When I think back to the 1970s, my memories are a mixed bag of “Charlie’s Angel,” the Son of Sam, gaucho pants, the New York City Blackout, feathered manes, and my disco king heartthrob, John Travolta. I suppose that as an elementary school-age girl being raised in The Bronx by a stay-at-home mom, Diane Von Furstenberg’s emblematic wrap dress failed to make its way onto my radar screen. A second chance of embracing the wrap dress was missed by me when it re-emerged in 1997. That time, as a twenty-something year old ‘Headhunter’ hustling to grow my clientele, I needed to project a veteran image that exuded trust and credibility. The suit—particularly the navy suit—specifically the navy, pin-striped suit—served me just fine in conveying such authority while building rapport with my clients. In fact, looking like a banker earned me a prestigious financial services account that became the turning point of my recruiting career and greatly boosted my earning power. Three weeks ago, I found myself in the market for upgrading my wardrobe due to some upcoming events and a 25-pound weight loss since the beginning of the year. I was in search for transitional garments that would be smart choices for social and professional occasions. Finally, after nearly three decades of overlooking the simple yet chic DVF wrap dress, I succumbed to trying one on.
The wrap dress I chose to try on is called the “Jeanne” wrap dress, with its signature self-tie, long sleeves, spread collar, and hemline that hits right above the knee. “Not right at… A-L-L,” I thought as I examined myself in the mirror while quickly unfastening the much too revealing dress from my new body. You know how the saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Reluctantly, I went up a size, realizing the dress was cut slim (note to self). The second time around, I beamed in front of the mirror like a blushing bride-to-be. Everything about it was perfect. It flowed fluidly from the top of my shoulders to the hemline. Every curve was engulfed, every bump masked by the timeless black and white, medium chain link pattern. The silk jersey fabric made it comfortable and appropriate enough for it to be sleepwear, athletic wear, beach wear, leisure wear, special occasion wear, or best of all (dare I admit)…an alternative to a business suit as career wear (with a camisole underneath for cleavage protection). The longer I gazed at myself in the mirror, the more feelings conjured up inside of me—all positive. I felt empowered, liberated, feminine, stylish, sophisticated, smart, and for the first time in a long while…beautiful! I knew right then and there that this would not be an impulse buy, but an investment piece that would bring me satisfaction and confidence for years to come.
One dress: Six Body Shapes
I often describe body shapes using the following letters: “S”, “X”, “V”, “H”, “O”, and “A”. Each of these shapes has its challenges and rewards when it comes to dressing, though certainly not impossible when the right blend of accenting, balancing and camouflaging are applied. Remarkably, the wrap dress compliments each of the six body shapes, due precisely to its streamlined, simple lines.
I suspect that the “Jeanne” wrap dress will not be the last of my wrap dress purchases. I’m still in the process of discovering new and exciting ways to sport my first collectible. During a time when we are all making conscious consumer choices, the wrap dress presents an elegant, cost-effective, and practical option for contemporary women of all ages, shapes, sizes and lifestyles. What an amazing, all-purpose classic! So if you haven’t already, step out of your comfort zone, and slip one on. I promise you’ll never want to take it off.