Need to look slim instantly – for a special occasion or date? No time for proper weight-loss efforts? Well, fret not! Plan to wear a nice, form flattering saree, and half of your work would be already done…

How? We will tell you through these 5 Saree secrets that will help you appear at least a size smaller – and certainly hotter and curvaceous… What’ s more! A Saree, if chosen and draped well, can also make you look proper and elegant like never before.

1. The Look

Blue Georgette Saree
A saree is an extremely elegant ensemble, provided you style and channel it well. If one fails to take care of the basics, even the best of sarees or figures fail to appear attractive. So, plan ahead. Put together everything to the minutest detail.

  • ‘Balance is the Key’ – Since looking (and feeling) svelte is on agenda, plan for a look that’s balanced, and the one that will NOT draw unnecessary attention to your problem spots.
  • Over the top, garish sarees, make-up, jewelry and hairdos will make you look maturer, and probably, bulkier too.
    Focus on creating a feminine and demure look.
  • ‘The Color’ – Planning for ‘the look’ also involves choosing your colors wisely. Choose sarees in single colors, preferably. It’s a well-known fact, worth repeating here, that darker, denser colors are slimming than the lighter, light-reflecting ones. Neon colors and stark whites won’t do much for body skimming.
  • Metallics –They may be wonderful, but don’t go overboard on metallic accents too. By the way, deep, dull gold is more slimming than the burnished, glistening one. Gold, in general, is slimming than silver. And, copper hues and antique metallic looks are the best!

2. The Fabrics

Sea Green Georgette Saree
Choose your saree with great care, if you wish to hide problem areas and appear slimmer. Fabrics play a decisive role in the overall drape and fall of the saree. And, the one that’s draped badly, or the one that doesn’t skim your figure is unlikely to make you appear leaner.

  • Pick sarees in fabrics that fall well, and are not stiff. Fabrics that are easier to pleat and maintain (while wearing) are also desirable. Organza, Organdy, heavy Banarasi Sarees, starched cotton sarees, lycra or jacquard sarees are out of question, thus – if the agenda is to appear slimmer.
  • ‘The Double-edged Sword’ – Don’t just blindly pick sarees in thinner, flimsier fabrics, though. Many recommend wearing fluid fabrics for slimming effect. But, these fabrics also tend to be transparent, clingy and many times, slippery. Transparent, flimsy ones like chiffons and nets stick to body’s curves, and will only make you feel ‘exposed’ and weightier. Slippery ones (like satin and many other synthetic sarees) will not drape/ pleat or stay well.
  • ‘Pure Georgette and Crepes are your best friends’ – and so are soft Silks and fluid, softer Cottons – and their smart blends. They will give a balanced, skimming look.

3. Embellishments and Design

Green Chiffon Saree
Going over-the-top is NOT something that you would want to do – if you wish to look slim in your sarees. Anything big or eye-catching, especially if it falls on your trouble spots is a No-No.

  • Plain sarees in georgette, crepe or crepe-chine fabric with 2-inches (or slightly more) wide running borders will look the best.
  • Avoid sarees with huge or dense prints, overly ornate embellishments, broad borders or too many jarring colors. Stick to smaller, spread-out, sparser prints.
  • Also, avoid horizontal patterns/ stripes, broad, multi-colored stripes and huge checkered patterns. Many Kanjeevaram Sarees have these patterns, but they also come in narrower borders and more-balanced designs. Pick the latter!
  • Broad borders, either woven or embellished, should be strictly avoided, as they also visually ‘cut’ the height (thus, adding to the girth).
  • If you have broad shoulders/ arms/ torso, avoid sarees that have embellishments on the Pallu/ Pallav, especially those where the decoration rests on the shoulder/ bosom area.
  • Ones with big embroidered motifs, large crystals and stones and extremely heavy Pallus should be avoided. If you have a broad/ bulky mid-riff, patli-pallu sarees (where the pleats have exactly the same design/ embellishment as the pallu) are Not for you – as they will break your frame, adding to the width.

4. The Support Staff

Blue Silk Saree
Everything that supports your saree – your blouse/ choli, the petticoat, accessories, jewelry, makeup and hairdo – plays a vital role in ensuring that you look suave, svelte and elegant.

    • Blouse – Wear a well-fitting, well cut blouse. Something that’s too tight (and shows all your bulges) or something that’s too loose (and looks unshapely) will look horrible.
    • Avoid sleeve-less or halter styles, as they will highlight the width. However, if you have toned arms/torso and narrower shoulders, but a bulkier lower half, you can wear a shimmery, revealing blouse to balance the look.
    • Wear a longer blouse or go for a jacket-style waist length choli – to hide a flabby mid-riff. Slimming corset styles, unless they are so tight that your fat rolls will roll out, will look good too.
    • You can also wear thin and comfortable whole-body shape-wear, if you wear a blouse long enough to not show any skin at the waist level.
    • Petticoat – Wear a straight, well-fitting – but not too tight petticoat. Don’t wear one that’s loose or flared. Ones with broad or bulky hips must get their petticoats custom-made. You can get fitting, kallidaar petticoats that slightly flare-up at below knees to allow for ease of walking. Wear skirt-shape-wear, if hips are your trouble spots.
    • Jewelry and Accessories – Stick to the ‘small and balanced’ rule here too. Avoid brooches and belts. Do not wear huge neck-pieces that will visually widen your torso. If you are wearing big earrings, do not wear any necklace, as this will give an illusion of long and slender neck and decolletage.
    • Do NOT wear a kamar-bandh (waist jewelry), unless you have an hourglass figure, and you want to accentuate your relatively smaller waist.
  • Do Not carry a purse (big or small) on your shoulders, especially if attending a party/ wedding. Carry a small or mid-sized hand-held clutch in neutral/deep metallic colors with minimal ostentation.

5. The Drape

Pink Chiffon Saree
While most of us take care of all other aspects, we often forget to ensure flawlessness in this vital step. Drape – how you actually pleat and wear your saree, is in fact, the most important factor – that will help you look svelte and slim. Thankfully, there are not many rules here.

  • Avoid extremely long sarees. As a simple rule, more fabric will mean more weight. So, go with a usual length. If your saree exceeds 5.45 meters in length (unless you need a saree longer than that), it’s not a good idea.
  • Tie your petticoat slightly above the navel level. It should neither be too tight nor be too loose.
  • Do not make too many small, ill-spaced pleats. Make 4-5 medium sized, even pleats, and ensure arrange and pressing them (with hands) nicely from top and bottom.
  • While tucking in the pleats, do not choose a spot that’s right on your navel area. Instead, tuck them slightly towards the side.
  • Once you pleat the saree, take the loose fabric end (from the left, and tuck it nicely and smoothly in an orape (diagonal) way, so the hip area (from the front, near the pleats) is properly skimmed.
  • Do not wear a loose saree. Tie it snugly.
  • Avoid wearing Pallu/ Pallav in small pleats, such that your bosom/ abdomen is visible. If you really wish/ need to pleat the Pallav, keep the pleats broad, and don’t make more than 3-4 even pleats. Or else, just pin the Pallav edge, and leave the rest open (like Vidya Balan/ Rekha)
  • Achieving a good drape, perfect for your body, is a matter of practice. So, keep practicing. Even the best, most professional saree draper cannot help you tie a good saree, unless you know your body (and what suits it) well.

6. The Body Language (and confidence)

Green Silk Saree
Many forget this vital, and at times, most important, aspect of looking and feeling good (and slim). Your body language must convey stability and confidence, if you are to appear poised and suave. After all, it’s all in the mind!

  • Don’t keep thinking about your flaws, as this will make you overly consciously. And conscious people can’t look sensuous!
  • Don’t be negative, as this will not let you project a put-together look. Be calm and confident.
  • Posture – Stand, walk and sit upright. Slouched shoulders look horrible in blouses. They also make your torso appear rounder and thus, weightier.
  • Walk with your shoulders relaxed, and stomach pulled in. However, don’t suck in your stomach so much that you cannot focus on anything else. Focus on keeping your core engaged. This naturally uplifts your bosom, and helps keep the waist area shapely.

All of us have a different body type. If you are naturally wide shouldered or large, you can’t change it. What you can really change is how you feel about yourself. And, surely how clothes look on you – by keeping yourself well-exercised and toned.

So, don’t listen to other people’s negative comments. Be confident of yourself and your body. It will instantly enhance the way you look and feel.

However, there is no short cut to being healthy. So, dear ladies, keep those walking/ running shoes on! For some great toning exercises that will make you look even more stunning in your sarees – stay tuned in to this space.