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Since its introduction nearly 40 years ago, the wrap around dress style has become a strong favourite with women from all age groups.
Women love its versatility and figure hugging characteristics whilst men enjoy the way the style reflects a woman’s feminine attributes!
This multi-use design appeals to women in many ways – not just least of which is its’ ability to conceal bulges, accentuate curves and provide all-day comfort. Not only is it form-hugging, and easy to wear, it provides a level of functionality not afforded by other designs.
This style of dress was first introduced as a wrap dress fashioned of knitted jersey in the early 1970’s. It was conceived by Diane von Fürstenberg – a Belgian born American fashion designer. Professional women that needed stylish, easy to wear clothes suitable for all occasions including office and business were attracted by its introduction. The design enabled them adopt a style of dress which complimented their professional status, retained its great appearance, looked stylish and was suitable for multipurpose use.
Wikipedia explains the design as,
“A dress with a front closure formed by wrapping one side across the other, and knotting the attached ties that wrap around the back at the waist or fastening buttons. This forms a V-shaped neckline and hugs a woman’s curves. A faux wrap dress resembles this design, except that it comes already fastened together with no opening in front, but instead is slipped on over the head.”
Compared to the original dress which was fashioned from a jersey fabric, modern day versions feature a wide range of other materials which satisfy the main criteria of the style- non-crease, easy-wearing comfort and versatility. Modern wrap dress designs like this are adored for their loose, open-style which invariably, are enhanced by extended sash ties which contribute to the decoration of garment by providing different ‘finishing’ options.
As the term suggests, the dress is a garment that wraps around the body but the extent to which the basic design can be transformed is quite astonishing when the sash ties are used creatively.
When different techniques are employed to wrapping and securing the wrap around dress, a single dress can convert to a multitude of styles depending how the sashes are wrapped around the body and where the final tie – off is made (usually a large bow). Bows are always fashionable and when used in this creative manner still tend to impart a hint of sexual difference by enhancing a woman’s femininity.
The combination of wrap over design and sash ties has combined to make the wrap around extremely adaptable and has also given rise to many sub-styles such as ‘twist wrap dress’ (so-called because of the twists which can be wound into them), convertible wrap dress, maternity wrap dress and plus size wrap dress.
Women love the comfort and versatility available from the combination of wrap design and sash ties. It’s an all-round winning style that’s extremely adaptable and has given birth to many sub-styles
Unlike most dresses which are designed to meet a single size specification, these dresses can accommodate and cover up occasional weight changes and still look ‘remarkably different and unique’ without losing the original fashion appeal. They’ve become an amazing component of a woman’s clothing collection.
Sewing and dressmaking enthusiasts find great appeal in the wrap around dress. Perhaps this can be attributed to the inherently simplistic, uncomplicated design pattern. The design has become very popular with DIY (do-it-yourself) dressmakers and hobbyists.
Depending on the time of year, the versatility of the wrap around dress ensures it can be adapted to suit weather and formal / informal occasions. Materials such as chiffon, silk and cotton are extremely popular for a summer-time wrap. The roominess of the wrap around dress style makes for cool living whilst clever use of the sash ties can transform the requirements of the dress substantially to suit prevailing conditions of environment and weather.
Many women prefer this style for their beach wardrobe. It makes a very desirable compliment to swimwear as a casual cover up and relaxation item of clothing.
When worn as business attire the wrap around dress is unmatched. The style is ageless and without barriers enabling a woman to look good whilst retaining professional composure throughout the long business days and remains flexible enough to ‘go the distance’ when events run into overtime!
A remarkable feature of the knitted fabrics often used for their construction is the crease-resistant quality.Even after being worn for many hours the garment retains its qualities of comfort and warmth.
There’s little restriction upon this design- it’s extremely adaptable and give creditable appearance in cotton, jersey blends or exotic materials and blends such as chiffon. Naturally, dark, solid colours such as black, charcoal, grey and navy blue look especially good for business and because of the figure flattering features of the materials, the dress always looks fashionable.
At home, the lighter more colourful designs provide a woman with an all purpose dress to get through the day with style and yet be easily converted if necessary for the evenings. They’re great for relaxation, to party in or more formal occasions. Wrap around dresses have been adopted by beach lovers due to the functionality that comes from open / wrap style that makes them so convenient to wear.
Since the wrap dress was first introduced, many variants have been derived and its worth noting that versions are now available with V-neck, sleeves, sleeveless strapless, shirt, maternity, Mandarin Collar, Leopard dress, Front Wrap, wrap-neck, panel dress, fit & flare, scoop neck and even more. There’s something for everyone!
write by Joyce