On Sunday Diane von Furstenberg’s Fall collection walked down the runway, and for the first time in many years, more wraps dresses were seen on the catwalk (here is one of my favorites). Why? Along with fully embracing her success of a dress after many years of resenting it, Diane von Furstenberg is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of her iconic wrap dress. In fact, if you are in Los Angeles, you can visit the exhibition at the Wilshire May Company Building that honors the style that women continue to gravitate towards. Running through April 1st, it is open to the public for free.
But why exactly, do women continue to choose the wrap dress? For nearly three generations now, women are falling for a design that does what exactly? As von Furstenberg recently shared in a New York Times interview, “It allows you to be a woman.”
So what does make a dress iconic, or in other words, a classic? My response is simply, if generation after generation continually gravitates, can grasp the beauty of, and can find relevance for the particular piece of art in question in their life, than it is indeed a classic. The wrap dress fits this definition perfectly.
To be more precise, the following elements of a wrap dress are the reasons why you may want to include one in your capsule wardrobe, as I have included it in the 10 Essential Wardrobe Items.
A Perfect Size
Indulging in a wrap dress is like indulging in an elastic waistband. Why? Whether you gain a few pounds or lose a few pounds, the dress will still fit beautifully. Wouldn’t that be nice if all of our clothing that we invest so much money in did that? No such luck, but at least one item of clothing gives us a little wiggle room.
Diane von Furstenberg’s classic wrap dresses are made of a jersey-silk fabric that drapes a woman’s body and is soft to the touch. Without clingy, simply skimming, a jersey dress helps to create a seamless silhouette (provided you are wearing your Spanx!) and is quite comfortable to wear for the entire workday.
Especially when choosing a print, a wrap dress disguises so much what we want to camouflage while giving the wonderful illusion of a curvy silhouette. The V-neck line elongates our neck and somehow magically works well with both small and large bust sizes. The magic lies in the wrapping – exquisitely hugging, not squeezing a woman’s body, highlighting her clavicle, a bit of her décolletage, and displaying movement with ease.
Wear with flats, wear with heels, wear over jeans/pants, wear layered underneath a cardigan or wear with boots along with tights. A wrap dress works well with just about any style you prefer and for any occasion you may find yourself. I have worn them to work, to weddings, while walking around Paris and attending special events. There really are very few places a wrap dress can’t take you.
A Style for Each Season
Choose a sweater wrap dress for winter, a halter wrap dress for summer and a classic jersey wrap dress for spring. Whichever you prefer, there is a dress for your season of choice.
I can remember the first DVF wrap dress I purchased. It was a classic black Jeanne long sleeve dress, and it was purchased after selling my first home. It was my gift to myself when I officially signed the papers, and for my own nostalgic purposes I saved the tag. Silly? Perhaps. But it serves as a reminder that great style is an investment at times; however, if the investment is a wise one, it will last, as I still wear this dress and receive compliments on it eight years after the purchase.
Below I’ve done a bit of shopping for you. You’ll find some chic options from DVF, as well as options from other designers with varying prices and styles. Be warned, once you start, you may not be able to stop as they are comfortable, feminine and easy to wear. An idea that I’ve found helpful, is to save a dress I love on Hukkster, and wait until it goes on sale (which it will in May/June or November/December). Then, I pounce. Needless to say, my closet is an homage to DVF. I have no regrets, and if her 40th anniversary is any indication, they will forever be in style.
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