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Five Practical Ways to Style a Pareo

This year, the pareo is everywhere and retailers are touting its versatility as a coverup and a more central wardrobe piece. But can you really wear a pareo "anywhere," as retailers and fashion icons suggest?


Turns out you can wear a pareo in more places than the beach, but you are going to need to be smart about it. First of all, pareos are typically very sheer; they need to be to achieve that flowy look. The first thing you are going to need to do is consider what to wear under your pareo if you are leaving the beach.

A close fitting bandeau or tube top over bike shorts will provide a dark backdrop for your sheer pareo; it also will ease your insecurities if, like me, you are worried things might come undone! Classy espadrilles, jewelry and a rope like belt will also come in handy for the looks below! Pareo from Box of Style.

As a Wrap

Simply drape your pareo over an all white outfit for a splash of color on a cool summer evening. 

As a Scarf

When it gets cooler, your pareo can be worn as a scarf, especially cute under a denim jacket. 

As a Skirt

With the right accessories (and under garments), a pareo makes an easy and chic skirt on a warm summer night.

Dress Options for the Pareo


Worn over a suit or a bandeau, the pareo tied in front makes a cute strapless dress. This is a great look for a beach or pool side lunch. This pareo is from the Summer 2020 Box of Style and was thinner than I expected. Wearing it over the bandeau and close fitting shorts really makes the difference if your are going public. 

Halter Dress

This is also an easy look to achieve with a pareo. Hold the pareo against your back as you would a towel, cross the ends and tie at the back of the neck. I added a white rope belt and accessories to break up the pattern and dress it up. This look is my favorite because it is simple, elegant and secure. A little belt also helps to keep the fabric in the front closed. 

One Shoulder Dress

So, this is definitely the most complicated to achieve. To start, hold your pareo vertically and tie the short end to make a hole. Put one arm through the hole and wrap around your waist to knot. There was not a lot of fabric to play with, so I added a few safety pins and a belt to keep it in place securely. 

Top your colorful pareo with an airy cardigan and gold jewelry for a casual chic look appropriate for any outdoor gathering. 

A crisp white blouse makes this outfit perfect for running errands and, when we can travel again, this makes for a great airport ensemble. 

Gold jewelry elevates any casual look. This cuff is from WHBM, but it seems to be unavailable. Here is a good alternative:  Statement Bracelet

Laid back and comfortable....just like summer should be;) This pareo is from WHBM but check out Amazon for some great substitutes:similar sarong in palm print