I say this with great shame and embarrassment, but the first Diane von Furstenburg wrap dress I ever saw was on Paris Hilton circa 2003. It was at a time when she was at her peak, her illicit video had just leaked, but the Simple Life had yet began or was at least in her first season. She was tall, thin, wealthy and all she did was party and the term celebutante hadn't quite yet been coined. This was before we realized the thinness was because of her alleged substance use, the DUI, the house arrest, the stint in jail, the wealthy greek fiance, the other fiance, the other fiance and the broken friendship with Nicole Richie. At a time when Britney Spears's publicist attempted to group her with Paris by having paparazzi photograph the two together to make her more relevant and less bipolar. Have I proven my point that this was a long time ago?
So that was the first time I ever saw a wrap dress was one that was DvF and was on Paris Hilton and I loved it! I'm not sure if I liked it because she was the it girl of the moment and I had to copy what she was wearing. (I was only 22 at the time, my fashion sense centered around conformity.) Regardless I liked the style but knew that if someone of her stature was wearing it, it was nothing I could afford.
Nobody in my circle of people wore wrap dresses, probably because at 22 I was in graduate school wearing shorts and tank tops and while I did have three different internships I was living in a highly liberal town where business casual means shorts instead of jeans. And also my mindset was not in professional attire mode. It really wasn't until after graduate school when I was encountering more individuals in a corporate environment that I came across the wrap dress more often. I think the concept of a wrap is just suited for a older woman because it's something stylish yet work appropriate. Given the fabric and the print it is also something worn to bridal/baby showers or an evening work function. It's odd that Paris wore a wrap dress, none of these descriptions fit her in the least.
The first wrap dress I purchased was from Banana Republic about five years ago. I was shopping with a girlfriend and she tried on the white, eyelet dress and poo poo'd the idea of buying it for an upcoming wedding. (I know what you're thinking, white to a wedding? We can discuss that controversial topic at a later time.) I loved the dress, but wasn't interested in paying full price for it. A few weeks later I went back and the dress was on sale so I scooped it up and loved it! I've worn it a handful of times, to work events, multiple baby showers, family pictures and I was even able to wear it in my first pregnancy! (Early on.)
And then Diane came out with a line of wrap dresses for girls at Gap to remind me again of my love for DvF. They were so, so cute! I desperately wanted to get a matching pair for Bambina and I, but $50 for a dress for a 2 year old who is just going to smear it with peanut butter and spaghetti is appalling. And so I admired it on the Gap website over and over again, but never purchased it. By the time it went down to it's ridiculously crazy low sale price, they only had 3 month old sizes left. Not going to work for us. Oh, and Gap did not have a line for women, but I would have worn this dress if it were sold in adult sizes!
And then one early morning I was watching a DVR'd episode of Watch What Happens Live! with Diane von Furstenburg and Iman as the guests. Diane was promoting her new line at Gap, I presume. It was the first time that Andy sat in between the two women as opposed to him on the left and the two guests on the right. In my mind it's because the dueling divas refused to sit farthest away from Andy and thus he agreed to just sit in the middle. But that's neither here nor there. And what was the topic of discussion with Dianne? The wrap dress! She discussed it's history dating to 1974, supposedly the dress represents women's liberation due to it's popularity at a time when women were fighting for equality. And here I thought it's ties to liberation was that with one little loosening of a knot you're going to get a whole lot of liberation!
So watching Diane's Martha Stewartesque poise (but with much more femininity) it was then that I needed a DvF wrap dress! I mean, Andy even put a wrap dress on his Justin Bieber doll! If the Biebs has one, I need one too! And so I was out looking for a wrap dress.The DvF dress starts at around $300. Realistically, I don't go to enough events to justify spending that much on a dress. Most of my friends are married and have kids, so not many showers left. Obviously, I don't work. So where would I wear this? To the local bounce house? Can you imagine? Doing back flips in a moon walk in a jersey wrap dress? And while yes, I do have a wrap dress, being that it's white and eyelet I can really only wear the dress in spring and summer and not too casually.
And so when I saw that Old Navy had a jersey wrap dress a la DvF I snatched it up. Bad idea. It was $20 for a reason. The fit is all off, tight in the waist and loose up top. I'm not sure if spanx could even save me on this one! While I was able to wear it in the last trimester of pregnancy (I did not get ANY compliments on this dress), I don't feel it could be worn now. Twenty dollars wasted on a faux Furstenburg.
So tacked up there high on my dream board is a DvF wrap dress. I love the elegance and beauty of the style and the statement that it makes, or do I, Paris Hilton wears these dresses and what kind of statement is she trying to make? I'll let your imagination ponder that one.
Fingers crossed my dinky Old Navy wrap dress will poof into a DvF number tomorrow morning. You never know!
While we all wait with bated breath for that miraculous event to occur, enjoy the beauty that is the wrap dress...