A wrap dress is essentially a strapless gown with a front closing formed by tying one side around another and then knotting the tied-in ends with ties or buttons at the waist. This forms an attractive V-shaped neckline, and hugs the body well at the top. Wrapping dresses are generally made of fabrics such as silk, satin or Georgette, and are available in a range of styles to suit every taste. They are often quite elegant, with details such as beading, embroidery or trimmings, and can be worn to formal evening dinners or more casual parties.
Dress types include the A-Line, also known as hourglass, which is the most popular shape for women’s swimwear; this shape is balanced through the middle so the shoulders have just enough room to flaunt their feminine curves, and the width of the shoulders does not over-emphasise the narrow look. The wrap dress’s style usually ends at the ankle, with the hem being held up with suspenders. Another option for an evening dress would be to have the hem slightly above the ankle – a slightly different style than the A-Line, although still fairly similar. Rounded necklines can also be worn, with an oversized jewel or chain hanging down below the hemline, to create a very dramatic look.
The wrap dress can be either strapless or padded, depending on whether or not elastic is used. Although many believe this type of dress to be sexy, it is actually far from perfect – particularly if you do not have the right figure to support the weight of the dress! Although the fabric provides ample coverage, it does not do much else. The only way to make the most of a wrap dress, therefore, is to wear it on its best day, when your bustline is supported by the fabric and the hemline helps to elongate your legs. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case, as wearing a dress like this on an average day can often result in it slipping away from your waist. Wearing it on an uneven surface can also give it a bulging appearance, due to the fabric pulling on your mid-section from the top.
There are two main styles of wrap dresses – those that feature an empire waistline and those that feature a corset neckline. The former is often paired with a high collar, whereas the latter is almost always accompanied by a low neckline. Both styles work well for women with an hourglass shape, as the empire-waistline is designed to slim the torso, whilst the corset creates a visually elongated look. To create the appearance of a longer torso, a thin fabric can be used, such as satin or charmeuse. This can be helped along with high-cut details, such as intricate beading or large amounts of lace.
Although these dresses are best suited to slimming figures, they are equally suitable for women with extra curves, as they can be found in full-slimming fabrics such as silk. If you do choose to wear an embellished fabric, bear in mind that the more delicate styles can easily get caught up in bridal hair. Also, it is important to choose a style that is flattering to your figure, as it will enhance your appearance if it is the right one. Elaborate details can be applied if the wrap dress is particularly revealing, but avoid too much eye-catching embellishment if you are wearing it to a wedding.
The wrap dress’s silhouette is largely determined by how it is cut. It can be short or long, scooped or straight, and has many different styles of neckline to cater for different silhouette types. If you are looking for an easy way to add some flare to your wedding dress, a halter dress or shawl will help to provide a splash of color or to define your silhouette. Whichever style you choose, the wrap style is very forgiving, making it a great option for brides on a budget.