How Men Wear Sarongs in Southeast Asia and Around the World

how men wear sarongsThis may come as a surprise to the average American male, but the Scots aren’t they only men who wear skirts.  Sarongs are commonly worn on both men and women around the world, particularly in tropical areas in and around Southeast Asia.  In trendier “haute couture” circles, international fashion designers have attempted a men’s sarong from time to time, but they rarely get past the Paris fashion show runways.  However, men will often buy a casual one to wear on an Asian vacation. As a sarong retailer and fashion consultant, I am often asked about how men wear sarongs.  Here is what I’ve gathered from talking to fashion insiders.

The brightly colored fabric of women’s sarongs is rarely used in men’s sarongs.  While men’s sarongs often include the same patterns and fabrics as women’s, theirs tend to be a little more sedate and earth-toned. Men usually wear a longer sarong than women, even on hot summer days, and they wear it only below the waist. 

When I asked a local man in Bali for some advice on how men wear sarongs, I remembered the Balinese medicine man from the movie “Eat Pray Love” and how natural his sarong looked.  It would have been hard to imagine him wearing anything else.

Most men, I learned, put on a sarong skirt the same way as women, but stepping into it and drawing it over the head.  Then the sarong is turned until the pattern is facing in the desired direction and held open at waist level.  Once properly positioned, it is pulled tightly against one side of the body, with excess fabric drawn across the front of the body and pulled tightly against the waist.  Then, the sarong is simply rolled over itself at the top several times for a secure and comfortable fit. Once a man tries on a sarong and sees how great it looks on, he may even decide to wear it in less exotic locales. 

For the best selection of authentic Hawaiian sarongs and pareos for men and women and to learn more about how men wear sarongs, consult the experts at

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