How to Drape Mundu Style Saree

How to Drape Mundu Style Saree

A Mundum Neriyathum is one of the oldest forms of sarees in India. It is derived from the ancient forms of sarees that only served to cover the lower part of one’s body. It is one of the few sarees in India that still bear some resemblance to that look. The lower part of the saree is known as the Mundum while the fitted blouse on top is called a Neriyathum.

This elegant saree dresses for women is the traditional attire of women in Kerela and is fairly popular in other states in India as well. One of the distinctive characteristics of this saree is the fact that the borders are usually highly colorful.

Interestingly, Graeco-roman attire known as the Palmyrene or the Palla inspired this style of aesthetics. It was mainly facilitated because the Malabar Coast happened to have established a really flourishing trade with the Mediterranean world.

The palla element of this garment is actually a long piece of cloth that is not stitched to the saree. It is worn by draping it over the left shoulder and pinning it. An interesting fact about this palla is that it was only introduced to the outfit in the 1970s and is therefore a fairly modern addition to the garment.

Mundum Neriyathum Set (source: pinterest)

The original mundu saree only had the top and bottom elements with nothing else. Many women are enamored by this style but often wonder how to wear mundu neriyathum since it is slightly different from regular sarees found across India. It is fairly simple to don this garment.

When it comes to the Kerela mundu style, saree wearing is actually considered to be less tedious than with regular sarees as the hassles of pleating and then draping are really eliminated and minimized respectively.

Draping Style

Women in Mundu Saree (source:
  • The bottom half which is known as the mundu is actually just draped below the navel the same way a dhoti is draped.
  • It is essentially wrapped around the waist a few times and tied at the end with sections tucked in, creating a pillar of fabric around the lower half of the body.
  • A blouse is worn at the top half.

These blouses are accompanied by the Neriyathum, which is essentially a long piece of cloth that is tucked into the petticoat at one end and stretched over the torso at the other end. It reaches a little bit above the breastbone and creates a fantastic aesthetic. In terms of daily wear, this is actually considered a daily wear plain saree and is sported by women for all types of days.

Additional Read: How to choose formal wear sarees

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However, for festivals such as Onam, a more festive version of this saree is worn and it usually has a gold border as opposed to a plainer one. Even the body of the saree is a little bit more festive.

The daily wear sarees are actually a bit plainer and are available in colors like beige and cream. However, as this garment has now become a more significant part of Indian ethnic fashion, there are a ton of contemporary variations available in a whole host of colors and designs.

These appeal more to the younger generation that seeks well designed and aesthetically pleasing versions of garments as opposed to a very traditional look. The blouse of the saree is akin to the blouses worn with regular sarees, albeit with the compulsorily decorated border. Thus if you’re wondering how to wear kerela set mundu, you can put your doubts to rest as it is really very simple.


When wondering how to wear set mundu an important aspect to consider is the way you accessorize the outfit. As is the case with most sarees, wearing high heeled shoes is certainly a must because they really contribute to the fall and style of the saree as well as one’s height. Different shoes such as platform shoes, stilettos and even certain types of sandals can look fabulous with this type of saree. This will help you create a lovely formal and elegant look.

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When it comes to bags, there are scores of Indian handbags to choose from. silk pouches, Cut Dana handbags, moti work handbags and clutches are among the most popular ones. One can also wear western handbags with this attire as well. Do consider the design of the saree, while selecting the bag or clutch to pair.