FASHION : Try me: UNISEX SARONG

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I knew what would happen as soon as I got home and put on my smart new sarong. I was right. "That's really nice," said my wife, without batting an eyelid. "I'll have it." Ginny had a good weekend: she also took a fancy to my gardening shorts, and snaffled them. Are all women like that?

My sons, aged seven and four, took longer to notice - a good 45 minutes, which was much more than I had anticipated. "Dad, why are you wearing a skirt?" said Tom, the older one, as he finished his breakfast.

"It's not a skirt, it's a sarong," I replied. "Anything wrong with it?"

"No," he replied, losing interest. Clearly it wasn't all that shocking.

When I had put on the sarong - nothing more than a large rectangular swathe of cotton - I had attempted all sorts of wraps in front of the mirror, including a fancy between-the-legs origami based on peasant farmers I once saw in Thailand, but I ended up looking like an infantilist in a giant nappy. Frankly, there was no getting away from the truth that Tom had recognised: the sarong is a skirt, albeit a unisex one.

It helped that it was a sweltering hot Bank Holiday Saturday: the swish of light cotton around my knees transported me straight to Bali. The sarong is definitely a mood garment, perfect for lounging round the pool all day, sipping exotic cocktails.

But there is no pool, and I had promised to pop out and buy some bags of compost and a load of bricks to build a barbecue. Without thinking about it, I found myself changing into trousers. Perhaps I'm not man enough to go to the builders' merchants in a sarong, but I do live in south London. And where are you supposed to keep your wallet? A sporran might do the trick, but the couture clash would be horrendous.

So will I persevere with the sarong? I think so, but I'll have to find one so ugly that Ginny wouldn't dream of wearing it, and keep it for hot days in the garden and holidays in the sun.

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