I know that sarongs aren’t on trend at the moment, whilst kaftans are having their moment, but after my recent holiday my trusty rectangle of cloth was really the saviour of the day.

I bought mine a few year ago from the high street, loving the print, large size and tufty raw edge. I’ve worn it pleated as a scarf on the plane with my denim jacket, folded roughly in half and tied into a shorter skirt drape over a bikini, as shown below, or worn long and willowy with a cotton sweater for the evening chill.

For a similar design, I was snooping in Zara recently and spotted this gorgeous abstract print in a super size, 120 x 200cm, perfect for wrapping and tying into unique styles.

I also came across these ingenious ideas from Harper’s Bazaar first posted in 2013 by Kerry Pieri.

For me, the first three worked really well, though the forth one, which looks great from the front has an open back so not great for bottom coverage. If you click on the link and View Gallery arrow, there are images of how to tie each one, it’s quite a fun challenge on a wet summer’s weekend! Here are a few close-ups:


Small ties on shoulder and hip


Tie at bust and hip, twist to one side


Harem style, from back to a front tie at waist


Tie at neck and twist for halter neck

The key is to find a scarf big enough to become a sarong. My one is approximately 100 x 190 cm. For the long dress styles the shorter edge is tied around the bust or shoulders, and to allow enough fabric to make a tie 100 cm is about right for up to a size 14/16. The long edge gives you the length so depending on your height, 160-200 cm is needed for the ankle length styles.

Phase Eight have this fun pom pom edged cotton version available in five colours, sized, 100 x 145 cm, it’s long enough for this knee length wrap dress, adapted to the ideas above or for longer skirts.

On-line store, the Scarf Room have plenty of prints but this paisley one is a good size, 100 x 190 cm.

Top Tips.

  • To flatter your waist with a skirt style, remember to move the knot to side centre, not over your tummy or hips.
  • Find a larger scarf size, between 160cm and 200cm x 100cm, for maximum options.
  • Be adventurous, tie in new ways to look unique each day.
  • Prints will be less transparent for dress styles, whereas plains will show off your swimwear more.
  • Ideally choose fine cottons and viscose fabrics which will be cool and light.
  • Avoid one big tie, as its fine fabric, small knots will allow the fabric to drape more dramatically.

I take a small twist of fabric to knot neatly


Fold and layer asymmetrically for soft drapes

I have found many more uses in the past too. Draping over me when the sun gets too hot and I have been known, whilst lying on my front, to tie two corners to my big toes, knees bent and holding onto the other corners making a perfect body canopy! Silly but effective.

With a sarong, you won’t go wrong!

Kirstie x