Today I will be discussing some dupatta style (draping) for lehengas. Some of these styles are similar to the suit dupatta drape styles I have discussed previously and some are specific to lehengas.
In the picture below three of the most common drape styles are depicted in the same lehenga. The first style is to open the dupatta on both shoulders in front and let it fall naturally and arms. This style is most suitable for occasions which involves very less activity by you. The second style is to pleat the dupatta on one shoulder and taking it across back drape it on the opposite forearm. There are variations of this style in which you could open the dupatta pleats on the shoulder or on the arms or even wrap one corner of the dupatta around your wrist instead of draping it over the arm. The third style and probably the most common is the saree style in which you tuck one corner of the dupatta at the lehenga waist, taking the rest of the dupatta around back bring it to the front and drape it over the shoulder. You could also open the dupatta pleats at the shoulder or even tie it in a knot for a light weight dupatta.
Style 4. The fourth style is an extension of the first style. For this pleat the dupatta on one shoulder and leave it open on the other shoulder. A plain dupatta if draped in this style might bring down the look of the lehenga and blouse embroidery. You could use this style if your dupatta has medium to heavy embroidery. You could either drape the dupatta higher at the neck or form a ‘V’ at the necline with the use of safety-pins. If you have a simpler blouse- drape the dupatta in the second and third variations which cover the blouse giving the ensemble a heavier look.
Style 5. The fifth and quickest dressy drape style is to open the dupatta on one shoulder, drape it across front and pleat the rest on the opposite forearm. Use this drape style for a more casual look to the outfit. You could also pleat the dupatta on both the shoulders and the forearm, like the second variation. If carried gracefully the third variation of carrying the dupatta open on the shoulders and the forearm looks good too.
Style 6. The next style is the most basic in terms of styling- open the dupatta and carry it on one arm. The nineties version of this style of pleating the dupatta on one shoulder looks dated in recent times. It’s preferable if the dupatta has some embellishment- either all over the body or a border atleast.
Style 7. The next style of dupatta drape is to open the dupatta and drape it across the back and scrunch it at elbow. You could even the drape the dupatta a little lower on one shoulder like in the third variation picture. If your dupatta as a big motif in the center this is the best style to drape it in. The other variation is to scrunch the dupatta at both elbows and this is suitable for dupattas with embroidery along the narrow edges.
Style 8. This style is comparatively new for a lehenga dupatta and I like to call it the shawl drape. Similar to a regular shawl for this style drape one third of the dupatta in front and wrap around the rest of the dupatta throwing back the excess over the same shoulder. In the following picture a back view from Manish Mlahotra’s show is given. This style is not suitable if your dupatta has too much hand embroidery, the back of which might irritate your skin. Gaurang Shah’s version using an ethnic weave dupatta is my favourite from this drape series.
Style 9. The basic version of this style is to tuck a corner of the dupatta at back waist and bring the dupatta around the front draping the rest in pleats over the shoulder. In the picture below a Tarun Tahiliani lehenga has been shown with this drape style. The side cowls that form looks very interesting. A variation of this style is to pleat the dupatta along one of the corner at the shoulder, refer to Anju Modi’s drape style in following picture.
Style 10. The use of belts is another way to refresh your drape style. Drape the dupatta on one shoulder and wear the belt either at the navel or on the lehenga waist. You could also drape the dupatta in the saree style and use the belt over it. A thin belt is best if you do not want to highlight the waist area yet tuck the dupatta in it.
Style 11. The use of two dupattas for a lehenga is not a new concept but the following variations are upgrades on the same style. You could style one dupatta in style no.9 and use a net dupatta in style no.7‘s second variation. The other option is to knot two consecutive corners at the shoulder and drape a second dupatta in style no.2. Anju Modi is the queen of duapatta drapes and pre-draped dupattas but some of her drape styles are easy to incorporate in your existing wardrobe. For the third variation you could belt in a bordered dupatta at the waist and drape a lighter weight dupatta in style no.7. For this style try and keep one dupatta in a tone similar to the lehenga and go for a contrast for the second dupatta.
More Style Options: The following are a few fancier dupatta drape styles for your lehenga. You could make use of the Bengali saree inspired dupatta drape wherein pleat the dupatta on one shoulder and draping it across back bring it to the front and pleat one of the corners and throw it over the other shoulder. You could also drape the dupatta just over the head leaving the rest to fall naturally. This is best suited for lehengas with ornate long blouses. Another option for a light weight or narrow dupatta is to drape it around the neck like you would drape a stole.
I would like to mention a few of Tarun Tahiliani’s drape styles for references. Some of the following are pre-draped dupattas but you could easily drape a regular dupatta in the following styles. Click here for the back view of these styles for a better understanding.
Following are a few real birdal dupatta draping options inspired by real life brides. The first bridal drape style is to pleat the dupatta at one shoulder and taking it over the back cover the head and let it loos on the other shoulder. This is a good option to show your entire lehenga skirt’s embroidery. The second bridal option is to use two dupattas. Drape one dupatta in a seedha pallu saree style and drape the second open over the shoulder covering the head and left loose over the opposite forearm. The third style is to pleat one corner of the dupatta at the shoulder and taking the rest of the dupatta across front over the opposite shoulder drape it over the head and let it loose in the front or back.
And a few more bridal options. The first three styles in the following picture uses two dupattas for bridal lehengas. One dupatta in ach is draped in style no.3 or the saree drape and the second dupatta drapes variate. The fourth style is similar to the first style in the above picture but with a longer dupatta, almost three meters in length.
These are the broad categories of dupatta styling options for lehengas. You could play around with any style to suit your personality and body type. You could even wear the same lehenga with different drape style for various weddings in the same season. 😉
Hope this post inspires your next lehenga outing. 🙂
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