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Styling Dupattas to Compliment the Outfit

Styling Dupattas to Compliment the Outfit

by Ruhia

The traditional attire of Pakistan is a mesmerizing blend of culture, history, and style. Among the many elements that make up this rich tapestry, the dupatta stands out as a truly magical accessory. The dupatta scarf, or shawl-like piece of fabric, is not just a practical garment but also a canvas for creativity and personal expression. Let’s explore the glamorous world of dupattas and discuss essential styling and draping tips to elevate Pakistani attire, in the article below.  

Understanding the Dupatta 

Understanding the significance and variety of this accessory is essential before trying to master the art of styling and draping dupattas. In Pakistani fashion and culture, the dupatta is a crucial component. Throughout the years, it has changed and evolved because of varying influences and trends. Dupattas come in various fabrics, from lightweight chiffon to rich silk, and can be plain or heavily embellished with intricate embroidery, sequins, or mirror work. They can be an extension of the outfit or a contrasting element, depending on the look you want to achieve. Dupattas are often worn with traditional businesses like shalwar kameez, anarkali suits, lehengas, and sarees, and they serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. 

Styling with Dupattas 

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of dupattas in Pakistani attire, let’s explore the art of styling them. 

Match or Contrast  

One of the first decisions when styling a dupatta is whether to match it with the outfit or create contrast. Matching dupattas gives a more traditional and coordinated look, while contrasting ones can add an element of intrigue. For example, a deep red dupatta with gold embroidery can beautifully contrast with a navy blue outfit, creating a stunning ensemble. 

Length Matters 

The length of the dupatta is another crucial aspect to consider. Longer dupattas can be draped more dramatically, while shorter ones provide a more practical and hassle-free option. The length should also be appropriate for the type of occasion you’re dressing for. 


The level of embellishment on the dupatta is an important factor. Heavily embellished dupattas can be the focal point of your outfit, while simpler ones can complement the dress without overpowering it. If your outfit is already heavily adorned, consider a simpler, more delicate dupatta to balance the overall look. 

Experiment with Colors 

Pakistani fashion is known for its vibrant colors. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bright and bold colors when choosing a dupatta. Colors can have a significant impact on the overall look and can be a great way to display your personality with the way you dress. 


Different occasions demand different dupatta styles. For formal events, a richly embellished, traditional drape may be ideal, while a casual day out might call for a simpler, more relaxed style. Be sure to choose a style that fits the mood and formality of the event. 

Draping Techniques 

Now that you have a good sense of how to style your dupatta, let’s dive into the practical side of draping. Here are some essential draping techniques that will help you create stunning looks. 

The Classic Shoulder Drape 

This is the most common way to wear a dupatta. Drape it over one shoulder and let it hang gracefully. Make sure the length is even on both sides to maintain balance. 

The Front Pallu Drape 

In this style, the dupatta is draped over the chest and pinned on one shoulder. This style is great for showcasing heavily embellished dupattas and adds a regal touch to the outfit. 

The Cape Drape 

Wearing a dupatta like a cape is a trendy and stylish option. Simply throw the dupatta over your shoulders and secure it with pins or leave it open for a more relaxed look. This style works well with both casual and formal outfits. 

The Saree-style Drape 

 If you’re wearing a saree or saree-inspired outfit, you can drape the dupatta like you would with a saree pallu. This creates a very sophisticated and graceful look. 

The Waist Belt Drape 

For a modern twist, consider adding a waist belt to your outfit and then drape the dupatta around it. This style adds structure and can be perfect for special occasions or weddings. 


Use a steamer or a cool iron to remove wrinkles, but be careful not to iron directly over any embellishments. 


If your dupatta gets torn or damaged, consider getting it repaired by a professional to maintain its original beauty 


The dupatta is not just an accessory in Pakistani attire; it is a canvas for self-expression and a symbol of tradition and culture. By understanding the various ways to style and drape your dupatta, you can enhance the look of your outfit. The end-of-season sale on brands is a great time for fashion fans to stock up on different colors and styles of dupattas that they can mix and match later with their outfits. While attending a formal event or enjoying a casual day out, the magic of dupattas can transform the look and make you stand out with elegance and style. 

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