Monthly Archives: September 2016

Some Ways to Wear a Sarong

Sarongs are a must-have fashion staple when traveling to tropical climates. This colorful, rectangular piece of dyed fabric can be worn a number of ways, making it incredibly versatile and a flashy and flattering option for any look or occasion. It can be worn as a dress, a skirt, a halter top, and more. Able to transform itself into an accessory or talking piece for any outfit, a sarong is the perfect addition to a fashionable traveler’s suitcase.

Below are just ten of the ways it’s possible to wear this garment and instructions for how to tie it.

How to Wear a Sarong

Strapless Dress
This dress is one of the more common ways of wearing a sarong. Holding the fabric length-wise, wrap the sarong from one side of your body to the other. Pull the top corners together tightly and tie or tuck them into the top edge of the dress.

Some Ways to Wear a Sarong

Triangle Skirt
An easy, flirty skirt that shows off your legs. Fold opposite corners of the sarong together; don’t worry about the edges matching up perfectly, this skirt is meant to be uneven! Then, point down, wrap the longer edge of your triangle around your waist and tie at the hip.

Off-the-Shoulder Dress
A cool and sporty option for the beach or rooftop bar. Starting with the long side of the fabric held parallel with your arm span, place one top corner at the middle of your back and wrap the sarong around until your body is fully covered. Bring the remaining fabric to the front and pull the top corner over your far shoulder to tie with the corner in the center of your back.

Backless Halter Top
Show off some skin with this sexy shirt. First, fold a normal-length sarong in half length-wise. Holding the fabric in front of you by the natural corners of the sarong, take both top corners and tie them together behind your neck. Take the corners of the fold and wrap them around your waist, tying them behind your back.

Sarong Halter Top

Billow Shorts
These colorful shorts are comfy and easy to wear. Take two corners of the sarong so that the fabric is held out in front of you with the longer side parallel to your arm span. Then, wrap the top corners behind you to meet at the small of your back. Take the remaining fabric and pull it front to back between your legs, and tuck or tie it into the waist.

Mini Skirt
This cute and flirty mini skirt is perfect as a cover up over a swimsuit or paired with a tank top for a day on the boardwalk. Gather the corners of each short side together and wrap the fabric in one hand fully around your body until you are covered on all sides. Then, tie both bunches together in a knot or twist.

Modern Toga
Old-world technique meets new-age chic! Once again, hold the top corners of your sarong horizontally along your arm span. From behind, bring your arms and the fabric forward under your armpits to the front. Tightly pull one side under the opposite arm, and take the other corner over the opposite shoulder to form the sleeve. Pull the two corners together and tie in a knot.

Elegant Shawl or Shoulder Wrap
This shoulder wrap is the perfect sunny accessory for a sundress. First, fold the sarong in half diagonally so that the corners meet. Next, drape it over your shoulders. You can either tie the knot at your sternum for a classic shawl look, or move the knot to your shoulder for a fashionable asymmetrical look.

Tips to Stay Stylish While Traveling

Packing clothes for a trip can be an incredible hassle. With many airlines charging growing fees for checked baggage, packing light has become not just an issue of space but of economics, too. In my twenties, the only thing I cared about was how much my bag weighed. Now, in my thirties, I carefully consider what goes into my suitcase — so I can save luggage space and still remain stylish.

Staying Stylish While Traveling

Pack Mostly Basics & a Few Statement Pieces
About 70% of the clothes you pack should be basics, not statement pieces. Dark blue jeans, a black skirt, a cute sundress, shorts or a warm coat, depending on the local climate, and a few dressy-casual blouses can all be mixed and matched to fit any occasion. By stocking the majority of your suitcase with basics, you remove the need to pack a different set of clothes for each activity.

For example, wearing a plain black or white tank top with some dark jeans or shorts can be perfect for physical activities like hiking, biking, or just exploring a city by foot. That same tank top, when tucked into a black skirt and covered with a cardigan and a scarf, becomes a cute and flirty outfit for a dinner in town.


While most of my clothes are solid colors while traveling, I do have one or two colorful dresses and pairs of shoes to brighten up my outfits. For instance, this dress goes with me almost everywhere.

From the vineyards of Emilia Romagna to the beaches in Mexico, this cotton dress pairs perfectly with a cardigan (I love this cardigan) or long-sleeved solid top — and it doesn’t wrinkle in my suitcase.


Another way to spice up an outfit is by packing a colorful pair of shoes to go with solid colors. These are my favorite travel shoes and I get compliments every single time I wear them — even from men! They go with jeans, shorts, dresses — basically any solid-colored outfit — and they have an extremely cushioned insole with amazing arch support. I found them at a surf shop in San Diego, but they sell them cheaper on Amazon!

Boots are another great item to liven up an outfit. Not all boots pack well, but I found a cute pair of knee-high boots that don’t take up too much space in my luggage. I normally end up wearing them on the plane, anyway, because they are so comfortable.

These ankle boots are a good option if it’s too hot for knee-high boots and you prefer more of a heel.


I’m slightly addicted to buying cute scarves and have a drawer full of them at home. It can be tough to pick just one scarf to bring on a trip, so if I’m traveling somewhere cold, I might sneak two or three into my bag.

Work with Layers
Layering is the key to dressing your outfits up or down. A little black dress for that night on the town, for example, becomes a lot more appropriate for day wear when it’s topped with a shrug or sweater and worn over dark stockings. Similarly, dark jeans with a plain blouse can quickly become dressed up with a well-fitted colorful
jacket or long scarf used as a shawl.

Dress Up Your Outfits with Accessories
Like with your clothing, keeping your accessories fairly simple means they will fit more easily with any outfit. Small gold or silver studs, a nice pendant, and your favorite charm bracelet or watch should cover most of your needs, whether you’re going dressy or casual. You would be surprised how easy it is to do a lot with just a few accessories!

I have a few cuff bracelets that always stay packed in my toiletries bag — so I never forget them when packing for a trip. Turquoise and silver bracelets go great with solid-colored clothing.

If you need something flashier or realize you have forgotten something at home, there’s always the opportunity to shop for souvenirs at your destination. Whether it’s a necklace, sunglasses, or a new scarf, chances are that the place you’re going has its own unique style. Purchasing your accessories at your destination can be a fun way of incorporating that local style into your wardrobe, as well as getting a nice memento to bring home with you.

Consider Your Destination
Obviously if you’re going to Yakutsk, Russia, you don’t want to pack shorts and a swimsuit. Similarly, a trip to Mauritius is not the place for heavy winter coats and turtlenecks. I always joke that it’s easy for me to pack for a tropical destination — I just throw in a few sundresses and five bikinis.

It’s much more difficult to pack light for a cold weather destination, so this is where layering really comes in handy. Don’t forget scarves, gloves, a beanie, and warm socks. This slouchy knit oversized beaniekeeps me warm and — depending on what color you choose — it can brighten up an outfit.

Considering your destination while packing involves more than just packing for the geographical climate — it also means being aware of the cultural and political climate of your destination, too.

If you’re visiting Istanbul or another location whose culture sports a more conservative style, be respectful and wear longer shirts, skirts, or pants. While it will matter less in more cosmopolitan areas, in rural areas your different style of dress might be considered rude or inappropriate. Research your location before you pack to get an idea of what other travelers have found works best.

Information About Travel Camera Bag

A few of our readers have requested more information about what other photographers carry in their travel camera bag, so here’s an in-depth look at what camera gear we carry on all of our trips.

After buying and selling a lot of camera lenses and camera bags, I feel like I have finally come up with a close to perfect camera kit for my travels.

Every photographer has different wants and needs, so keep in mind that what works for me, may or may not work for you. Feel free to use this as a guide if you are having trouble deciding which lens, SLR body or camera bag to buy for your travels.

A Travel Photographer’s Camera Kit

Canon T2i Camera Body
I upgraded to a Canon T2i camera body from a Canon Rebel XS SLR and I absolutely love it. A few of the pros of this camera for me are the HD video capabilities, 18 megapixel sensor and a price tag below $400 USD. (Since I wrote this post, I’ve upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark II. You can read more about it here.)

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
At around $100 US, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 has proven to be a great buy. I use it for portraits, close up shots and low light conditions. You can spend a little more for the slightly faster Canon f/1.4 lens if you prefer, but if you are on a budget or you would rather spend your money on multiple lenses then I highly recommend buying the 50mm f.1.8 lens.

Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens
The Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens quickly became a favorite of mine after purchasing it a few months ago. It works well with cameras like the T2i with a crop factor. If you have a full frame camera body, then you will want to get the Canon 16-35mm wide angle lens. The 10-22mm is too wide for a full frame camera.

Canon 70-200mm f/4L Telephoto Zoom Lens
I love the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens for surfing and wildlife photography where it’s tough to get in close to the subject. It is arguably Canon’s best value “L” lens. It’s also very light compared to the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L.

I shot all of my puffin photos with a Canon 70-200 lens.

The Ultimate Travel Photography Camera Kit

Lowepro Fastpack Camera Bag
I’ve been through quite a few camera bags in the past ten years trying to find the perfect fit for my needs. I really liked the Tamrac 5547 Photo Backpack, but I got tired of carrying my laptop separately. I tried Tamrac’s camera/laptop bag, but it was just too huge and bulky.

I currently use the Lowepro Fastpack backpack, which has a compartment for my laptop, enough room for my camera body with wide angle lens attached plus two to three more lenses, a tripod attachment on the side, an attached rainfly, and I can fit a water bottle in the side pocket. I switched from the F-Stop Black Box camera bag — which I used for several years — mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t carry a water bottle or attach my tripod to the bag.

Canon G16 Point and Shoot Camera
This point and shoot camera gets great reviews by many photographers. For certain situations, it’s nice to have a small point and shoot camera instead of a large SLR with multiple lenses. The G16 offers many of the same functions that an SLR camera offers such as the ability to change the aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

This list includes all the big items in our travel camera bag. We also carry extra batteries, a lens pen, remote, and filters. For more information about the travel camera gear we use, visit: How to Take Great Travel Photos as a Solo Traveler. We’ve also written a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best travel camera.