21 Dupatta & Chunni Styles

2014 Nov 25 - by Shriya
The South Asian scarves that adorn salwar kameez, anarkhalis, and the like are so popular in film culture and wedding wear that there are songs written about them. Dupattas and chunnis can be worn in many different ways - from draped around the neck to tied around the waist.

Here are 21 fabulous ways to rock a dupatta/chunni:

The Simple Drape from Sabyasachi at Lakme Fashion Week 2013 

For a simple, classic look that goes with an outfit you want to fully show off, go with a drape across your shoulders. Letting the dupatta fall naturally to the sides allows the scarf to complement the outfit, without taking away from the intricate details of the salwar or blouse.

The Neck Wrap from Sabyasachi at Lakme Fashion Week 2013 

This look also allows for the main features of the outfit to be the central focus, while the dupatta serves as an accessory. Wrapping the dupatta around your neck once like a scarf is an easy way to glam up your outfit, in a similar way as a necklace. It's a statement piece that adds elegance and flair to your look - and it'll keep your neck warm!

The Off-Shoulder Wrap from Ritu Kumar's Panchvastra Collection

This fabulous take on a classic wrap is fun and classy - it shows off the outfit while also showing off the intricate details of the dupatta. It might take some effort to hold in place, but this style will come in handy at an upscale wedding event or a chilly evening.

Over the Head from Yogini and Deepak's Austin Wedding

This traditional and classic style of dupatta is seen in both Hindu and Muslim weddings. The elegant over-the-head drape can accommodate many bridal hairstyles and adds a regal element to the bride's look.

The Diagonal from Asifa & Nabeel at L'Oreal Pakistan Bridal Fashion Week 2013

This easy-going style is another great way to show off both your outfit and your dupatta. You can either pin the dupatta behind your back or leave it free-flowing - either way, the look is quick and easy to manage and looks fantastic.

Elbow Drape from Sana Safinez at L'Oreal Pakistan Bridal Fashion Week 2013

An ever-classy style, draping your dupatta over your elbows is stylish and sophisticated. This look highlights your arms and fully displays the outfit. While it might require constant attention to avoid any spilling accidents, this style is an easy way to look even more elegant in your South Asian dress.

The Side Sweep from Mika and Neil's Bengali Wedding

This common style is a classic way to put both your outfit and your dupatta on display. It's sleek and easy - just pin the cloth to your blouse and let it hang loose and out of the way.

The Arm Candy from The Kismet Wedding Show

Loose Back Drop from Ritu Kumar's Panchvastra Collection

This look is often worn with lehengas and ghagras that are pinned at the shoulder and again at the waist. It creates a waterfall effect at the back of the outfit, with a loose fold over the back side of the skirt. The style adds volume to your outfit and draws the eye to the elegant ensemble. Plus, it's a handy way to keep your dupatta from catching on things.

The Side Sleeve from Ritu Kumar's Panchvastra Collection

A play on "The Arm Candy," this style lets your dupatta hang off to the side and drape your arm with a sleeve effect. It's modern and fun, and it can be done without any safety pins. Just make sure its situated well, or you might be adjusting all night!

The Front Drape from Ritu Kumar's Panchvastra Collection

If your dupatta is as dazzling and beautiful as this one, show it off in all its glory with a classic front drape. Simply lay your dupatta across both shoulders so the ends of the fabric are in your hands. Allow the dupatta to drape drape below your neck, and you've got a timeless look that'll add instant grace to any lehenga or salwar kameez.

The Full Cover from Anju Modi's Manikarnika Collection

Much like "The Front Drape," this style features a dupatta hanging off the front of your outfit. However, the key distinction is the fabric covers the neck and all of the shoulders in this look. This style works best with a sheer dupatta so the blouse can still show through. It's a great option for chiller outdoor receptions.

The Shawl from Anju Modi's Manikarnika Collection

This look is an easy way to drape a dupatta across your shoulders without much maintenance and adjusting. Wear your dupatta just how you'd wear a shawl on a chilly evening - draw it close to your body to cover your back and shoulders. It's sophisticated and convenient, without covering much of your outfit.

The Double Drape (Arm and Head) from Irfan Ahson Photography

Why limit the draping of your dupatta to your head OR your arm? With a long enough scarf, you can do both. This style has the grace of a careful arm drape and the traditional elegance of an over-the-head dupatta. If you want the ultimate regal look, consider draping your dupatta in more than one style.

The Princess Veil from 21 Blue and Green Pakistani Outfits

White wedding gowns have optional veils that can be as short or as long as the bride wishes. Royal brides are known for their 20+ feet long veils that follow them down the aisle. There's no reason why South Asian brides should be denied this glorious option! If your dupatta is long enough, you can drape it over your head so it floats behind you as you walk. The multicolored and shimmery "veil" has the graceful element of the white wedding dress with the flair and tradition of Eastern attire.

The Side Veil from Ashima Leena at Aamby Valley Bridal Week 2013

Another way to get that graceful bridal veil look is to use a dupatta to create a stunning side drape. Drape the dupatta lower across your head than you would in an "Over the Head" style, and allow the rest of the fabric to hang down one shoulder. The asymmetrical look adds a unique touch to the outfit and creates a waterfall effect off your arm.

The Inverted Loop from Anum and Eihab's Turkish-Pakistani Wedding

There's no reason why only the front of your outfit can have the added flair of a dupatta. Looping the fabric behind your shoulders and across your back is a fun option too. It creates the same dramatic effect as the "Diagonal" look but in a unique position. The sophisticated swoop of the fabric over your arms is a regal touch that'll suit your dream wedding.

The Centered Veil from Deeba and Ali's Indo-Pakistani Reception

A fun, floaty look, this style features a dupatta that's centered on the bride's head to flow effortlessly down her back. Instead of covering her head completely, the dupatta is pinned to show off the bride's hairstyle. Because this style won't cover any jewelry or blouse, it's an easy way to glam up both your accessory and your fashion game.

The Pinned Vest from Suneet Varma's Kamasutra Collection

For a modern bride with a daring sense of style, this look is a great way to show off that fabulous dupatta. Pinned in the shape of a vest covering part of the blouse/salwar, this style drapes down the outfit for a dramatic flair. It can be adjusted to drape across your shoulders or arms as desired, but the unique method of fastening the dupatta like a coverup is bold and breathtaking.

The Drooped Loop from Sana Safinez's Collection at L'Oreal Pakistan Bridal Fashion Week 2013

This style is dramatic and fabulous - the fabric doesn't cover much of the outfit since it's folded into a thin line, yet the low fold at the bottom of the skirt shows off each angle of its pattern. Since it's pinned in place, this style is hassle-free and perfect for the busy bride. Both the fold at the bottom and the shoulder drape at the back create a graceful, controlled effect that'll flatter any bride.

The Cape from Suneet Varma's Kamasutra Collection

If you're looking for a twist on the casual front-draped style of the dupatta, this option is perfect. Draped like a cap across the back and shoulders, the dupatta is shown off in all its delicate glory without covering any of the front of the outfit. It's classy, yet fun - and the look even creates the veil effect of a princess bride.

For more bridal styling tips, check out our 21 Bridal Hairstyles and 21 Ways to Wear Tikkas & Jhumars articles.

}