We often credit designer Diane Von Furstenberg for creating the wrap dress in the 1970s. While she did make it popular, designers Elsa Schiaparelli Charles James, and Clare McArdell had already created versions of the wrap silhouette as early as 1930. Almost 90 years later, we have wrap jackets, t-shirts, bodysuits, dresses, skirts, and even shoes. If you haven’t already picked up one of these classic and fashion-forward pieces, here are some affordable options, as well as tips on how to wear them.
The Wrap Dress
Diane Von Furstenberg’s legacy is the wrap dress made in printed jersey. These dresses are versatile, flattering, and easy to pack for a trip. I don’t own a DVF one but have a few others from various brands that I wear repeatedly. I like to wear a slip under mine so that I don’t have to worry about exposure.
For a feminine, romantic look, Anthropologie always has beautiful floral wrap dresses that are lovely for spring. I couldn’t pick a favorite even if I tried, so take a look at my pins for several dresses that I have my eye on!
If you’re looking for a solid color, try Banana Republic’s Soft Ponte Wrap Dress.
This J. Crew wrap shirt takes a classic button-down shirt fabric and softens it with a tie closure. It has a little stretch, but it doesn’t hug my body like a knit fabric would, so I wear a camisole underneath. That way, I know when I move, I don’t have to worry about the wrap pulling away from my body.
Faux wrap tops are a nice alternative to a real wrap, but make sure that yours has a snug fit. Dress tape or a safety pin (pinned on the inside) will help prevent gaping or loosening). Banana Republic’s Soft Stretch Wrap Top has a hidden button to hold it in place.
Style a fitted top with looser bottoms. If your top is feminine (floral, ruffled or in a soft fabric) wear it with a tailored one.
Skirts and Pants
If you are looking for a wrap skirt, try this Kate Spade Poppy Field Midi Wrap skirt with a basic white or black t-shirt. If you like to mix and match your prints, a printed
Free People has some wrap pants that would look great with a cropped top or bodysuit.
A wrap belts like this Ada Leather Obi can define your waist over a long blouse or semi-fitted dress.
Ankle wrap sandals are adorable for warmer weather and go with just about anything that exposes your ankles (cropped pants, skirts, dresses, or shorts.) You can find ankle-wrap espadrilles, heels, and flats at Nordstrom, and most shoe departments.
With the relentless snow this year, I’m still wearing the shawl collar jacket that I wrote about a month ago. If you’re in a warmer truly spring climate, there are several kimono style toppers online and in stores. I received one in one of my Box of Style orders, but I have never worn it out because it feels so much like a robe. To make sure your kimono is perfect for public viewing, find one that isn’t sheer. This Eileen Fisher tweed kimono jacket has some structure and beautiful lines.
I’ve always had a soft spot for a wrap closure. Growing up, I desperately wanted to take ballet lessons, but when they just weren’t available, I settled on trying to dress like a dancer. As a teen, when I first started taking an interest in design, I was fascinated by the Japanese kimono. As an adult, I started taking martial arts, where wrapping and tying my gi was a daily ritual. However, I think the real reason that I have the warm fuzzies when I see a wrap shirt is that it brings back sweet memories of my kids as newborns, in those teeny, tiny wrap onsies.
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