The Multifarious Ways to Wear a Sarong

Beach, shmeach. Take us to the concrete sidewalk.


Members of the non-Western world have had it right all along. Why waste your time — and money — on skirts or pants or shorts or bottoms, period, when you can locate your own favorite fabric, chop a large enough square off it from its roll, tie it around your waist thus concealing your legs and ba da bing, ba da boom, behold: you’re covered. You’re covered and you look cool and you’re leaving yourself more room to consider your top half.

Here we are, meandering through life, holding up skirts at department stores, tilting our heads in an attempt to convince ourselves that the size will totally work, fighting with our mothers over ass-coverage in relation to jeans and with ourselves over whether that second spoonful of Rocky Road is really — and I mean really — worth it, when we could be squashing all these qualms with a sarong and a simple tie at the waist.

For the record, the answer to the latter question is almost always a resounding of course ice cream is worth it but consider this: if you were to abandon your garments and their zippers or buttons or clasps that force your mind to go there, the circumstances of your life would probably see, like, a 40% uptick in pleasantness. And when you got sick of wearing your sarong as a sarong and that became your normal (thus making room for new quandaries to occupy your mind space), you could consider this: why don’t you stop wearing belts or shorts or head pieces all together and consider the multifarious uses of one of the best gifts ever bequeathed to us by the Arabian Peninsula and Southeast Asia.

Here are three styled looks to help illustrate this point. In approximation #1 you will see that I have hopped back aboard the denim train but only because skirts are looking fresh-to-death over pants and here’s the hidden victory: if you don’t want to button the underlying pants, you don’t have to! (Cedric Charlier blouse, Paige Denim jeans, Charlotte Olympia wedges and Oliver Peoples sunglasses.)

Look #2 begs the importance of a leather belt and considers the sash over an embroidered Dries Van Noten men’s blouse and Rosie Assoulin white pants. The point is further driven home with my motherlode lipstick combo and an Olympia Le Tan book bag (if you’re jonesing for one and have $700 to spare, you can get it on sale here).

Finally, luck be a tube top tonight, am I right? Who needs a blouse when you’ve got fabric? (Actually, there is some value in making like Rosie and tying said fabric around a top to create dimension.) Fake a ruche, tie a knot, let that shit cascade like it is a matrimonial center piece and when you’re done with that, turn the crazy O-N, on. Photographed here you’ll find a sequined mini skirt by All Saints, navy flat mules by Oscar de la Renta (holler at The Outnet here) and a choker by Paula Mendoza. The sunglasses are from Peter Pilotto’s collab-o-lab with Target.

Sarong by Ashanddans

Get more Personal Style ?
  • ee_by_cc

    Big ups to look #1. Paired with that white top, it gives the illusion of a funky cross between a waistcoat and a wrap dress.

  • GapToothedGirl

    I love look #1!!

    XOX, Gap.

  • Luba

    Love this!!

    XO Luba

    Minimalist Black and White look today , on

  • Pau B.

    I have a lot of sarongs (since I live in a tropical country). But they only get used in the summer beach events. This is a great way to get more use of them. Thanks for sharing!
    xo, Pau B.

  • I love ur look it´s perfect¡¡¡ so cute
    have a nice day

  • Cool idea! They really got it figured out 😉

    Lisa – AT LEAST BLOG

  • catfishandcaviar

    #1 is fabulous….and those shoes….it all works together perfectly.

  • Gré Tee

    beautiful looks!!!

  • The first pair of shoes is to die for!! I couldn’t look at the sarong because the wedges were too pretty!!

  • The outfit with the jeans is my favorite, but I’m in love with the last outfit because of that neckparty you have going on.

  • You’re so hot, it’s ridic. Totally feeling the sarong thing, too.

  • You link to the Paula Mendoza collar isn’t taking me to the product.

    • Leandra Medine

      ooo thanks for letting me know! rectified.

  • Nathalia Kalil

    I really love the first look! You rock!

  • off topic thought: your hair is getting long! it looks nice!

  • CarlotaLMorais

    FUN! But Im sooo short I would look soooo weird with jeans and then a sarong on top of them! Your long legs make it possible for you to achieve any look! Love this on you Leandra, especially look number 1. N A I L E D I T

  • Sarah

    Who makes the sarong?

    • Leandra Medine

      oh shoot! forgot to include, thank you –it’s ash and dans.

  • I cannot get over those wedges.

  • Vee Mi

    SHOES!!! Where oh WHERE did you get those pom-pomed beauties?!

  • Ahh The pom pom shoes! They are perfect!

    Much Love, AnnCates xx

  • The last look is me fave, you’re totally rocking that sarong the right way!

    Oroma R.R.
    O.R.R. BLOG

  • Elisa Taviti
  • oh my golly gosh i am so in love with your outfit, i am ready to put it as my cover photo on facey!!!

  • Hermy

    All Hail the master of re-purposing. Bravo!

  • Whitney V

    Love all these looks and the creativity that went into making that piece of fabric “something”! Look #3 is by far my fav as the fabric really does look like the coolest top out there!! x

  • Chic Trends

    Looks great as a top! Saw something similar on Pinterest but with a scarf and it was used as a skirt. Have you seen it?

    Great use of the sarong!

  • Melanie

    Very cool! I love the scarf/sarong as a top. Thanks for the idea- def going to purchase one today. Found it here:

  • Very good tips!!! thank you very inspiring!!

  • Aubrey Green

    I love all of it.

  • Nico

    Things I love most are third look and wedges from first!

    Stripes+Green Mint, Summer outfit on lb-lc fashion blog

  • Kelsey

    Sarong, its right!

  • Ari Camacho

    Look #1 is my favorite!! Love the necklace in look #3 =) xx- Ari

  • Great! Now it’s time to style african necklaces and peruvian ponchos!


  • Two words: THOSE WEDGES.


  • Ajnira Muminovic

    Briliant, I remember doing all of this combination when I was 13, so I dont know why I stopped, I have to do it again!

  • monkeyshines
  • Caroline’s Closet

    Check out my blog please!

  • Jeanie

    If it’s “sarong”, I don’t wanna be right! (I thought you might appreciate that bit.
    Jokes aside, I love the looks! I used to live in sarongs when I lived in the tropics. These alternative options bring the sarong to the city, and I love every minute of it!


  • Rachel Bell

    These are really great ideas, I love the accessories you’re paring with the look. Those beaded bracelets really give it a good vibe.

  • lavieenliz
  • Ariel

    These are AMAZING! I have several sarongs and they just sit in my drawer because I never know what to do with them. Problem solved! However – the top in #3 looks like a crazy complicated knot – any hints on how to actually do that??

  • disqus_kHkQi7Wx5N

    I’m not the biggest fan of Charlotte Olympia shoes but I love those in the #1st look. My fav!

  • stylepolicy

    I like the idea, knowing me I probably will fail to recreate any look the second time, which is good? haha

  • If I couldn’t only look as good in a sarong…! I’d wear any of these…


  • claudia

    Love the look with jeans white shirt and wedges! So cool!

  • Ele Berunizo

    No 1 look is awesome !

  • Margaret Ely

    you know, I like what you are doing right here/right there.

  • Cate Adair

    You know I SLEEP in a sarong! I love your post and what you’ve done to show how versatile a sarong can be. Here is one more option:

  • sarah

    I think that it’s safe to say the arm partys are BACKKK

  • MR knows all about #3printrule, check out cool bright fashion here: and support my new fashion line!

  • the coattail effect

    and here I thought I would never wear my sarong outside of island vacations again 😛