Sarong Song Dress [pt 1]

As a woman with a Rectangle/H body shape, I am a big fan of draping and rouching. Done even close-enough-to-right, it creates (on me) or emphasizes (on others) a gorgeous, feminine silhouette. And come on, does a clothing style GET any more classical? From Grecian goddesses to Madame Grès, from Dorothy Lamour to Donna Karan, it’s a look that gets interpreted over and over. As well it should.

Which is why I finally bit the bullet last month and commissioned a sarong-style faux-wrap dress from the store that’s been indulging my obsessive-compulsiveness AND adding a fair amount of variety to my rather staid wardrobe. But with my dress almost ready, I’ve discovered the ongoing draping trend has morphed into something better: a sarong-centric spring!

For the most part, mainstream stores are showing sherbet-y solids, single-process metallics, or classic black. However, there are a raft of labels offering reproductions in retro-inspired cotton, silk, or satin prints—in other words, there’s plenty of opportunity to add more razzle to one’s dazzle. With a range of RTW sizes and custom options out there, I don’t know how any dress-wearing woman can resist slipping into a sarong-styled number. [Busted budget aside, of course.]

As for me? I’ll be in a striped knit shot with metallic threads, a look that’s more Donna Summer than Bettie Page. Company welcome.

Day-to-Night Sarong Dresses That Will Shake Up Your Spring

Top Left: Jones New York Matte Jersey Flounce Dress. Top Right: Tory Cinch Dress by Kiyonna (plus; color options include navy and black). Above: Nanette Lepore Sateen Wrap-Style Dress in cotton/linen.

Sarong-Style Dresses People Make Or Get As Swag

Left: 50s sarong pattern meets ole Gywneth in Donna Karan Spring ’10. Right: 90’s era Vogue Attitudes Pattern 2568.

Vintage Sarong Dresses In Candy Colors

Left: A lucky customer has this red-hot number, but for now’s pink floral goodness is still available. Right: Vintage Shaheen sarong dress from the personal collection of

Sculptural Vintage (Well, 80s) Sarong-Inspired Dress

Navy. Rouched. Draped. HEAVEN. Victor Costa for Saks, from

Reproduction Sarong Dresses That Will Have You Channeling Ms Lamour

Left: Dorothy Lamour sings her sarong-laden song. Right: Dixiefried Dresses (sizes XS-2X) include the Misfits” Dress in White Cherry and the Polynesian Tiki Inspired Vintage Sarong Dress.

Left:’s “Peggy Would” Dress (RTW and custom sizing). Right:’s Tiki dress by Nicole Katherine Designs (extended sizes, S to 26W).

Sophisticated Sarong Dresses for Evening

Top: Tadashi Shoji One-Shouldered Jersey (Plus) sarong-inspired dress (some availability in other sizes). Above Left: Deliciously bare Maggy London Side Drape Strapless Jacquard Dress. Above Right: Tadashi Shoji Draped Jersey Dress (also available in 14W-24W in black or plum) provides coverage but ample sizzle.

[Slightly more subdued options here and here.]

Sarong-esque Enough To Capture One’s Heart

Left: Suzy Chin Maggie Boutique Dresses include a Ruched Faux Wrap Dress and a Draped Jersey Dress (Plus). Right: Donna Ricco Cutaway Novelty Ring Belt Sarong Dress in purple; Patra Beaded Metallic Knit Faux Wrap Dress (Plus).

Whew. Anyone else ready for a Blue Hawaiian?

Next: Part 2 of Sarong Song Dress, aka Hips-Hips-Hooray

7 Responses

  1. I just found out that I’m going to Hawaii for Easter Vacation! I am totally inspired by your post to find a sarong style, day-to-evening dress (or two!) to anchor my travel wardrobe.

  2. Funny, I just found out I’m traveling in your suitcase!

    What a wonderful time of year to go there. Glad you were inspired by the dresses, and hope you’ll share any success story/stories about your search.

  3. These are great, and I do love the general wrapped look of the style. Just as long as it’s not going to fly open as I cross the road, I don’t mind! In fact, I think I would happily try on all of these.

  4. OK, OK, OK, I’ll TRY a sarong style dress the next time I go shopping. Jeez, have any swamp land I can buy?

  5. Struggler — Though I am a fan of slips, I also prefer to avoid the fly-open look! I have no real idea about the construction of the ones I posted, but many faux-wraps protect one’s modesty. Mine is basically a dress with an overlay panel, so my secrets are safe, ha.

    Ms Breezy — SO GLAD you are a convert in theory. You know I posted all those PITA links just to prove you wrong about not being able to wear this style, don’t you?

  6. Thanks for leaving this link on my blog. I’ve looked at a couple of these and will think on it. I’m not sold on a sarong type look yet…*smile* Keep thinking about how it will pull when I sit, walk and move!

  7. Carolyn — All good things to consider before you invest time, money, and customizing! I will continue to hold out hope that you turn your powers to one.

    I don’t seem to have a lot of “coverage” issues with mine — probably as it’s more of a faux-wrap variation and is a knit. I could pin the overlay up to my shoulder without flashing anyone, ha.

    ps to other readers: I’ve mentioned Carolyn’s blog before, but visit it if you want to see how someone seems to look at a magazine and create something gorgeous 5 seconds later…despite pattern manufacturers’ lack of sizing cooperation!

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