Men Wear Lava Lava's

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Men Wear Lava Lava's

Copyright © 2014 Wave Shoppe Hawaiian Shirts

Man wearing a lava lavaRecently I have had a large number of big guys coming into my store asking me if I carried lava-lavas’ for men. I have always replied I have sarongs and most of those guys browsed the sarong section and then quickly left the store. Last week yet another man came in and he took a look at my sarongs and as he was headed for the door I politely asked him if he could spend a minute or two letting me know exactly what the difference was between sarongs and lava lavas.

He told me he was a Samoan and that the men wore lava-lavas. We spent the next 15 minutes discussing lots of interesting things about the Samoan culture including the shortage of quality lava-lava found in our growing Samoan population here in North County. The main difference between our sarongs and lava-lava is that a true lava-lava is not just a piece of material that does not look too feminine, nor should it have any tassels hanging off of them. Lava-lava is just a piece of material that is folded and tucked in at the waist. The sarongs we carry in our store are brightly colored (like our Hawaiian shirts) and more suitable for a luau or as a cover -up for a swimsuit. But for use a lava-lava my friend told me it is considered “too frilly” for a Samoan looking for a lava-lava.

He also let me know that Samoans have 2 kinds of lava- lava one is for daily use which they fold at the top to keep in place and the other is a more formal lava-lava that has a built in tie at the top to secure the lava-lava in place the one I was showed was of a sea green color and not a flower in sight. I was informed that the Samoan people have strong ties to their family, community, culture and church and that they dress accordingly so it was important to have formal lava-lava for formal occasions. It was such an interesting conversation that it got me motivated to share this information with our customers and to research the history of the sarong.

My husband and I have always been interested in differing cultures and their traditions so as my curiosity grew along with my research I found to my astonishment that sarongs are found in many different countries and cultures and they have so many different names, colors, patterns but still they are just a length of material used to wrap around someone to wear as a garment.

(Would it surprise you to know that while Samoans call it a lava-lava people in Somalia would refer to it as a “macawiis”. Hawaiians refer to the sarong as a “pareo” while in the Arabian Penisula they are called “izaars”. South Asia refers to them as “phanik”, “mundu” or “serem” depending on which area you lived in. While in Sri Lanka the wearing of the sarong is seen by some as an indicator of being uneducated. ) 1

Here in the states we use sarongs for many different purposes mainly they are used as a cover up for bathing suits and I have a few customers who buy sarongs every year as Escondido can get in the 100s they swear that is all they wear around the house to keep cool. A few weeks ago I had a customer who came in and bought 10 different sarongs in different colors and patterns and she was using them to decorate the tables for her guests at a luau she was going to have. So she was using them for tablecloths and last week I had a few moms in and it seems that using sarongs as curtains is the new in thing for college kids trying to decorate their dorm rooms on a tight budget.

Here at the Wave Shoppe we really try to meet the needs of our customers so we will be looking into making some high quality lava-lavas, in the meantime we encourage you to come and take a look at our huge, reasonably priced selection of sarongs or should I say pareos, izaars, macawiis, phanik etc. I could go on forever but you got the drift…

While our current selection of Lava Lava is somewhat limited, we try to stock fully hemmed
brown Lava Lava as well as a blue Lava Lava and we just introduced a new lime colored lava lava and a brown and mustard lava lava both of which are already very popular with our local Samoans.



This site was last updated 06/05/15

Men Wear Lava Lava's