The Whole Nine Yards - Perfecting the Arts of Sari Draping {Book Review}

October 6, 2012 - by Preeti

Most of us are not perfect, or in my case proficient, in wearing a sari and looking sexy. There are few photo guides that can take us step by in the art of folding, pleating, and working with six to yards of fabric.

Master drapist and sari lover, Kalpana Shah, is known for her exquisite dressing of Bollywood stars and brides. She conducts workshops and personal sessions to help every Indian woman reach their potential in the art of draping a sari.

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Her newest book, The Whole 9 Yards, is just that. Filled with step-by-step directions with photographs, Ms. Shah shares the most popular styles of sari. They are all classic and 'simple' in nature. The Maharastrian koli, pictured on the cover of the book, is not one of those easy styles so not included.

Some of the featured styles are:

Basic Sari style

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Corporate Style sari

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Square Pallu styled sari

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Open Pallu sari style

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Retro Styled sari from the 1950s


Bengali Styled Sari

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Gujarati Sari

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Ms. Shah even goes over sari jargon to help us understand how to understand the directions. If you don't know what a middle pleat, you might have a hard time figuring out the directions.

I love how the author makes these different styles hailing from different regions accessible to all Indians. We may see them in the movies or on celebrities but to do the same kind of draping is difficult.

I highly recommend buying the book if you like saris, Indian clothes, or need to dress yourself.

You can buy the book online at and at select stores in India. Now available on too!

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