The country, and more so the Bollywood enthusiasts went completely ecstatic when Vidya Balan appeared draped in a Bengali style saree, looking very much the Bengali bahu. The manner in which the Bengali saree is worn is completely different and it made her look so very unique. She looked very much the radiant bride, but there was something more-surprisingly enough, her look was so authentic that she could never be mistaken for a Kerala girl brought up in Mumbai trying to be a Bengali. This is the beauty of all traditional style draping, as it makes you look and feel the part, and the Bengali style is no different.
In every region of India, the manner in which a saree is worn is completely different from the manner in which it is worn in the adjacent states. The Bengali drape often called as the ‘shadaa sheede’ drape is one such completely different style that is simple to follow and worth giving a try.
So what are the kinds of sarees that you need to be focused on to get the most authentic look? While the answer is easy enough that they have to be sarees from the region itself like-Kantha, Taant, Dhonekhali, Shantipuri, Tangail, Dhakai muslin, Dhakai silk, and even the typical silks like garad that is a little stiff. There are sarees from other regions that will look equally beautiful when worn in this style. You could opt for any cotton handloom variety that is in white with a red border or any golden woven border to get the effect right. Even bright Banarasi silks or cotton work equally well to get the effect-but more than anything else is the entirety of the look that comes in a range of accessories that complete the look.
Well, like in the case of any other saree, keep pins and blouse and the inner skirt ready.
The most important tip to remember is that this saree does not have gathers or pleats in front, rater it rises up in a longish drooping style over the front, and so the saree should not have a fall attached to it.
Always wear heels with this drape and after having worn the petticoat, put on your heels so as to make sure that your saree height is perfect.
This is a simple enough tucking-just take the top border portion of the saree and begin tucking in from the right side of the hip. The very first tuck would be at the right side of the hip and then the saree goes all around you to arrive to the front of the body near the navel. Remember that as the saree went around you, it has to be tucked neatly all along. The height of the saree on bare feet should be covering the feet but when worn with heels should be just about grazing the top of the feet.
After having taken the saree once round the body you are now at your navel-now take the saree to your left hip and tuck it there. Now take the saree- and note that now the reverse side of the saree will show in front, take it towards the right hip. Tuck it there and take the saree once again and bring it to the left hip and again to right and tuck again. This means that now you have at the end of step two, two very broad pleats that cover the front.
Now take the rest of the saree from the pallu side and begin making pleats.
Take the saree pallu across your left shoulder. And make sure that the entire length goes across the left shoulder.
This is a slightly tricky one but will ensure that the front of your body is well draped. Pin the saree at the shoulder to keep it places there securely.
Take the rest of the saree from the back and bring the pallu right in the front from the right- hand side from under the arm. Now there are two ways of handling the pallu. Considering that the front of the body is already covered, you could take the pallu corner, tie a keyring-or chabhi Gucchha- and make that corner heavy. Now you could either throw that across the right shoulder or simply bring it from the back of left side and throw it over your left shoulder itself.
Here you can see that the diva has taken the corner pallu over her left shoulder rather than the typical right shoulder fling!
Wear a sindoori red large round bindi-yes round as that is the preferred style for Bengali women.
Wearing a puffed sleeve blouse or a long sleeved one is mandatory to pull off the look.
Do wear plenty of gold jewelry and in that make sure to wear what is called as a gold ‘matar mala’-this is a kind of long necklace made with round golden balls which again is loved by Bengali women. On the arms do wear red and white colored bangle to complete the effect.
Remember to wear your hair either loose or in a bun at the back-plaits will not do as that makes one look quite different.
Here are some perfect examples by which you can make out the utter simplicity the drape has and the look of sheer elegance and charm that it infuses into the personality. .
Here the choice of a red saree is quite different from the usual white with red border kind, yet the effect is simply brilliant-thanks of course to the puffed sleeve blouse, the large red bindi and of course the center parted hair with a bun at the back and the deep kohl-lined eyes. And of course, do make sure to have a large silver colored bunch of keys that you have to tie on the upper corner of the pallu which you will fling either on the left or the right shoulder. The corner could also be draped over your right arm in the most elegant of ways as well.
The typical, white and red saree here makes quite a splash. Do note the usage of the large red bindi and the tied back hair as well as plenty of jewelry.
Taking the look to quite another level is the next picture-the Rajbari look. The zamindari family women would dress up more opulently of course-the finery was amazingly rich-the gold jewelry, particularly the kangans are famous as are the ‘sita haars’ and their love for Silk Dhakais and Benarasis. While the drape remains the same for this look-the choice of sarees and accessories would differ.