Accessorizing: The Wrap Dress

Jun 27, 2012

 

Dress: Wrap Dress (Old Navy, $29)

Dinner Date, Bag: Rebecca Minkoff Buckle Clutch ($295) Shoes: Elizabeth and James Love Sandal ($129) Earrings: Banana Republic Hoops ($35)


Sunday Brunch, Belt: Equestrian Cut Out Belt ($65) Sandal: Corso Como Friendship Sandal ($79) Ring: Michael Kors Slice Ring ($85)

The Office, Sunglasses: Ray Ban Cat’s Eye ($145) Shoes: Orra Pumps ($84) Bracelet: Isharya Gold Disc BRacelet ($148)

The wrap dress is a wardrobe classic.  We all own one, but often don’t know how to accessorize it.  Personally, I like the neckline so much that I won’t wear a necklace with mine.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t jazz it up for different occasions. 

Dinner Date.  If you’re headed out for a nice dinner downtown, you can easily lift your wrap dress for the occasion.  I like mixing cobalt and tangerine.  It’s bold, it’s on trend and it looks more difficult to pull off than it is.  I loved these strappy sandals at full price, so now I really adore them at half-price.  Add some simple hoops and an updo, and you’re done.

Sunday Brunch.  Belting a wrap dress is fairly easy.  Criss-cross the ties in front and then wrap them flat around the body, pinning the ends with a safety pin.  It takes a wider belt to cover the ties, so this belt is as thin as you can go, and frankly, I would probably go for at least a 3″ wide belt.  A turquoise ring and a metallic sandal finish the look.

The Office.  A basic flesh-toned pump is my summer staple.  For this outfit, I added a pair of ladylike vintage sunglasses for flare.  I also added a bold, textured, gold cuff for interest.  And this outfit could easily transition from the office to after work drinks with an extra coat of mascara and some lipstick.

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  1. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    All of these outfits look great. That said, I do not believe a $29 ON wrap dress will provide the coverage most women want. Well, maybe coverage isn't the right word. Here's what I'm getting at: most wrap dresses are made of thin, flimsy material that show every single bump and lump. Be prepared to wear some Spanx with this one.

  2. C says:

    The way that dress is modeled is terrible– the ballet flats make it look like she's wearing a robe and slippers!

    I don't think a wrap dress is appropriate for work because of the plunging neckline. Plus it's hard to avoid accidentally exposing your upper thigh every now and then.

    The belt is an interesting idea but I don't see how you could keep it positioned so it's always covering the ties. I have enough positioning to worry about in a wrap dress and don't want to be adding accessories that I have to fuss with!

  3. Casey says:

    I actually own this wrap dress in a white and green pattern (and coincidently just ordered it this exact blue yesterday…I feel so on point!) and absolutely adore it. I am in pretty good shape everywhere but my tummy, so I'm definitely concerned about fabric cling. I do wear shapewear with this dress, but I hope I won't need to after I lose a few more lbs. Regardless, this dress fits me much, much better than the much much pricier Banana Republic's Gemma wrap. I will have to say though- it is on the shorter side, which is fine for me, I'm young(ish) and don't mind my legs so much, but I can definitely how others may not care for the hem.

  4. CEM says:

    That's what I never understand about wrap dresses. Do you always have to wear a slip? And heaven forbid it's windy the day you wear one…

  5. L says:

    I think I'm missing something, so please fill me in (seriously).

    I truly don't understand how a wrap dress cover enough up top to be appropriate for any office. Even if the dress covers any obvious cleavage, nearly showing my sternum seems like too much skin for the office. I always get so enamored with wrap dresses online, but when I put them on my body, my head says, “No way!” What am I missing?

  6. Belle says:

    I don't think showing sternum is obscene. If you would wear a v-neck sweater, why not a v-neck dress?

    Depending on the depth of the neckline I'll sometimes were a tank underneath. I wear a black one with my black dress. My patterned doesn't bow as deep, but I had a snap put in so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I've never had a problem with wind, but I do wear Spanx with mine.

  7. Belle says:

    C: You need to make sure the belt fits you properly. I have to use a belt punch to get the right fit so I don't fidget. https://caphillstyle.com/capitol/2012/2/8/all-about-belts-part-ii-size-matters.html#comment16815817

  8. Melissa says:

    I love wrap dresses for work! If it's not covering one properly, especially in terms of the skirt staying wrapped, it may be a size too small. If each panel extends all the way to the opposite hip my legs stay covered through normal sitting and moving, but if they don't overlap enough I might flash more leg than appropriate. In general I don't find them any more likely to require a little extra help (a cami, shapewear, lace slip or strategically placed safety pin) than any other kind of dress.

  9. Roberta says:

    Wrap dresses are completely work appropriate. I am a lawyer in DC. I wear them all the time. I have worn them to meetings at Fortune 500 companies. I am also large-busted, and always struggle with the amount of cleavage wrap-type tops and dresses can show. Here's what I do – it's very simple. I wear a camisole under the wrap dress. Fixed. If you want to make it look even more buttoned-up, add a nice tailored jacket.

  10. MidWest Chic says:

    Wrap dresses are perfect for the office… I really don't see what all the fuss is about. Find one that fits well, with a more conservative length, and wear a cami underneath. It's really not that difficult. And they're insanely comfortable. Great post, Belle!

  11. Laya says:

    I thought I worked on Capitol Hill, but these comments make me think that I entered a nunnery. Said the harlot currently wearing a wrap dress.

  12. Kathereine says:

    I wear wrap dresses all the time and I am a little bustier than most. I wear a cami underneath and problem solved. However, you do have to be careful about windy days. I find myself pretty alert when I'm walking around outside just in case there's a gust which I've seen happen to others but it's definitely not a reason to not wear the dress.

  13. Sarah says:

    Love the post, HATE the picture of the dress- I mean, I know it's Old Navy and all, but geeeez….that poor girl looks horrible!

  14. L says:

    I guess I'm a 23-year-old prude. Never would have guessed that about myself. I have no problem seeing shape (I'm thinking about fitted but not tight clothes), but I don't like seeing skin. Camisoles are an ok fix, but I think I'll just save my wrap dress for social hours.

    Maybe this is all because I grew up and live in a conservative southern state or work in a stodgy, male-dominated industry. It definitely doesn't have anything to do with particular religious or moral views. Just about appearing professional. Flaunt it if you've got it…just not in the office.
     
    I also do NOT like to see armpits in the office. That means I have a big problem with sleeveless and cap-sleeve tops. My feelings about this are similar to my feelings about crusty feet in sandals.

  15. Kat says:

    I have a black faux wrap dress from Banana Republic and it's super comfortable but I don't know how to style it. I feel like it's too slinky. Suggestions?

  16. C says:

    L, I agree completely. I don't think exposed feet or shoulders are appropriate in the office. I'm still in my 20's as well, although like you I also work in a male-dominated industry. Maybe that has something to do with our outlook.

    Fit probably has a lot to do with whether a wrap dress is work appropriate. I'm petite and hourglass-shaped, and every wrap drass I've tried on does the same thing: the bottom of the neckline hits somewhere between my boobs, and my hips push out the skirt so I'm flashing my thighs to the world whenever I walk or cross my legs. Meanwhile the length is well beyond my knees, so it's not like I can go up a size. I have one wrap dress, and it's really only suitable as a pool cover-up. I have noticed that tall girls with flat chests and narrow hips can wear wrap dresses and look put-together, but they're not for the rest of us.

  17. Ellie says:

    C, I'm petite too and not quite hourglass but with more shape than a board, hehe. I have had great luck with a few wrap dresses I've found at Ann Taylor in their petit section. I've had plenty of fabric to wrap around my lower half and not be concerned with over exposure and I just use fashion tape at the bust to ensure I don't accidentally give anyone a vew (the dresses are fine in that regard when standing but I find with a little movement they can move)

  18. GoGoGo says:

    So, what color cami would work with this royal blue, for example?

    I feel like a white cami would make each of these looks would look a lot more casual–a lot more Old Navy. I can't see nude looking good. Black? Another color to match the accessories?

  19. Beth Blanchard says:

    what type of spanx do you wear under the wrap dress?

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