When Diane Von Furstenberg designed her career-defining wrap dress in 1974, little did she know that not only would it have such incredible staying power decades later, but that the effortless silhouette, one which was surprisingly flattering to a variety of shapes and sizes would live on the be a transcendent staple in the modern working woman’s wardrobe.
Admittedly, I am biased, I live in dresses: sheaths, shirtdress, body con, strapless—but the one enduring style that my mother first wore to the famed Studio 54 remains a wardrobe workhorse in my closet today. The wrap dress is one of the most versatile pieces I own; it’s no wonder I have a small collection of them. More than the silk jersey that packs like a dream, this timeless silhouette transitions seamlessly from day to night. The wrap dress can be an unassuming beach or poolside cover-up with sandals, oversized sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed sunhat; then shift to a weekend brunch with a pair of wedges, a structured tote, and a statement necklace. For the office, it can be accessorized with a camisole, classic pump, and blazer; and for date night, a strappy heel and delicate clutch.
What makes this dress so timelessly alluring, isn’t just it’s versatility and ease, the wrap dress comes in a variety of lengths (maxi, knee-length, sleeveless, long-sleeve), colors, fabrications, and embellishments. Because if those eye-catching prints and vibrant color combinations weren’t enough, there are even amplified glamourized wrap dresses embroidered in sequins.
You may have read in one of my previous blog posts that I collect vintage belts and use them to define my waist. The beauty of this dress is that you can wrap it as loosely or tightly as needed—no zippers, no buttons, no snaps, no hooks—although, I have been known to layer a belt over the self-tie. There are very few pieces as iconic as the wrap dress; it’s truly multi-generational and can be worn by anyone ranging in age from 16-60.
The wrap dress has come to represent female empowerment, as it was designed in the early 70’s when many women were entering the workforce. This was a silhouette that was all at once polished and feminine. And in a way, it’s a testament, an embodiment of a young woman who embarked on a design career. Fashion is transformative and the wrap dress has become the personification of confidence, strength, and grace. I’ve never met a woman who didn’t feel and look like she was ready to rule the world in a wrap dress!