Click here to read more:

The Sarong

The Sarong: Your Unflawed Travel Companion
Packing for a tropical vacation or cruise can be an overwhelming wisdom. It’s frequently difficult to pare down exactly what you will need for any occasion that may arise during your travels. Airlines are heavily restricting the total body weight of luggage and adding a hefty fee for additional baggage. Is there one single item you can pack that is multi functional? Enter the sarong.

A sarong is defined as a garment consisting of a length of printed or solid colored material that is worn around the waist by women and men. Traditionally the sarong is made of accurate materials like cotton as it is breathable and light.

 It was also the traditional undergarment for men prior to the introduction of pant-like pyjamas during the Turkish and European colonial periods. However, most men of upper social classes (whose public attire is trousers) wear the sarong only as a convenient night garment, or only within the confines of the house. In Zimbabwe they are known as Zambias. In Myanmar, it is known as a longyi. In North America and Europe hip wraps are generally a woman beach wear and not used by men.

Most often the sarong is thought of as bathing suit cover up and it seriously serves that purpose well. What is more exotic than a wonderful piece of fabric worn over a swimsuit while sitting poolside on a cruise ship sailing through the open seas? Not only will you look lovely, your skin will be protected from the sun.

For painless day trips a sarong works well as a skirt and looks stylish with a tank top and sandals. It also transitions with ease for evening events by tastefully adding a broach or jeweled pin where the sarong is knotted and pairing it with a fantastic pair of shoes. After a long day in the sun a sarong makes a well done shawl to wrap around your shoulders or can look incredibly chic as a headscarf.

Should you visit a locale that requires women to have their legs, arms or head covered a neutral colored sarong would be an past perfect solution to honor the culture. In Eastern Africa, it is called either a kanga (worn by African women), or a kikoi (traditionally worn by African men). The American public is most familiar with the sarong for the dozens of motion pictures set in the South Seas, most of them romantic dramas made in the 1930s and 1940's. The sarong was also worn by Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair. Among the other actresses to don the sarong for film roles are Maria Montez, Gilda Gray, Myrna Loy, Gene Tierney, Frances Farmer and Movita.

While the sarong is broadly speaking thought of as a fashion piece its uses are almost endless. Avoid carrying thick and heavy towels to the lake or pool and use your sarong to lounge on. If you are in need of extra privacy a sarong is useful as a curtain or room divider if you are sharing accommodations. Hotel sheets can often be uncomfortable; use your sarong for a bed sheet instead. Ditch the bulky bathrobe and use your sarong post shower. If you are planning a romantic picnic on the beach a sarong makes for a lovely tablecloth.

Due to their light nature a sarong dries quickly and can be casually washed out in a small sink with a mild detergent or shampoo. They pack in a excessively compact manner and can be used to protect fragile items you pick up on your travels.

Sarong wraps are charming, versatile, inexpensive and for your next tropical vacation or cruise, the must have travel companion.