How to Wear a Sarong, the Forgotten Hero of Water-Adjacent Dressing
We’re living in the age of advanced beach styling. The formerly blah one-piece has been entirely rebranded. Daywear as beachwear (and vice versa) is all the rage. Kimonos, maxi dresses and other non-cover-up cover-ups have unceremoniously ousted the oversized white T-shirt, caftan and sarong. But is the era of the sarong (pareo, whatever you want to call it) really over?
At Chanel’s Cruise 2018 presentation, Karl Lagerfeld paid homage to the eternal beauty of ancient Greece — and the sarong wrap. One model walked the runway in a ruched, high-rise bikini topped with an ultra glam transparent cloak (for an Old Hollywood effect), another in a cowl-neck one-piece accessorized with a tonal, laurel leaf-patterned sarong.
Cut to Spring 2019 where the runways were full of the normally beach-bound wrap skirts. Everyone from Paco Rabanne to Oscar de la Renta featured them in their shows. If that isn’t sufficient proof that the sarong still holds water, we don’t know what is.
In case you need further convincing, consider the following:
(1) Sarongs double as maxi skirts and bandeau tops.
(2) They don’t trap sand the way, say, culottes do.
(3) In a transparent sarong, every inch of your glorious swimsuit — and assets — remains on display.
(4) A printed sarong paired with a printed bikini makes for a fun mixed-print statement.
(5) Tied the Chanel way, the silhouette cinches your waist, creating an hourglass shape.
(6) Alternating sarongs (and tying methods) gives your swimsuits extra mileage.
Why not go retro? This summer make a sarong the focal point of at least one of your beach or pool outfits. Keep reading for our current sarong picks.
Ulla Johnson Paz Coverup in Indigo Tie Dye, $175 at Ulla Johnson
Zara Printed Sarong Skirt, $45.90 at Zara
Mango Wrap Print Skirt, $59.99 at Mango
Johanna Ortiz Floral Draped Wrap Midi Skirt, $474 at Saks
Loewe x Paula's Ibiza Sunset-Print Coverup Pareo, $390 at Neiman Marcus
Andrea Iyamah Sarina Sarong, $80 at Shopbop
Ganni Swirl-Print Organic-Cotton Gauze Sarong, $115 at Matches Fashion
Tory Burch Printed Cotton and Silk Sarong, $154 at mytheresa.com
Etro Paisley-Print Cotton-Blend Voile Sarong, $490 at Matches Fashion
Eres Zephyr Peplum Cotton-Jersey Pareo, $280 at Net-a-Porter
Nanushka Randi Washed-Cotton Wrap Skirt in Creme, $395 at Nanushka
J.Crew Sarong Skirt in Ratti Pendant Paisley, $99.99 at J.Crew
Totême Monogram-Print Silk-Crepe Sarong, $440 at Matches Fashion
Zara Printed Sarong Skirt, $39.90 at Zara
Geisha Designs Crochet Wrap Midi Skirt, $158 at Anthropologie