Wrap Dresses Instructions

by Gigi Starr

New York City designer Diane von Furstenberg created her signature wrap dress in 1972. Since then, she's crafted a new line of dresses every season in a variety of new patterns, and fashionistas flock to collect her new offerings. The wrap dress is comfortable and easy to wear and looks best with careful tying and draping.

Getting the Know the Wrap Dress

A wrap dress is a three-panel design with an inner closure for the inside panel, and a belt or snap to fasten the outside. Once the wrap dress is fastened close, the overlapped outer panel usually sits free over the legs. For these dresses, the hem usually falls at the knee or slightly below, and the crossed panels create a natural V neckline. A properly "wrapped" dress won't require any additional adjusting after it's been fastened and should not reveal too much leg.

Centering the Wrap Dress

For a wrap dress to fasten and be positioned well on the body, it should be centered. Slip the dress on like a jacket, making sure that the back panel is properly positioned with the side seams resting straight along the sides of the body. Don't pull too much or the seams will distend and twist the dress. This is especially important if the wrap dress is made from a stretchy fabric like jersey. To make it easier, put on the dress in front of a mirror.

Closing the Wrap Dress Panels

Most wrap dresses lap the left-hand panel over the right, with the belt tying over the front-left hip or waist. There will be a small hole in the right-hand seam of the dress; pull the attached belt on the base layer through this hole. Wrap the belt around the back and to the other side of the belt on the left. Tie it off with a tight bow.

Some designs don't have a belt, instead using buttons or snaps to close the dress. On the base layer, there might be a snap or button near the waist. This closure connects to a corresponding loop or snap on the inner-right seamline of the dress.

Wrap Dress Styling and Coordination

The wrap dress is very versatile and can be worn over pants or jeans as a tunic top. It transitions from daytime to night very easily with costume jewelry and flirty heels and is fashionable year-round. For modesty, wear a cotton or silk camisole under the wrap dress to hide cleavage.

About the Author

Gigi Starr is a freelance fashion writer. She previously served as the blog editor for a major online fashion blog and has more than a decade of backstage experience in the beauty and high fashion industries. She has worked for businesses like an internationally renowned theatrical touring company and events such as the Mercedes-Benz N.Y.C. Fashion Week.