Step 1 — Grasp two areas of the garment and step into the tube. I start with my right hand corner (labeled A) in the diagram. Bring corner A tightly across your body. You can use your elbows to keep the garment in place (while this isn’t graceful, given that you are a foreigner, you can get away with it).
Step 2 — Now do the same with the left hand (which is grasping corner B). Make sure that as you do this, you are pulling the garment tightly around your waist.
Step 3 — Now this is awkward. If you have done it right, you end up with arms crossed.
Step 4 — This is the hard part, as you must unwind yourself, without letting the garment drop. But practice makes perfect. So take a deep breath and give it a try. Once successful, your right hand is now holding corner B and your left hand is now holding corner A. Pull tight around your waist.
Step 5 — Now comes the twist! Twist corner A around corner B, the hand holding corner A goes down towards your feet, the hand holding corner B comes up. Do one complete twist, your wrists should be crossed again. Now tuck the loose corner A in at the waist. Assuming that you have kept the lungi tight, this should hold. Corner B can be let loose, or, if you want to look neat and tidy, tuck this in as well.
Step 6 — This step is important: jump up and down a few times and run around your apartment. Your lungi should remain snug around your waist. If it feels like it is slipping, start again at step 1.
Once you are confident you can keep your lungi on during daily activities, you are ready to begin exploring the variety of styles available. There are obviously hundreds of ways to wear a lungi and I’ll only provide examples of the most common styles that I have seen.
The most straight forward is to simply walk out the door after putting it on — no shirt required (exhibit A). If you are going to be doing very vigorous activity or need to wade in shallow water you can convert the lungi into a short length garment by rolling up the fabric in the back and then bringing the fabric in front between your legs and tucking it into the back at the waist (exhibit B).