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Ode to the Pareo


I confess I'm partial to the pareo. It holds a sweet spot in my heart, reminding me of sunrises in Tulum, beach walks in St Barths and even lunch on the deck at a quarry in Rockport that I love. I have worn these casual wraps throughout my life. My mother, who grew up on the Bay of Naples, rocked the pareo. I picture her lounging on a patio with friends, soaking up the sun--a glass of wine in one hand and the ever-present cigarette in the other. Glamourous. Hedonistic.


So...what is a pareo anyway? Simply--it is a

piece of cloth, a length of yardage designed to wrap around you like a hug. Also known as a sarong. My Shanti Shawl also works as a pareo. I have an instruction sheet with sketches on how to wear...you can see it here. It works with any similar sized wrap.

I'm at a point in my life where I am always slightly underdressed--no shoes, no pants--often just wrapped in a pareo...who sees me anyway? Especially after the last year we've had. Pareos love quarantine. Here in Florida they were the star of the show, fashion-wise. It helps to live by the water in a tropical climate, but the fact is--no matter where you are, this is a beautiful hand-printed textile that can be worn in so many ways. It becomes a soft place to land--after a quick swim, or even a soothing bath. It's easy. It feels good.


This one even doubles as an impromptu table cloth, giving an al fresco touch to any collection of menu items that look pretty on it--frosty cocktails, elegant cheese platter or fresh crudités. Truthfully, I like to imagine myself eating pasta under a reedy canopy with a view of the Faraglioni in Capri.


My favorite thing about wearing the Sayulita Print Pareo is personal--when look down at the fabric wrapped around me, I can retrace the steps of how it got made. First, I carved rubber stamps for each of the 3 designs that create the print. They were then scanned and emailed to India where Master artisans cut them into wood blocks and uses them to print onto lengths of cotton fabric.

One shape shows up on another Beach to Bistro item--The Lotus Flower print Ananda Tunic--reminding me that this whole process is like magic, because the elements can be used forever in different ways. A miraculous method touched by (a series of) human hands.

To top it off, there are tassels--another current obsession of mine. Each one is hand sewn onto a corner of the pareo and finishes the end of the drawstring of the bag it comes in. A perfect little package to throw into a beach tote or hand bag, ready for anything--from picnic to pool or...or yes, beach to bistro.




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