It’s Happening: Sarongs Are About to Make a Comeback

Spirited Pursuit

When you’re spending a day at the beach, sometimes you just need a little extra cover. Whether you’re in need of some extra protection from the sun or running into a cafe, it’s handy to have something you can easily throw on. Lately, we’ve seen a turn away from classic beach-wear and a heavier reliance on beach-ready clothing. 

Not long ago tropical patterns and classic cover-ups were traded in for more day-to-day options like denim shorts and throw-on-and-go dresses. Sarongs became redundant, but guess what?! They’re back. And this time, they’re a hell of a lot chicer than you remember.

The easy, free-flowing tie-around fabric that we know as a sarong originated “on Pacific Ocean islands and in the Malay Archipelago, off the southeast coast of Asia”, Encycolpedia.com reports. Though they’ve been around for centuries in these cultures, the beachwear sarong was only popularised in Western fashion in the 1940s.

American actress Dorothy Lamour is credited with the rise of the style, after having worn one in her movie, The Jungle Princess. Though the actress “actually wore a sarong only in a fraction of her future films,” Encycolpedia.com states, “her career was forever linked to the garment.”

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Pictured: Dorothy Lamour wearing a sarong in The Jungle Princess.

However, the glory days of this tropical style quickly seemed to fade. In recent years, the once high-fashion sarong has made its way to the bottom of the beachwear barrel. Being swapped for dress-like coverups and sportier outfits, the sarong faded into the background. But it’s all about to change. 

Based on the resurgence of sarongs on the market, alongside the minimalist nature of fashion in 2020, the handy sheath is about to be on every beach in no time at all. Easy to pack in a bag, and stylish enough to count as an outfit piece, the sarong is the multi-purpose accessory you’ll come to rely on this year. 

When you think about beach necessities, a sarong is a perfect companion. It can double as a towel, a head wrap, cover yourself from the sun, or double as a picnic blanket. Not to mention, some of our favourite designers are making ones that take things to a new level. With chic prints and cute styles, sarongs are back and better than ever.

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To see some of the best sarongs on the market right now, keep scrolling for our picks.