There Are More Ways to Style a Sarong Than You Think

It's secretly summer's most versatile accessory.

How to Style a Sarong
Gottex Cruise 2019 Runway Show. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Gottex

Spending so much time indoors has me itching to ditch my couch for the beach and my sweatpants for my cutest bikini. But on the plus side, I finally have enough time to figure out new ways to style old items in my wardrobe, planning for the days when I actually can take a vacation.

For instance, while I usually opt for an oversized tee or sheer cover-up at the beach, I've been playing around with how to style a sarong. They've since proven to be my wardrobe's secret weapon – and not just for wearing over bathing suits. Sarongs are actually super versatile and can be styled in more ways than you might think.

Whether you go with something printed or solid, swim brands have been putting out tons of sarong options for you to choose from right now. Try sheer fabrics for a more playful approach, or coordinate your bikini and sarong for something more fashion-forward.

Ahead, I'm breaking down the easiest ways to twist, tie, and wrap your favorite sarong into any number of adorable outfits — no beach required.

Style It Like a Belt With an Oversized Knot

Picking an option with fringe or beading will add a bit of flair to even the most simple bathing suit look. Also, play with shimmery or sheer fabrics to add some sparkle to your wardrobe on your next trip.

Shop Similar: Melissa Odabash Pompom-Embellished Pareo ($55)

Wear Your Sarong As a Full Skirt Over a Bodysuit or Bikini

A sarong is the perfect solution for beach-to-table dressing. Tie the two shortest corners into a knot at your hip for some extra coverage before heading out.

Shop Similar: Monday Swimwear St. Tropez Sarong ($55)

Create This Season’s Most Popular Crop Top

Tie tops are everywhere right now, adding to a growing list of revamped '90s trends. Fold your sarong in half for a triangle shaped top, or criss-cross the longest sides in front of your body, then tie them around your neck to make it into a halter. A larger piece of fabric will also create a carefree, draped look, which is perfect for those end-of-summer days.

Shop Similar: Zimmermann Sarong Cotton Skirt ($210)

Turn It Into a One-Shoulder Dress

In the same way that you turned your sarong into a midi skirt, tie a knot over your shoulder to transform it into a breezy dress. While great for wearing over a bathing suit, you can also layer this look over your everyday clothes for some added drama (swipe for an example). Accessories like belts and chains will help take things to the next level.

Shop Similar: Beach Riot x Revolve Sarong Cover-Up ($60;

Try a Matching Set

A matching sarong set pulls double duty, since you can wear the two pieces together or separately for more options, Even Princess Diana was a fan of a similar coordinated look.

Shop Similar: ASOS Design Curve Tie Two-Piece in Orange Crinkle ($61;

Create a Micro Mini Skirt

If you have a smaller sarong in your collection, tie it into a mini skirt. If you have a longer sarong but are looking for less coverage, fold or bunch it before tying the two ends together at your hip. A sheer version is perfect for this, since it will show off your bikini while still offering some coverage.

Shop Similar: Lemlem Rekik Sarong ($195)

Drape Your Sarong Over Your Shoulders For Added Sun Protection

This might be the easiest way to style your sarong. Drape it over your shoulders while sitting poolside to keep yourself protected and prevent unwanted sunburns. If you do plan to go this route, try a more opaque alternative made from cotton or linen.

Shop Similar: Mikoh Toyama Sarong ($65;

Make a Strapless Dress

When it comes to this look, the larger the sarong the better. Start by holding one side in front of your chest, or tuck the top corner into the front of your bathing suit or bra, if you're willing to wear it out-out. Wrap the other side around your back and bring it around to the front, then tie a knot between the top two edges. You can either tuck the knot into the front of your bikini/bra, or rotate the knot onto one side for a sleek appearance.

Shop Similar: Summersalt The Easy Breezy Sarong ($65;

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