Wrap Dress and How to Wear It

Wrap Dress Ever since Diane von Furstenberg (DvF) introduced the wrap dress as a high fashion item in 1972, it was quickly adopted by such celebrities as Princess Diana and Jerry Hall.

The demure wrap then fell out of favor during the '80s power-dressing trend. It was to re-emerge in 1997 with DvF's more modern signature dresses, whose style appealed to a new, younger generation, including the likes of Kate Middleton (Princess in waiting?), Paris Hilton, Mischa Barton and Jemima Khan.

Much of the longevity of the wrap dress is due to its flexibility and versatility:

The Pros

- For middle-aged, curvy women the wrap-dress is the perfect solution. Curvy figures look great in a wrap-style, which is one area where they score head and shoulders above the size zero-somethings of the fashion world.

- Due to its design the wrap cleverly separates and lifts the bust and creates a more hour-glass figure. This is just as true for tops and cardigans as it is for dresses. It is particularly kind to big-busted women. According to the website of TV fashion gurus Trinny and Susannah, in "The Rules", the wrap “pulls tits forward, separates the bust…..and highlights the waist”.

- Rather than hiding a baby bump under a maternity smock, the wrap is also a perfect outfit for pregnant women, comfortable yet stylish and unapologetically sexy.

- Given its flexibility, the wrap dress is one of the most versatile outfits for work and play! In the office it can be worn with sophisticated pumps and a classy bag ,or teemed with leggings for a fun-everyday look.

- The wrap is great for traveling. This no-nonsense dress requires minimal care and ironing.

The Cons

- Many wrap dresses feature checks, florals and diagonal or horizontal stripes. Be very careful in your choice of print. The wrong pattern can ruin your image by making you appear frumpy and aging, resembling something akin to your grandmother. Kate Middleton, a staunch supporter of the wrap and high-street fashion, came in for criticism in the Daily Mail’s, "The Year of the Rip-Off," 16 December 2007 when she was caught, according to Jones, wearing a “far too frumpy wrap dress from Top Shop.”

- The wrap can be cruel to those with small breasts and no curves, giving the you the impression that you have left the house in your dressing gown.

How to Wear the Wrap Dress

With so many styles and designs on the market here are some valuable tips for wearing the right wrap for your figure:

Step one

Understand your body type and flatter and flaunt it. A fuller top and skirt balances out a bigger body frame. Smaller, more willowy waifs will need adjustable ties and less fabric uptop. Create curves with padded bras.

Step Two

With this season’s flimsy transparent fabrics avoid accentuating tummy fat by wearing the right underwear. Magic Knickers® by the likes of Miraclesuit ® and recommended by the UK’s Trinny and Susanna, will “suck you in and hoik you up quicker than any diet or exercise regime”, according to these two gurus of fashion. Choose a wrap dress with rouching for increased waist definition.

Step Three

If going for a pattern rather than a color-block then be mindful of your shape. Vertical and diagonal lines are more slimming and avoid small prints if you have a large frame.

Step Four

Create a modern, funky style by teeming a wrap with opaque tights or that most timeless of fashion furniture, leggings. Experiment and modernize by wearing it very low over a T-shirt or camisole.

Accessories-wise wear a wide belt instead of a sash, add some chunky-wedge shoes, a big bag and don on some oversized-shades.

Dress-up a classic black wrap for evenings with chic fashion accessories such as a clutch and statement shoes.

Timeless and versatile, the wrap is one of the few styles which flatters all ages and is set to remain in the wardrobes of women who want something slimming, easy and instantly chic.