks are falling out of style. In fact, Lehenga-style sarees are one of the new trends sweeping the Indian fashion scene. These new easy-to-wear sarees take the hassle out of draping with sewn-in pleats that require little more than a quick tuck to put on. Once you've mastered the simple art of draping a Lehenga, you can personalize the look with the right accessories.
Start with your underthings. Lehenga-style sarees are intended to be worn over short-sleeve choli blouses and slim-fitting in-skirts or petticoats, so don't get to wrapping until you've slipped into these under pieces.
Tuck the top corner undecorated end of the fabric into the waist of your in-skirt at your right hip so that the handy-dandy pre-sewn pleats are facing outward.
Wrap the fabric once all the way across the front of your waist and around the back, tucking the top hem into your in-skirt as you go.
Bring the pleated front of the saree across the front of your waist to your left hip. At this point, you've wrapped the saree around your body one and a half times. Tuck in the top hem to your in-skirt to keep everything secure.
Drape the pallu across your back from your left hip to your right shoulder. The pallu is usually much more decorative and beaded than the bottom of the saree, and it might be made of a sheer material for some sex appeal.
Pull the pallu over your right shoulder and drape it across your chest. The pleats are designed to fan out over your body, so no need to tuck them into the skirt. If you want extra security, pin the pallu to the shoulder of your choli.
Customizing Your Look
Keep it all one color if you want a more traditional look. A striking red Lehenga saree paired with a matching in-skirt and choli in lucious silk fabrics makes a serious fashion statement.
Experiment with color for an unexpected modern twist. Instead of matching your choli and in-skirt to the fabric in your saree, choose colors that match the beading, like gold or silver.
Go glamorous with accessories. Saree beading around your neck doesn't need competition, so opt for stacks of bangles at your wrists or bold earrings instead of necklaces. Boost the sex appeal with a gold chain wrapped around your exposed belly.
Keep your shoes simple and flat. Tripping over heels in your long skirt is a serious style killer.
Check your Lehenga saree for hooks at the hips to make wrapping and tucking even more low-maintenance.
Not all Lehenga sarees are designed to wrap around the body fully once. If your saree is too short, skip right to Step 4 in Section 1, but make sure you really like the look of your in-skirt, since more of it will be visible from the back.