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Ask FGG: "I need a sarong that wraps all the way around!"
Posted by Angela in Ask FGG,Plus-Size Fashion
Sarongs spice up a curvy girl's summer wardrobe (Image by Gummo)

Dear FGG: I love the look of sarongs as bathing suit cover-ups, but they never wrap all the way around my hips, and either one thigh or my whole front is left totally exposed. Am I stuck with "one size fits most" but not me?

I share your pain. "One Size" anything -- especially items designed to wrap around the hips, where my body is its fullest -- always leave me feeling like I'm trying on doll clothes or shopping in the junior's section. The good news for full-figured girls with hips, thighs, butts and tummies is that we can absolutely get the comfort and breezy, flirty look of a sarong in sizes that actually fit. All it takes is a bit of savvy shopping.

The sarong (or pareo) is one of the most basic pieces of clothing you'll encounter; ultimately, it's just a long, rectangular piece of fabric -- that's it. The creative aspect of the garment comes in both how it's worn (as a skirt, as a dress, as a cover-up) and how it's tied. Full-length (to the feet) sarongs are usually about 44" long, while knee-length skirts stop at about 22".

As with any plus-sized garment, the key when you're shopping for a larger sarong is to check the sizing carefully. For example, we found knee-length and ankle-length options at Swimsuits Just For Us, but the widths are 52" and 56", respectively, which the site lists as fitting sizes 1X-2X. If your hips are well within those measurements or you don't mind your skirt being substantially open on the side where it ties (and thus not providing 100% coverage), these options are probably just fine. Other sarongs might be advertised as plus-size but don't offer width measurements, which makes them risky for larger hips and thighs, as well. If you're ordering online, make sure you understand and feel comfortable with the return policy when you order in case the garment doesn't fit.

Because the sarong is so versatile and designed to work with extra fabric, a wider-than-necessary purchase isn't a terrible thing, so err on the side of extra inches rather than something that's too small. We like the look of the double-layer sarong pareo wrap skirt from Sabine Silks ($39.99 in sizes that fit up to 6X or 24/26) and the basic colors (and sale prices) of the georgette styles from Sassy Sarongs (66" wide, from $29.99).

If you're feeling more of the traditional Polynesian vibe and want something brighter and more floral, options abound at Feedora. Finally, don't forget to check out our old friend Etsy, home to a number of the most reasonably priced finds in made-to-order dimensions. My favorite was this 70" x 42" hand-dyed batik print for only $30 (I'm a sucker for the color combo of chocolate brown and aqua), but you may prefer the same dimensions in orange or purple. -- or possibly even this black & white silk ($58.00; 66" x 26").

Whichever sarong you choose, this fun and flexible garment that can be worn any way you feel most comfortable and attractive. Have fun experimenting with styling until you find the pattern and tie configuration that's right for you.

Have a lead on a great source for sarongs that fit or the most fat-girl-flattering tie style ever? Share it with your fellow readers in comments.