How to Wear Marathi Saree with a Modern Twist

how to wear marathi saree

The Marathi saree, traditionally known as the Nauvari, holds a special place in the rich tapestry of Indian cultural attire. Its name, 'Nauvari,' translates to 'nine yards,' signifying the length of the saree, which is longer than the conventional six-yard saree. This traditional Maharashtrian garment, draped to allow the wearer the freedom to move freely and even ride a horse, was originally designed for the warrior queen of the Maratha empire. However, in today’s world, where traditional meets contemporary, the Marathi silk sarees have seen numerous renditions that blend their classic appeal with modern fashion sensibilities. This article explores how to wear a Marathi saree with a modern twist, ensuring you keep the essence of tradition alive while embracing current trends.

How to Drape a Marathi Saree: The Classic Method

Before we dive into the modern adaptations, let's quickly overview the classic way to drape a Marathi saree. It involves tucking the saree at the waist, wrapping it around, and then draping it back to front from between the legs, securing it at the waist, and creating an elegant drape over the shoulder. This style resembles wearing a dhoti, with a pleated section in the front, known as the "pallu," elegantly draped over the shoulder, showcasing the saree's design.

Modern Twists on Wearing Your Marathi Saree

1. Choosing Contemporary Fabrics and Prints for Your Marathi Saree

Integrating modern elements into traditional Nauvari sarees begins with selecting fabrics and prints that reflect a contemporary aesthetic. Opting for modern soft silk sarees, or choosing lighter, more fluid materials such as georgette or chiffon can instantly give your saree a modern vibe. Additionally, embracing digital prints, abstract designs, or pop art motifs instead of traditional ethnic patterns can add an innovative twist to your ensemble.

2. Styling Your Marathi Saree with Designer Blouses

Enhancing the appeal of your Marathi saree with a stylish, designer blouse can revolutionize its overall appearance. Consider pairing it with trendy crop tops, elegant off-shoulder blouses, or even a snugly fitted T-shirt for a contemporary makeover. This approach introduces a modern twist and serves as a delightful departure from traditional blouse styles, ensuring your outfit captures attention. Incorporating kanjivaram silk sarees into this mix adds another layer of sophistication and versatility, blending the rich texture of silk with the ease and comfort of lighter fabrics, perfectly complementing the innovative blouse pairings for a truly standout ensemble.

3. Accessorizing Your Marathi Saree for a Modern Look

Accessories play a pivotal role in modernizing the Marathi saree. Statement jewelry pieces like large, geometric earrings or chunky necklaces can replace traditional Maharashtrian ornaments. Modern wristwear or a sleek, contemporary watch can also enhance the fusion look. Footwear choices like high heels or stylish flats can further accentuate the modern appeal.

4. Creative Draping Styles for a Modern Marathi Saree

While the traditional Nauvari drape is unique, experimenting with draping the pallu can add a modern twist. Instead of the classic shoulder drape, consider belting the pallu at the waist for a more structured look or letting it fall freely from your shoulder more relaxedly. These small changes can significantly alter the saree's overall appearance, making it more suited to contemporary tastes.

5. Adding a Belt

A trendy belt cinched at the waist over the saree not only adds a modern element but also helps accentuate the waistline, adding a chic touch to the traditional attire. Choose a belt that complements the saree, whether a traditional kamarbandh reimagined or a leather belt for a bold statement.

6. Modern Makeup and Hairstyle

The final touch to wearing a Marathi saree with a modern twist lies in the makeup and hairstyle. Opt for a bold lip color, smoky eyes, or a contemporary hairstyle like a sleek bun or beachy waves. These elements can significantly influence the overall modern appeal of your traditional attire.

Embracing the Fusion

The beauty of modernizing traditional attire lies in the balance between respect for cultural heritage and the expression of individual style. Wearing a Marathi saree with a modern twist is not just about fashion innovation but also about embracing and promoting the rich cultural tapestry of India in the contemporary world. It's a celebration of how traditions can evolve and stay relevant in the changing times.


Transforming the traditional Marathi saree into a modern masterpiece is an art that requires creativity, experimentation, and a deep appreciation for both the old and the new. It’s about mixing and matching, trying new ideas, and not being afraid to stand out. Whether you’re attending a formal event, a casual gathering, or even incorporating this style into your daily wear, the modern twist on the Marathi saree offers endless possibilities to express your unique style while paying homage to a rich cultural heritage. So, drape on that saree, add your personal touch, and wear it with pride and confidence.