Drape Style – Suit Dupatta

Suits in it’s various forms, straight cuts to anarkalis, is one of the most commonly worn attire in Indianwear and most of us have been draping the dupatta in the same style since ages. But no more! Add more spice to your outfit with my handy guide to draping your suit dupattas in style.

The most common style of draping the suit dupatta is to crunch the dupatta at the neckline and throw back the two ends. The other common style is to pleat it along the width and carry it on one shoulder. Both these common styles are depicted in the picture below along with a third style of loosely pleating the dupatta on one shoulder and leaving it open on the other shoulder. An added grace is visible in the same suit set with just a difference in the drape. This is just one of the ways to style it, to know more keep reading.


1. The first style I have already discussed above- loosely pleat dupatta on one shoulder and leave it open on the other shoulder. It is a commonly worn style among Bollywood celebrities. You could drape your sharara-kurta dupatta in this style too. A variation of this style is to carry the pleats on your forearm and open the dupatta on one shoulder.


2. The second style of draping is to open the dupatta on both shoulders and letting it fall naturally. You could pin it up on the shoulders for ease of carrying, like Kareena Kapoor, but remember to leave some extra fabric at the neckline so it does not feel choked up. A variation in this style is to broadly scrucnh up the fabric on one shoulder.


3. The third and one of the most graceful style is to open the dupatta and carry it on one arm. this style can be used for heavily embroidered dupattas or lighter ones too. Just be careful of the length and make sure it does not drag because that will make it really dirty.


4. The fourth style is to pleat the dupatta on one shoulder and taking it across the back drape it on the forearm. This is a universal style you could use for a stole sized dupatta or a full width dupatta too. You could either pleat the dupatta on the forearm or take one corner ,wrap it around your wrist and pin in place like the yellow suit below. This is a very good drape for dupattas with interesting broad borders like the Rohit Bal ensemble.


5. This draping style is one of my favourites. It is an extension of the style mentioned above, open the dupatta on one shoulder and taking it across the back place it on your forearm. Three variations are shown in the picture below. You could wrap the corner on your arm, pleat it or loosely carry it in a fold.


6. This next style of drape is to open the dupatta and drape it across the back and scrunch it at the elbow. Manish Malhotra has used this drape majorly in his last fashion show. A variation of this style is to drape the dupatta across back and just scrunch the entire dupatta at the elbows, though it is not as graceful as the over shoulder style but suits well for suits with interesting backs.


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7. This is the trendiest style right now! Cinch the dupatta at the waist with a belt. You could use a metallic belt and tuck in the pleated dupatta at the front waist, leave the dupatta at the back loose for a more fluid look. Like in the the third ensemble below you could use a broad embroidered belt and tuck in the dupatta at both front and back waist. It’s best to use softer fabrics for this style because a thick fabric will make you look bulky when cinched. Another variation, as shown in the green ensemble, is to cinch the dupatta at the front waist and pin one corner in the front to the shoulder. This style is ideal for highlighting your curves.


I want to mention two Indian designers who have played with dupatta drapes and some of their most interesting styles.

A. Tarun Tahiliani, the master of Indianwear, often uses various drape style in his shows. For more casual looks you could drape the dupatta in any of the three following styles too. A scarf style wrapping around your neck looks chic. Loosely holding a smaller size dupatta over your wrist is a good style for suits with layers. An interesting way is to pin one corner on the shoulder and wrap the dupatta across the front and back and leave it loose in the front, this is suited for dupattas made of soft fabrics and less width.


B. Gaurang Shah, a leading name in Indian textiles, has played with various dupatta drapes in his last fashion show. He has showcased block coloured kurtas with handwoven dupattas in all it’s grace and glory. Inspired by this I bought myself a brocade dupatta and single coloured kurta too. Wrap your dupatta in shawl style, overlap on one shoulder style or a cowl style.


You should watch this demo by Radhika from Ensemble showing four of the above mentioned styles- style no. one, variation of style no. one, style no. four and style no. six. For winter weddings you could also wrap your shawls in one of the above styles.

The styles mentioned in this post are the basis for most drape options and you could further variate it according to your suit style and comparability. Get experimenting and have fun! 🙂