How to Style a Sarong, Five Different Ways

a close up shot of a white woman wearing a sarong as a skirt. it is tied on a knot at her waist. she also has a striped bag, slung over her shoulder resting against her hip. blurry green plants in the background.a close up shot of a white woman wearing a sarong as a skirt. it is tied on a knot at her waist. she also has a striped bag, slung over her shoulder resting against her hip. blurry green plants in the background.

Summer’s on its way — even if the weather outside is hinting that it’ll start with more of a whimper, than a bang. But us Aussies aren’t ones to let a little rainfall get us down — give us an hour of sun, we’ll give you a day at the beach.

And with beach towels a-plenty to choose from, and even loungewear sets you can wear down to the sand, there’s one vital (and versatile) accessory that has, so far, been missing from the conversation.

It’s been said by WhoWhatWear that it’s the swimwear cover-up of the season — who got their information from TikTok. Over on Vogue, it’s been dubbed “just the item our closets need right now”. InStyle calls it a “must-have”. 

What goes around, really does come back around. As it turns out, it’s the sarong that is (officially) the new summer staple.

white woman with short brown hair wearing biege and black striped linen sarong as skirt. she leans against a white cement pole, holding a netting beach bag in one hand. behind her is an elevated pool, surrounded by glass fence and leafy green plants.white woman with short brown hair wearing biege and black striped linen sarong as skirt. she leans against a white cement pole, holding a netting beach bag in one hand. behind her is an elevated pool, surrounded by glass fence and leafy green plants.

Whether poolside, seaside, or bar-side, there’s no beach accessory quite like the sarong. And this time, the sarong is as chic as it is laidback. Think paired with flip-flops and a bikini, or styled with a bodysuit and strappy sandals. Princess Diana wore one back in the day, and lately, it’s been trending as a three-piece beach set.

Effortless can often be an overused word for fashion, but in this case, it holds up. Our Merel Sarong is here to act as your perfect partner — linen that feels relaxed and lightweight, with a modern block stripe design and a raw edge. 

The best thing about a sarong is the multitude of ways it can be used — and it can be worn. For the former, think a throw to lie on, or as a bit of warmth when the sun starts to set or the wind picks up.

As for the latter? Well, if you’ve ever wondered how to wear a sarong, we’re going to give you five ways — from a dress to a skirt to a top, and more. 

graphic line illustration of cute brunette woman, wearing sheridan linen sarong as a cover up, over her shouldersgraphic line illustration of cute brunette woman, wearing sheridan linen sarong as a cover up, over her shoulders

The Cover Up

Ok, so this is a bit of a cheeky solution of how to wear a sarong as a top — but it is the easiest. 


All it takes is holding your sarong, horizontally, behind your back and draping it over your shoulders. Literally, that’s all there is to it. It’s an easy way to add an extra layer of sun protection while sitting out by the water (that doesn’t mean you should skimp on sunscreen, however!). 


To give it some shape, bring the shorter end of both sides over your forearm, so it’s sitting comfortably in the crook of your elbow. If you want to keep it sophisticated, you can take the top two corners, cross them over and bring one over and through — like the first steps of tying a tie. If you’re looking for something that shows off your new swimsuit just a bit, take the top two corners (the very tip of them) and tie them behind your back. 

The Maxi Skirt

This is the classic of the sarong styling world — when you think of how to style a sarong, we’re betting this is what comes to mind. There are also two different ways you can tie this style. 

First, you want to hold the sarong horizontally behind your back, at your waist - one side holding a third, the other, two-thirds. Take the side with a third and wrap it around your front — making sure the top corner of the sarong is peeking out the top. Then, take the other side by the corner, and wrap it over your front and around your back — meeting the other corner. Tie together, and voila. 

The second is a bit simpler. Once again, hold the sarong horizontally behind you. Bring half the sarong around your front, and have the corners meet at your hip — and tie over each other. Show a little leg with the self-made slit on the side.

graphic line illustration of cute brunette wearing a sheridan linen striped sarong as a maxi skirt, with knot on the side of her hipgraphic line illustration of cute brunette wearing a sheridan linen striped sarong as a maxi skirt, with knot on the side of her hip
graphic line illustration of cute brunette wearing a sheridan linen striped sarong as a maxi skirt, tied to a knot at the front of body.graphic line illustration of cute brunette wearing a sheridan linen striped sarong as a maxi skirt, tied to a knot at the front of body.

The Front Knot

Ok so technically this is another maxi skirt style — but the tie’s at the front, so we’re calling it something different. For this how-to of wearing a sarong as a skirt, you’re going to want to (once again) hold the sarong horizontally behind you, at your waist.


This time though, you’ll bring both corners to meet in front of you — hold it as taut as possible. With one hand holding the two top corners together, use your other hand to pull the two sides of the sarong together; it should kind of look like a sarong ponytail.


Twist the two tails together, bring it around itself at the base (as if a bun), and knot through. If there’s any tail left, you can tuck it back into the knot or in the sarong.

The Mini Skirt

For those who love getting their legs out — or for anyone following the latest fashion trends (the mini skirt is back in a big way, just look at Miu Miu).

If you’ve got a square sarong, you can fold it diagonally; for our Merel Sarong, you’ll want to fold it horizontally. Hold the sarong at your waist, the fold should be at the top, the two hems at the bottom.

Bring the two ends around you out to the side - they’ll be like tails. Cross one over the other, then loop it underneath and back towards your body, into your waist. You’ll end up with one tail underneath (flat against your outer thigh), and one tail of the sarong on top — take the top tail and fold it over the tie, so it hangs over the new, now-created leg slit.

And boom — that’s how to style a sarong as a miniskirt. 

graphic line illustration of cute brunette woman wearing a sheridan linen striped sarong as a mini skirt, with tie to the left side of her body, on left hipgraphic line illustration of cute brunette woman wearing a sheridan linen striped sarong as a mini skirt, with tie to the left side of her body, on left hip
graphic line illustration of cute brunette woman wearing a sheridan striped linen sarong as a strapless dress graphic line illustration of cute brunette woman wearing a sheridan striped linen sarong as a strapless dress

The Strapless Dress

There are a million and one tutorials on how to wear a sarong as a dress. And we tried them all (ok, we may have been exaggerating a little). Some put pressure on the neck, some were just potato-sack shapeless, and some required extra accessories that we didn’t have on hand — like a belt. It’s safe to say we’ve discovered the easiest way to style a sarong as a dress.

Once again, you’re holding the sarong horizontally behind you — but this time, at the height of just under your armpits. Like the front knot style, you’re going to want to hold the top corners taut with one hand and use your other hand to pull both ends of the sarong together until you meet your chest. It should look like you’re holding a sarong ponytail, and it should create a flattering sweetheart neckline.

From that, twist the tails together, loop it around on itself as if creating a bun, and pull the tail through to the knot. There will be a bit of tail poking through — tuck that back behind the knot and into the sarong.

 

close up short of sheridan merel sarong, a striped linen sarong in beige and black. rumpled over steps, overlaid with a netting beach bag in the same colours. one orange sits in the bag, the other on a step.close up short of sheridan merel sarong, a striped linen sarong in beige and black. rumpled over steps, overlaid with a netting beach bag in the same colours. one orange sits in the bag, the other on a step.

1 year ago