5 Things Not to Wear with a Sarong

Looking for some style inspiration for your next beach trip? Known as a pareo in Europe, a beach sarong wrap - just a simple rectangle of fabric - can achieve the might feat of elevating swimwear into a coordinated and sophisticated beach look.

Sarong Styling Tips | 5 Things Not to Wear with a Sarong


The sarong has become the perfect beach accessory in recent years, providing an excellent cover up whilst also showing off your fashion credentials. Whilst it seems like an easy look to pull off, there are still ways of getting it wrong. Make sure you get it right by taking a look at 7 things you should avoid when wearing a sarong, and some things you might want to consider the next time you hit the beach.

1. High Heels

High heels are a menace on the beach or by the pool, with or without a sarong and most definitely a safety hazard. In the words of an American stylist friend, "the look is also quite trashy".  Instead, why not consider some bejewelled sandals or flip flops or a low wedge with cool rattan detailing? Ditching the heels doesn’t have to mean casual, there are still plenty of other suitable footwear styles which you can wear to add some glamour. In our opinion minimalist sliders, flat(ish) tan leather sandals, fitflops, flipflops and Birkenstocks are hard to beat for a relaxed beach look. Don't forget the pedicure!


Opt for low heeleed sandals suitable for the pool or beach

The ultimate pool shoe with waterproof base and embellished with gemstones. £34 with free delivery from Airy Mary. More styles and colours available. Shop the beach shoe collection now.

2. Oversized Clothing

Whilst sarongs are great for covering up any areas of your body you wish to hide, they need to be paired with the right items of clothing. If you opt for baggy, oversized t-shirts and blouses, you’ll lose the slimming effects that the sarong can create, making you look frumpy and like you’ve got something to hide. Instead, wear your sarong with fitted camis, dresses, t-shirts, etc, showing that you have confidence in yourself, even if you don’t completely have it in your body.

3. Clashing Patterns

It can be great to clash some patterns (spots and stripes, florals, etc) but when it comes to sarongs, less is more. If your swimsuit or top is plain, go for a printed sarong, if your sarong is plain and simple, add some print to your outfit. Wearing too many clashing colours and patterns can provide an unpleasant distraction and you’ll look far more co-ordinated if you keep it simple.

4. An abundance of accessories

We know that you want to look stylish and glamorous on the beach, but too many accessories can make your outfit look busy, let alone make a rattling noise as you walk around. Some bangles, a chunky necklace and a straw hat can provide everything you need to pull off the beach babe look, anything more than that will be too fussy and heavy.

5.  An uncomfortable smile

If YouTube and Pinterest have taught us anything, it’s that there are dozens of ways to wear a sarong and many celebrities have been papped in swimwear both flattering and non-flattering, documented online for the masses. We love the flowing Coachella-style beachwear in white cotton with boho vibes and we equally love flowing designer kaftans. While your budget might not meet the cost of designer beachwear it can probably cope admirably with $10-20 sarongs. The fun is in choosing the style and length that suits you best. Prefer to cover your legs? Then Kim Kardashian's mini sarong [below] isn't for you. Looking for a cover up? Steer clear of very sheer fabric. Pay attention to the dimensions of a sarong when buying online: 100-120cm is a good length and 180-220cm wide will drape beautifully on all sizes.Anything smaller in width might leave a gap in the middle. Experiment with different ways of tying a sarong to allow you to forget about what you are wearing and focus on beach life. The best buckle we've found is the simple coconut shell buckle with 2 holes. Consider using mother of pearl buckles for silk sarongs as they are thinner and lighter in weight, so won't drag down the fabric.

Kim Kardashian in a black sarong

As you can see, there are a few things which should be avoided when wearing a sarong, but plenty which should be embraced. Sarongs are easily one of the chicest summer accessories, perfect for the beach or the evening, and when worn correctly, will do wonders for your figure. 

Ways to wear your sarong:

Bandeau dress

Hold the sarong behind you like you would a towel, with the centre of the sarong to your back. Bring the ends to the front and tie in a knot at bust level. Fluff the knot to make it hang prettily. For this to work, it needs to be a full size sarong.

Neck tie dress

Do the same, but this time, instead of tying the knot in front at your bust take the left side of the sarong around the right side of your neck and the right side of your sarong around the left side of your neck and tie both ends at the back.

Side skirt

Effortlessly tied in a knot to one side. Instead of a knot you could use a belt buckle to thread the ends through.

Full skirt

Wrap the sarong around you in tightly – no loose draping here – and aim for the ends to meet at your side. One end will be ‘inside’ the skirt and this should be pulled up slightly to tie with the outside edge. You may need to play around to get the outside part of the wrap to finish at the side. But once learnt it will come naturally for the rest of the holiday and take just seconds.

cotton sarong by Huit

Huit's 100% cotton sarong in 'Good Mood' citroen and blue.

Shop Sarongs at Airy Mary Now


With sarongs in stock all year round, we trust that you'll find the perfect beach sarong to make your next beach holiday a stylish affair!

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