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Which garment pairs better with the breeziness and spontaneity of summer than an easygoing wrap dress? This popular silhouette has stood the test of time, and thanks to its endless versatility, it’s become a reliable closet staple. While the wrap dress has been around since the 1930s (the first iterations are credited to Elsa Schiaparelli and Claire McCardell), Diane Von Furstenberg reinvented the style in the 1970s, leading it to reach new heights of popularity. Von Furstenberg introduced the jersey fabric and fresh colorways, lengthened the sleeves, deepened the necklines, and created an item that would sell thousands of units per week in the mid-1970s.
The wrap dress embodied the liberated, hedonistic spirit of the decade. During the 1970s, the wrap dress emerged as a symbol of female empowerment as it gave women a stylish-yet-functional garment to practically live in. As Von Furstenberg once said, “I think that through the dress, my message is to always tell women that they can be, and they should be, the woman they want to be. What we do is celebrate freedom and empower women, and sell confidence, because, in the end, it’s the confidence that makes you beautiful.”
Decades later, the wrap dress still has a dedicated fan base and can be found in the wardrobes of countless women. As you search for a summer dress that can be worn to the office, church, beachside weddings, first dates, and beyond, look no further than the cherished wrap dress.
When to wear a wrap dress
The short answer is whenever you choose to. Bring on the al fresco dinner dates, office parties, picnics, and rooftop hangs. A chic wrap dress is truly fit for most occasions because it’s just formal enough, and the free-flowing silhouette won’t make you feel constricted or overly dressed up.
How to style a wrap dress
Whether styled with kitten heels, sneakers, or flats, the wrap dress will still deliver practical style and all-day comfort. Pair yours with a pendant to accentuate the neckline and finish with matching drop earrings for a glamorous finish. In more relaxed settings, like a chic beach day, leave it unwrapped over a bathing suit and your favorite sandals.
For an outfit that offers plenty of comfort and timeless style, shop these editor-curated wrap dresses below.