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What goes better with summer breezy and spontaneity than an easy wrap dress? This popular silhouette has stood the test of time, and thanks to its endless versatility, it’s become a reliable closet staple. Although the wrap dress has been around since the 1930s (early iterations are credited to Elsa Schiaparelli and Claire McCardell), Diane von Furstenberg reinvented the style in the 1970s, taking it to new heights of popularity. Von Furstenberg introduced jersey fabric and fresh colorways, lengthened sleeves, deepened necklines, and created an item that would sell thousands of units per week by the mid-1970s.
The wrap dress embodied the free, hedonistic spirit of the decade. In the 1970s, the wrap dress emerged as a symbol of women’s empowerment as it gave women a stylish-yet-functional garment to live in. As von Furstenberg once said, “I think through clothing, my message is always to say. Women who they can be, and they should be, the women they want to be. What we do is celebrate freedom and empower women, and Selling confidence, because, in the end, it’s confidence that makes you beautiful.”
Decades later, the wrap dress still has a dedicated fan base and can be found in countless women’s wardrobes. As you search for a summer dress that can be worn to the office, church, beach wedding, first date and beyond, look no further than the cherished wrap dress.
When to wear wraps
Short answer whenever you choose. Bring al fresco dinner dates, office parties, picnics and rooftop hangouts. A chic wrap dress is really suitable for most occasions because it’s just formal enough, and the free-flowing silhouette won’t make you feel constricted or overdressed.
How to style a wrap dress
Whether styled with kitten heels, sneakers, or flats, the wrap dress will still offer practical style and all-day comfort. Pair with a locket 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 to a bathing suit and your favorite sandals.
For dresses that offer plenty of comfort and timeless style, shop these editor-picked wrap dresses below.