As an island fashion enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the versatility of the sarong. In basic terms, a sarong is a piece of fabric that is typically worn as a skirt or a dress and is popular in many cultures around the world. In this week's blog, I will teach you why the simple sarong is the most versatile garment in any island girl's wardrobe and show you how to style your sarong for any occasion, from the beach to the street.
The History of Sarongs
The sarong is loosely defined as a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around the body, and it is one of the oldest garments in history. Originating from the Malay/Indonesian word sarung, which means “to cover” or “to sheath”, they are traditionally tied around the waist. Sarongs are believed to be the first type of woven fabric used by men and women in the wider Asian region to protect their skin from the sun. In many cultures, sarongs are still worn as a traditional garment.
How to Wear a Sarong as a Coverup
West Indies Wear sarongs are all made from pure cotton, and are super lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for wearing in hot and humid tropical climates. And, they look beautiful on all body types as the fabric drapes with the flow of our curves! Though neutral-colored sarongs can be lovely, we island girls prefer to dress in vibrant tropical prints that suit our vibrant personalities 😜. One of the most popular ways to wear a sarong is as a swimsuit cover-up. Cotton sarongs are lightweight, breathable, and easy to pack, making them the perfect accessory for a day at the beach, pool or week-long cruise! While there are an endless amount of ways to wear a sarong, the easiest way is to simply wrap the fabric around your waist or chest, gather the ends and tie it in a knot.
Styling a Sarong for a Casual Day Out
Sarongs are not just for the beach - they can also be used to brighten up a more basic outfit for a casual day out. When styling a sarong for a casual look, choose a brightly colored or patterned fabric and pair it with a simple tank top or t-shirt. You can also accessorize with a statement necklace or a pair of oversized sunglasses. Another way to style a sarong for a casual day out is to wear it as a skirt. To do this, wrap the fabric around your waist and tie it in a knot. You can then pair the sarong with a comfy tee and cute sandals for an effortless look.
Dressing Up a Sarong for a Night Out
Sarongs shouldn’t be restricted to daytime use only! They can also be dressed up for a night out on the town! Wear your bright, island-style sarong as a scarf with a little black dress and heels, or pair it as a shawl with a blouse and dressy linen pants. Have fun accessorizing with sparkly flats or some statement jewelry.
Ways to Tie a Sarong
There are many different ways to tie a sarong, each of which can create a unique look. Here are a few of the most popular ways to tie a sarong:
1. Long Skirt: Place your sarong at your waistline from the back to the front. Tie the two ends together and let it rest on either the left or right side of the hip. This style is perfect over a swimsuit or bikini.
2. Halter Dress: Hold your sarong vertically in front of you. Tie the top 2 corners around the back of your neck. Tie a double knot to secure. Create a keyhole by twisting the sarong in front, then gather the 2 edges at your waist and wrap them around your back. Tie a double knot to secure.
3. Triangle Skirt: This is probably the most common way to wear a sarong at the beach. Fold your sarong in half to create a triangle, then take the longest edge and wrap it around your waist. Tie both ends together on either your left or right side of the hip.
4. One-Shoulder Dress: Hold your sarong vertically under your left or right arm, then bring the corners over your shoulder. Secure with a double knot. Take the two edges and gather them at your waist, then tie a double knot.
5. Harem Pant: Hold your sarong vertically in front of you and wrap the top two corners around your back. Tie a double knot. Pull the bottom back through the legs and wrap the two back corners around the front of your waist. Tie a double knot to secure.
6. Mini Skirt: Grab the longest end of your sarong and take it around your waist. Tie a double knot at the hip. Bring the bottom edge up to your waist (same side as the double knot) and wrap it around your waist. Tie a double knot at the other hip.
Accessories to Pair with Your Sarong
When styling your sarong, don't forget to accessorize. Here are a few accessories that pair well with a West Indies Wear cotton sarong:
Statement Jewelry: A pair of oversized earrings or a chunky necklace can add some glamour to your sarong look.
Sunglasses: A pair of oversized sunglasses can add some sophistication to your beach look.
Sandals: A pair of comfy strappy sandals can complete your sarong look and add some comfort to your day out. An Island Smile: an island girls best accessory is ALWAYS a huge happy, friendly smile.
Packing Your Sarong for Vacation
Sarongs are easy to pack and take up minimal space in your luggage. When packing my sarongs for vacation, I usually roll them up to take up less space and keep them wrinkle-free. I ALWAYS keep an extra sarong in my carry-on in case I get a bit chilly in transit.
From Beach to Street: Why the cotton sarong is a Must-have!
I know I have said this a million times, but I am so passionate about the versatility of West Indies Wear cotton sarongs, that I’ll say it again (louder) for the people in the back row… These incredibly simple pieces of cotton clothe is the single most versatile garment in an island girl’s collection. Whether you are lounging on the beach or hitting the town, a sarong can add some comfort and island style to any look. So next time you are packing for a beach vacation, don't forget to pack your sarong(s)!