Picture this: you’re at the beach on holiday and you decide to go to a nearby café for lunch. You’d rather not put your clothes back on over a wet swimsuit but somehow, as soon as you take one foot off the sand, wearing swimwear in public feels akin to wearing underwear in public – weird and rather exposing.
That’s where the chameleon-esque sarong comes in handy – a garment that works for multiple scenarios while occupying the same amount of luggage space as a t-shirt.
Here are our top 8 uses of the sarong and why you should never travel without one:
1. They protect from the sun
Sarongs can provide some much-needed shelter from the midday sun. Despite being ultra-lightweight and breathable, the bamboo fabric we’ve used in our Shinjuku Lanes sarongs makes them naturally UV-resistant. Cover your face while you sunbathe and you’ll still be able to breathe while protecting your face from sun damage.
2. They make great beach towels
Whether you forgot your towel or simply don’t want to lug it around, your trusty sarong can be laid down on the beach instead. Not only will a large sarong provide more space to lie on than your average beach towel, it’s also quick to dry – meaning no soggy towels to deal with at the end of the day.
3. They make the ideal pool party outfit
It’s tricky to know what to wear to a pool party – is it one where everyone goes for a dip, or is it more of a sipping-frozen-margheritas-on-sun-loungers kind of vibe? Wear your sarong as a dress over your swimsuit and you’ll be prepared for every eventuality, plus you’ll keep cool and comfortable all day long.
4. They can be worn as scarves or shawls when the temperature drops
When the sun goes down, the drop in temperature can leave you wondering if you should have packed that extra jumper. With a sarong, there’s no need – just wrap it around your neck or shoulders to provide an extra layer of warmth.
5. They provide mosquito protection
Even with the bug spray on, some of us are just too delicious to resist. At least this is what you can tell yourself when you’re being bitten for the 17th time that evening. Luckily an extra later of fabric in the form of a sarong can keep the mosquitos at bay (or at least encourage them to visit your travel companion instead).
6. They make cute crop tops
Whether strapless or halter-style, sarongs make super chic crop tops and look fabulous with a pair of high waisted trousers. Plus, after a day of tanning (read: burning), they can be a lot more gentle on your skin than bra straps.
7. They can provide extra cover when visiting religious sites
Ever ventured away from the beach to do some sight-seeing at a church/temple/other religious site, only to be turned away because you were wearing shorts? Bring your sarong with you and you can wear it over your shorts during your visit without having to spend the whole day in full-length trousers.
8. Last but not least – they’re perfect for covering up, on or off the beach!
Whether you’re body confident enough to wear an itsy bitsy bikini or prefer a tummy-cinching one piece, it’s always handy to have the option for a little more coverage. We love using a sarong to hide a post-lunch bloat, or for travelling to and from the beach. Plus, it takes all of 2 seconds to be ready for a dip in the sea!
Do you have any weird or wonderful ways you like to use your sarong? Show us on Instagram and tag @shinjukulanes.