The sarong is the perfect beach cover up worn as a dress or a skirt.


Sure, your new collection of swimwear is fantastic, but eventually you’re going to want to cover it up … at least a little. The easiest and chicest solution? A sarong, which is basically an oversized scarf that effortlessly transitions to a wrap skirt in a snap. The best part is? You can tie it on the side, in the front, or even wrap it around your neck if you’re so inclined.

The history of the sarong is said to date back to the 15th century in the Malay Archipelago, and were likely inspired by a similar garment, the lungi, worn by Indian traders on the coast of Java. Historically, sarongs were worn by both men and women in many different cultures, including in areas of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The oldest sarongs would have been made with cotton in a checkered pattern, and were excellent for a tropical climate. Another similar garment is the Pareo, which comes from Tahiti. These can be worn like a skirt, as pants, or even tied at the chest for full body coverage. 

In 2022, sarongs are still one of the most stylish forms of beachwear. Sarongs are a 2022 vacation must-have because of their versatility, too. You can really get creative with the way you wear it!

Underneath your sarong, you should wear your swimsuit. And there are so many different ways to tie a sarong to provide different forms of swimsuit coverage. Wear it around your hips to cover up your legs while still showing off your stylish bikini top. You can wear a sarong with a one-piece swimsuit too! Tie it around your waist or hips, or even around your chest or neck like a chic coverup dress.

Women by the beach have been rocking a sarong for generations. Now it’s your chance to do so, too.

Our Picks


Seafolly Women’s Sarong Pareo Swimsuit Cover Up

Shop Now at Amazon

Seafolly is an Australian beachwear brand that’s been around since 1975, so you know one thing for sure: they’re going to get sarongs right. Try this printed sarong in 100% cotton.


Skye Women’s Sarong Swimwear Cover-Up

Shop Now at Amazon

Whether you’re into feminine florals or wild leotard print, check out this sarong from Skye on Amazon. It’s sure to fill all your swimwear cover-up needs.


Fisch Turisimo Pareo

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

Sustainable brand Fisch is a new go-to when it comes to colorful prints and abstract patterns, and their sarong selection is no exception to the rule.


Seafolly Women’s Sarong Swimsuit Cover Up

Shop Now at Amazon

You can never go wrong with the basics, like this white cotton sarong. Reviews rave about the high quality fabric and perfect fit.


Agua by Agua Bendita Floral Pareo

Shop Now at Intermix

There is nothing quite like an Agua Bendita floral print, and this pretty blue array fits the bill—with a subtle fringed edge too!


Ekouaer Women Sarongs Beach Wrap

Shop Now at Amazon

You can show off your alluring legs in a sizzling red bikini in a sexy short sarong like this one, in any color under the rainbow. This option from Amazon is extremely affordable.


Celine Tie-Dye Sarong

Shop Now at Celine

Get into that Americana spirit with a tie-dye bandana-print sarong from Celine.


Sunshine 79 Women’s Swimsuit Beach Cover Up Pareo

Shop Now at Amazon

Get into groovy psychedelic swirls with this cover-up pareo from Amazon. We love the retro vibe which is so trendy.


Cloe Cassandro Silk Sarong

Shop Now at Moda Operandi

Keep it ethereal with a wispy-light chiffon sarong that you can layer, shorten, or re-style without fear of unwanted bunching.


Anemos Sarong Skirt

Shop Now at Anemos

Sometimes you just want to keep it simple with a lightweight, tie-front sarong in a pale shade of seafoam.


Tropic of C The Sienna Pareo

Shop Now at Tropic of C

This brightly toned, stripe mini pareo will transport you to a beach in 1976. But hey, is there anything better?


Fella Pareo Sarong

Shop Now at Fella

Though you’ll be shopping for a style that’s similar to that pictured, the beauty of this sarong is that each one is handmade and hand-dyed, so each is truly one-of-a-kind.


Missoni Sarong Skirt

Shop Now at Matches

A splurge, to be sure, but this rainbow sarong is the ultimate in Italian beachwear chic, hands down.

RELATED: 14 Sarong Skirts You Can Throw and Go


Playa Lucila Sarong

Shop Now at Shopbop

Go for a whimsy beach look with a block-print sarong wrap that boasts mini pom poms down the edge.


Eres Sarong

Shop Now at Saks Fifth Avenue

If you’re searching for a sarong that’s a little more styled than an oversized scarf that you fashion on your own, choose this Eres style that is a no-brainer wrap skirt instead.

RELATED: 14 Easy Wrap Skirts for Summer and Fall


Emilio Pucci Cotton Sarong

Shop Now at Matches

There are few looks quite as retro as a printed Pucci scarf, so shop for a sarong large enough to wrap around your entire body this summer!

Pro Tip


Versatile and easy to carry around, sarongs are great for layering and styling your beachwear.


What is the difference between a sarong and pareo?

When it comes to accessories of this nature, the words “sarong” and “pareo” are often used interchangeably. The difference, as it happens, is pretty limited as well… and it really just has to do with where they originated. “Sarongs” is the term that has emerged from French Polynesia, while “pareos” is the colloquial name for the fabric wrap in Indonesia. Technically, a “sarong” came onto the scene first, often made of batik fabric and richly dyed, while the “pareo” followed suit, adapting the style to more Western materials. That said, today, you can use both terms with synonymous appeal.

Not only are sarongs the easiest throw-on-and-go beach cover-up, but the styling possibilities are endless. Shop your favorites now—summer is just around the corner.

All products featured on Viva Cabana are independently selected by our editorial team, and the company may earn commission through affiliate links.