At its most basic, a sarong is simply a rectangle of fabric. It may be dyed, ornamented, fringed, or plain, but if it’s a rectangle of fabric large enough to wrap around the body a couple of times before tying, it can be worn as a sarong. Cultures the world over feature the sarong, often calling it by other names. It’s a simple garment, suitable for many uses and occasions, but the difficult part for many seems to be, “How do I tie it?”
The two keys to a well-tied sarong are:
- Choose the right size. You’ll want its length to wrap at least twice around your waist. If you wish to wear your sarong as a dress, especially with a halter top, you’ll need some extra length. Many sarongs come as “one size fits all,” but plus-sized sarongs are widely available. Before buying your sarong, be clear on its dimensions.
- Practice! Eventually, tying your sarong will be second nature. Until that time comes, endure a little bit of awkwardness and frustration. Your reward is a versatile garment that can be easily stashed even in a purse or glove compartment.
There are hundreds of ways to tie a sarong, achieving as many variations as there are wearers. A few basic sarong ties should be mastered before all others, however: a simple sarong skirt tie, a simple strapless dress tie, a basic halter top dress tie, and the sarong as a shoulder wrap.
A Simple Sarong Skirt:
- Wrapping your sarong completely around your waist to achieve your desired coverage, hold both sides out in front of you (or to the side you wish to place your knot), one end in each hand.
- With your right hand, extend the right side away from your body, so the inside of the fabric faces outward.
- With your right fist, form a “rabbit ear” of fabric. Repeat on the left side, with your left fist.
- Tie the “rabbit ears” together, forming a knot.
- Adjust those loose knot ends, arranging them attractively.
A Simple Strapless Sarong Dress:
- Wrap your sarong across your back, bringing it to the front of your body just under your armpits.
- Tie the ends of the sarong one time, between or just above your breasts. This is where you determine and adjust your sarong’s tightness
- Complete your knot by tying once more.
- Arrange your fabric ends below the knot, perhaps by cascading one layer on top of the other.
A Basic Halter Top Sarong Dress:
- Wrap your sarong across your back and under your armpits, bringing the fabric ends to the front of your body.
- Cross the ends between or just above your breasts, and pull the sarong tightly for a snug fit.
- Twist the ends again and then wrap them up around your neck.
- Tie a knot, ensuring that it’s loose enough to allow your head to move naturally.
A Sarong Shawl or Shoulder Wrap:
- Drape your sarong over your shoulders, as if it’s a cape.
- Tie a knot with the corner pieces on the right side.
- Tie a knot with the corner pieces on the left side. You should now have what resembles two sleeves.
- Arrange your sarong higher or lower on your neck and shoulders to wear as a cape, shawl, shrug, or jacket.