Days at the pool and tropical vacations both call for a change in wardrobe. Wherever you may be going, don’t forget to pair your cute bikini with the perfect coverup. At ViX, one of our absolute favorite accessories is the sarong. Whether worn as a dress or wrapped as a skirt, sarongs are one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your closet. Once you have a sexy designer bikini picked out, all you need is a pretty sarong to go with it. Add a pair of designer sandals and you have the quintessential pool and beach attire that doesn’t require much more effort.
A sarong is simply a piece of fabric that can be worn in a multitude of ways. It’s made out of cotton or another lightweight material and worn over a swimsuit as a beach cover up. You can choose from a variety of prints and colors to suit your mood or the places you’ll be wearing it. It’s a staple to pack for a beach vacation or if you plan to visit a Hawaiian island.
It also serves as a layering piece to allow you to be more covered up when the occasion calls for it. For a day dedicated to being at the pool, it allows you to transition from time spent in the water to BBQing nearby with more coverage. It’s also the perfect resortwear attire to bring for those island getaways. It easily fits into any bag and can be taken with you wherever you go, whether it’s a planned affair or a spontaneous get-together.
The best thing about a sarong, besides how easy it fits into a bag, is its versatility. It works for every body type and height. It’s appropriate to wear for nearly any beach activity on or off the shore and can be converted to achieve different levels of coverage. Plus, it’s comfortable to wear while still looking classy. There’s no wrong way to wear a sarong, but these are a few easily adjustable options to try. Still don’t know how to tie a sarong? Check out our favorite ways in our guide below!
Simple Side Knot
It doesn’t get much easier than a side knot for your sarong wrap. Simply hold the sarong at your back near the waist and bring both ends together to tie a knot. There will be a slit which you can leave at the side or move to the front. If it’s a longer sarong, you can tie the knot at chest level for more coverage.
To make a shorter skirt, simply fold the sarong in half first before bringing the ends together to tie. Make a bow, double knot it, or secure with a hair tie in a pinch. It all works well for this simple style.
Classic Halter Dress
Create a halter look by holding the sarong at your back behind your shoulders and grabbing each end. Bring each side under your arms and to the front. Pull the right end toward the left side and the left end toward the right. Tie the ends together at the base of your neck as loosely or tightly as needed.
This works better with longer sarongs because you’ll need enough fabric to tie behind the neck. Since this look provides the coverage of a regular summer dress, you can pair the sarong with sandals or wedges and wear to a casual lunch or dinner or for an afternoon of shopping. It can allow you an outfit change without having to find a dressing room nearby.
Bohemian Bandeau Style
For a floaty, boho look, start with the sarong at your back and bring to the front under your arms, similar to how you start the halter style. Rather than tie at the nape of your neck, wrap the sarong evenly around the body and tie a bow at the front, back, or side. Tuck in any uneven pieces if you want a more streamlined look or leave loose for a more laid-back version.
Wear with your favorite flip-flops and add a few arm bangles, a pair of feather or hoop earrings, or a straw tote to complete the look. There’s not a lot of fuss necessary. The goal is to keep things simple and laid-back when wearing a sarong wrap.
Chic Kimono Cover Up
Tie both corners of your sarong together at each end of the fabric to create two arm holes. Slip it on like a shawl for a kimono-like trend. If you want to make it easier, drape the sarong over your shoulders and allow it to drape similar to a cape with no tying required.
Either way, it’s a chic way to provide a little coverage if you want to protect your back from too much sun or if you’re relaxing poolside or on the beach.
Trendy Toga Technique
Similar to the side knot, hold the corners of the sarong at your back and bring forward under your arms like you’re going to tie in the front. Instead, cross the two ends under one arm and pull to the shoulder to tie at the top. It will create an open slit on the side, which you can hold together with safety pin if you want to partially close it. Pair with gladiator sandals and an arm cuff to play up this fashionable theme.
Ways to Wear a Sarong
Ultimately, the number of ways to tie a sarong is left up to your own creativity. The same goes for the various ways you can wear one, too. The main choice is as a cover up for your swimsuit when headed to or from the water, but there are ways you can layer it and turn it into different looks. Packing light doesn’t have to be a challenge. A few sarongs and swimsuits will have you nearly covered. And if that wasn’t enough, this type of wrap serves as a perfect piece of clothing for vacations because you can use it as a cover up or as a stylish towel. The choice is up to you!
Layer with Shorts
For short sarongs or a style that leaves a gap between fabric like with the toga or simple knot tie methods, pair with shorts for a chic look. Play around with matching colors and prints and slip on a pair of designer sandals to complete your outfit. A colorful sarong with white shorts is a striking look for summer. You can also opt for a minimalist look with a black-on-black sarong. You can mix-and-match in several ways to meet the destination, occasion, or your mood for the day.
Add a Belt
Create a sexy silhouette by adding a belt to the bandeau or halter styles. Let the sarong shine as the main fashion piece but add a skinny belt made of straw, a scarf, or other lightweight material to add shape to your look but still keep things breezy.
Pile on Accessories
Accessories always make a look more fun and can easily add a touch of elegance to pair with your sarong. An armful of delicate bangles or a pair of dangly earrings are a stylish combination to keep the look carefree. A long necklace and the bandeau style or a brooch pin to hold your toga together are also ways to make a fashion statement without needing too many extras.
Flip-flops are the best shoes to wear to the beach, but you may want to slip into another pair of sandals that are sand-free when you’re spending time away from the water. Slides or any sandals that don’t have metal hardware can add sophistication to your otherwise casual outfit.
Create a Shawl
A sarong also works well as a makeshift shawl, towel, or scarf if you want to cover your shoulders only. It can also be folded in half and tied as a billowy shirt. There’s no limit to how you tie the fabric or fold it to meet your clothing needs. That’s the beauty of a sarong. It’s as transformative as it is timeless.
Other Types of Cover Ups
Sarongs are a standard piece of clothing for summer, but it doesn’t have to be your only go-to when hitting the beach or pool. There are plenty of ways to create effortless styles with only a few pieces. A chic caftan, stylish maxi skirt, tunic, or a pair of wide-leg pants can also be great packing options when deciding what to wear. These all work well over a bathing suit or one-piece to wear all season long.
It doesn’t take much to accessorize a caftan, especially if you choose a striking print or color. A caftan is a smart choice if you want more coverage from the sun. A beach hat and sunglasses are typically all that’s needed to add to this elegant look. If you’re going to spend long days outside and want to prevent sunburns, throw on a caftan and keep cool while staying extra protected.
The Black Emily Caftan hits mid-calf with thigh-high side slits that embodies boho chic. Alternatively, the Bamboo Embroidery Pamela Caftan makes a luxurious statement ideally suited for a trip to Hawaii, Bali, or the Amalfi Coast. For a throwback look, add a scarf around the neck or use it as a headband and keep the ends loose to achieve a chic, effortless look.
A maxi skirt can be paired with your swimsuit top or you can slip on a cotton, button-down shirt and tie in the front. Add a printed t-shirt and sneakers for a sportier look or a classic tank top when lounging for the afternoon. Choose a light fabric that doesn’t hug too closely to the skin to keep the look carefree and cool. Depending on the design of your maxi skirt, you can also pull it higher and up over your chest to create a strapless dress instead.
Tunics are a shorter alternative to maxi skirts or caftans. They still cover the shoulders and chest area but typically hit mid-thigh rather than go full-length. Tunics are one-piece pullovers that offer coverage that work well for city-exploring. Cover ups like the Flower Amber Tunic or the Arena Amber Tunic have side cutouts for a flirty look that creates a sleek silhouette.
Finally, throughout your travels, there may be areas where even more coverage is required. For example, if you’re deciding on what to pack for a trip to Bali, just remember that it’s necessary that you cover your shoulders and knees when entering temples or other sacred places. A pair of wide-leg pants are easy to slip on over your swimsuit while still remaining comfortable. They’re also a versatile item to pack if you plan to stay at the beach for a nighttime bonfire and the temperatures start to cool off.
All of these cover up options are easy to roll up and fit into a bag or suitcase and take with you on your next day trip or weekend getaway. Pick fabrics that won’t wrinkle as easily to keep getting dressed as fuss-free as possible. Make the most of your packing list no matter where you go by adding a sarong or one of these alternative pieces to the mix.
What Else to Pack for the Beach
Swimsuits and cover ups are must-haves for the beach. There are also a few extra items you can throw in your tote to make sure you have all you need when headed to the shore. Sun protection tops the list. This includes sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun hat if you want more coverage for your ears and neck. Sandals or flip flops are essential so you don’t have to mess with ties or buckles when going from the water to the road.
Beach essentials also depend on what kind of beach you’re headed to for the day. If you plan to take part in water activities or hike nearby, pack a pair of shoes with a sturdier sole and shorts to allow you to explore comfortably. If the temperatures are unpredictable where you’re headed, a light rain jacket or poncho may also be items to add to the list. Pack the beach essentials first and then add anything you may need for a day of adventuring.
Why Sarongs Are a Summer Staple
Now that you know how to tie a sarong skirt, it’s time to get creative! They’re also a timeless fashion and last season after season without taking up too much room in your closet.
When it comes to summer fashion or packing for your next exotic trip, remember that looking effortless is key. Try out stylish ways to wear your sarongs and find the looks that make you feel your best.