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Wrap Dress, Wrap Dress, Wherefore Art Thou Wrap Dress? | Manolo for the Big Girl

Wrap Dress, Wrap Dress, Wherefore Art Thou Wrap Dress?

Francesca says: Experimentation is what superfantasticness is all about.

And yet, it is also important to know what works for you, and what does not.

Francesca has been of the opinion that wrap dresses do not work for Apples.

But now she is thinking: Perhaps it is just that they do not work for Francesca.

So, let us put the question out there to our Appley sisters:  Do you wear wrap dresses? Do you have secrets for the circumstances under which a wrap dress can work for the Apple?

Is there any way to reconcile a wrap dress with the Handles of Love?  With the protruding tummy?

Or has Francesca been correct all along, that wrap dresses are best left to our Pear-y or skinny sisters?

If Francesca has been wrong, she will accept the fact graciously.

23 Responses to “Wrap Dress, Wrap Dress, Wherefore Art Thou Wrap Dress?”

  1. Jezebella November 12, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    I think you’re right.

    I am short and apple-y and have tried on dozens of wrap dresses and similarly designed tops. I have tried them everywhere from Target to Bloomingdale’s.

    I look pregnant in each and every one, and/or like I’m wearing a silky bathrobe. I am not pregnant, so this is not okay.

    They are lovely on other people but they simply do not work on me.

  2. The Betsy November 12, 2007 at 12:26 pm #

    I love wrap dresses but might be the exception here, as I’m a 16W/1x and somewhere between a pear and an apple (pearapple? papple?). Wrap dresses give me a waist which I normally don’t have. I bought the Natalie wrap dress from Avenue.com, and it’s very flattering on me.

  3. teapunk November 12, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    I love wrapdresses, I adore Diane von Fürstenberg.
    I look extremely awful in wrapdresses. I’ve got a rather classic figure which would have been very in vogue around 1880, but not in the day of the stickinsect.
    Everybody tells you “Oh! Big breasts! And a waist! You should wear a wrapdress!”
    The wrap does nothing for me. It’s one of these fashion thing I really sulk about because I’d love to wear them but they display and enhance every single fault of my figure and don’t do anything for my nicer points.

  4. Henny Penny November 12, 2007 at 1:21 pm #

    I am an apple and have one faux wrap dress from Lane Bryant. It is black eyelet with a plunging neckline and a side zip. I can only wear it when I am careful to eat tummy flattening things a few days in advance, ie not too much salt, and wear Spanx that come up to my braline underneath. I have a nice shape and anyway, the cleavage draws the eyes upward :) I’ve worn it to a couple parties, it’s a little to immodest for many other events in central Illinois.

  5. Plumcake November 12, 2007 at 1:28 pm #

    While I am sure there are plenty of our apple sisters who rock the wrap, I’ve got to say that in my experience, wrap dresses best serve of women with defined waists, broad hips and breasts on the smaller side of awOOOOga.

    I mourn for my apple sisters, because I do NOT know what I’d do without my wrap dresses but y’all get sheath dresses, so let’s call it even.

  6. techne November 12, 2007 at 1:36 pm #

    I’m not formally a big girl (size 10-12 these days, I’ve been up to a 14), but this blog is too fabulous not to read, so I hope you don’t mind my opinion. I’m a classic apple bearing D/DDs. This is what’s made wrap anything impossible, as I could cover one boob but the other was out there for all to see.

    Then one fine day, a boyfriend, with a longing gleam in his eye, asked me to try one on in H&M. It was a ultimate-cheapo rayon thing that moved like water, which did adhere a bit too closely, but it meant a little booty shake could take anyone’s mind off pudges and move it on to other things. Its crazy Pucci-like print covered some waist-region sins as the eye could not rest anywhere. The sleeves went to the elbow, taking care of that region.

    BUT! What made it fabulous and wearable, unlike every single other wrap thing I’ve tried on, was the shirring around the breasts. Giving the girls room allowed a waist to appear like magic despite the lack of princess seams.

    I expect to never find such a dress again. But I look for the shirring.

  7. techne November 12, 2007 at 1:36 pm #

    (Maybe it was ruching. I’m bad with mixing those up…)

  8. dangermouse November 12, 2007 at 1:40 pm #

    I’m as appley as can be & I adore wrap dresses. I wore one last night that caused my hubby & several waiters to fawn over me all evening :)

    Unfortunately, it was a summer buy & I can no longer find a picture of it, but here are a few I bought recently:

    http://www.bandlu.com/product.asp?item=sovj

    http://www.bandlu.com/product.asp?item=blissn

    http://www.silhouettes.com/Parent.asp?product=502202x&dept%5Fid=3100

    I’ve scanned my closet trying to figure out why I like wrap dresses & other apples don’t. I’ve noticed I tend to buy dresses that are wrap-like, but with structure. I also like 3/4 length sleeves, an almost empire-waist, and a fluted skirt.

    Not all wrap dresses will work for me, but generally speaking, I know what I like well enough to know which ones will. Maybe wrap dresses are sort of like men: you have to kiss a few toads before you can find the one you like ;)

  9. dangermouse November 12, 2007 at 1:49 pm #

    Welcome, techne!

    BTW, the dress in that last link has a bit of shirring, is sized as low as XL, & is now on sale for $29! Francesca found it for us first several days ago :)

  10. Tk November 12, 2007 at 1:54 pm #

    I’m a slightly smaller apple (perhaps a macintosh or a crab apple?), not quite plus, with a poorly defined but existent waist – 10/12, DD, 5’6, broad shoulders. I have… oh, gosh… 5 wrap dresses and 4 wrap blouses and a good handful of wrap and faux wrap sweaters. They work for me for making the few inches of curve I have work for me I suppose I have a more or straight up and down figure with pooch rather than a true apple? (…and if I can be totally honest? My Forever 21 jersey wrap is more flattering than my DvF.)

  11. Ashe Mischief November 12, 2007 at 3:17 pm #

    Here’s another smaller apple who definitely can wear the wrap dress. I think it’s a matter of how apple-y you are (do you have a defined waist at all?) and making sure that the wrap hits at the right place. I’ve found if the wrap comes at my natural waist or right below it, that it’s very flattering and defining.

  12. Bridey November 12, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    I’m a hybrid apple, hourglass-shaped w/tummy, and, sadly, though I love wrap dresses on other ladies, they are a disaster on me.

    I’m short and busty and have a defined but very high waist, and nothing ever seems to wrap on me anywhere near where it’s supposed to wrap. I just end up with pulls, lumps, and most unflattering gaps. Sigh.

  13. KathyR November 12, 2007 at 4:31 pm #

    I am an apple like my mother and grandmother before me. I cannot wear the wrap dress or at least not any that I have seen or tried on.

    I do, however, have a wrap blouse that looks very nice. It is woven shirt material and not stretchy. So it kind of glides over the stomach porch while the wrap part emphasizes the cleavage.

    So maybe if I could find a wrap dress that wasn’t a stretchy, clingy material, that might work.

  14. AnneFran November 12, 2007 at 4:33 pm #

    I am as Apple as they come – 5’5″ a size 16-18 with DDD’s and a poochy tummy but pretty amazing legs if I do say so myself – and I live in Wrap dresses! Here’s the secret – it’s the Faux Wrap dress that looks good on Apples (or at least me). True Wrap dresses (where you thread a usually tiny string of fabric through a hole on one side of the dress to look around the back and tie at the other side) usually create awful, lumpy weirdness in the middle region (esp with the back fat we apples tend to have). Faux Wraps eliminate the cutting swath of fabric against the back and create nice, smooth lines. Faux Wrap + Spanx + tank top underneath for those dresses that have deep surplice/lowcut necklines and you’ve just described my entire dress wardrobe.

  15. GoingLoopy November 12, 2007 at 5:26 pm #

    I am apple-ish…broad shoulders, a booty, smaller bust (C-D depending on bra, but mostly C), and a definite tummy. I’m also fairly long-waisted. I HATE anything with an empire waist, but wraps that hit at my actual waist are awesome. I am particularly fond of the wrap jacket – cut like a normal suit jacket but wraps and ties at the side rather than buttoning.

    I too do better with the faux wrap than the actual wrap.

    Actually, I have a dress from Old Navy that I ordered a month ago (they still have) and it’s awesome: http://www.oldnavy.com/browse/product.do?cid=7323&pid=526618&scid=526618002

    Word of warning – you need a cami under this dress.

  16. supersam November 12, 2007 at 8:10 pm #

    I loath wrap dresses. I loath them because every fashion book, every bit of figure flattery advice and many people all think that they should look good on me. And yet they don’t. They look horrible. The distort my hourglass proportions like a fun house mirror. And it makes me so angry, because I want them to work, I want the effortless sophistication and womanliness that they imbue the wearer with. And I can’t have it.

  17. Oromin November 12, 2007 at 8:40 pm #

    I have one wrap dress that looks fabulous on me and I’m definitely an apple. The thing about the dress is that it has princess seams. Instead of tying at the waist, the part of the dress that crosses over ends at the left-front seam, where it’s sewn down, so my dress has the best of both worlds!

  18. Scarlett November 12, 2007 at 11:07 pm #

    I’m an apple (I’m actually more of an inverted triangle, but the tum, she is substantial), and I rock many, many wrap dresses.

    For me, the key is a nice wide wrap-belt – I think that is what is bringing the joy to the owners of the LB eyelet number. I too have that dress, only in b&w polkadot twill (love!) with 3/4 sleeves, and I wear it ALL THE TIME. The belt on it is…probably an inch and a half to two inches wide, and if I wrap it carefully before I go out first thing, I can create four inches of wrapped waist where otherwise no waist would be!

    Also: this dress has a very full, structured skirt in a structured fabric, not the straight, knit-jersey skirt that most dresses have. Straight jersey-knit is no apple’s friend.

    I am currently midway through a complicated tracing project that I hope will allow me to make a pattern from the dress in question, so I can have fifty of them, and wear one every day for the rest of my life.

  19. meimei November 13, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    Speaking of wrap dresses from Old Navy… I’ve always considered myself an Apple (wide shoulders, big bust, jelly belly), and I just wrote a blog entry about an Empire-waist wrap dress that I just bought and loved. Either this dress was well-constructed, or I’m not as Apple-ish as I thought I was… because it worked on me!

  20. Melissa November 13, 2007 at 4:04 pm #

    Sob … I’m a pear, and even though I’ve long suspected I would look great in a wrap dress, I have yet to find a suitable one. The problem is twofold: first, wrap dresses are often made in a clingy and unforgiving jersey fabric that shows off all of the lumpy-squishies on my butt. This problem can be solved by Spanx, of course, but my other problem isn’t so easy. I’m short-waisted and small-breasted, and usually, if I tie a wrap dress around my waist I end up with tons of extra fabric gaping around the torso. This even happens in petite sizes! My search for the perfect wrap dress continues …

  21. LadyKate November 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm #

    I am also not a big girl, but I do love this blog, and hope you won’t mind if I respond. I personally am a size 6-8 pear, and find that not all wrap dresses are created equal. The fabric, detailing, and cut of a wrap dress can really change the fit. I’ve tried on wraps that made me look like an eggplant and wraps that made me look stunning. Ruching at the bustline can make a difference for someone with a big chest, and the way the wrap ties can either accentuate or help hide tummy bulges. Like a lot of other things, they need to be tried on.

  22. buffpuff November 18, 2007 at 9:42 am #

    I’m an apple with hourglass tendencies. (i.e. there’s an 8″ difference between my hip and waist and I take a FF, but I have a really short, round torso). I don’t look especially good in a wrap dress but I do own a faux wrap from Monsoon and, while it’s not the best shape for me, (I do better with a princess or empire line), the fabric’s so busy and beautiful I wear it anyway.

  23. Carol44 December 19, 2007 at 7:25 pm #

    RECENTLY I LOST ALOT OF WAIT 58LBS YIPPIE!!! BUT MY SHAPE IS APPLELY I’M 5’3 ,160LBS, 36DD OR A SIZE 12. EVERYONE SAYS THAT APPLES CANT WEAR WRAP DRESSES WELL I ALOT WOMEN MAY NOT LIKE THIS IDEA BUT IT WORKS FOR ME SEE IM NOT PREGO BUT IF YOU DO LOVE WRAP DRESSES AS MUCH AS I DO YOULL GO FOR IT. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BUY A MATERNITY FAUX WRAP DRESSES. SEE IT SHOWS OFF YOUR CLEAVAGE ELONGATING YOUR NECK HIDES THE WIDE SHOULDERS CAN CAMOFLOUGE NE UNWANTED BACK FAT AND SINCE IT IS MATERNITY IT WILL BE LOOSE ON THE TUMMY USUALLY WITH ROUCHING . REMEMBER TO BUY WITH A FULL SKIRT. I FOUND A WRAP DRESS EXACTLY LIKE THIS FOR 20 DOLLARS AT TARGET I ACTUALLY HAVE IT ON WHILE TYPING THIS NEEDED TO LET OTHER WOMEN KNOW HOW GREAT IT LOOKS N FEELS. I’VE ACTUALLY WORN OTHER MATERNITY ITEMS SUCH AS A BATHING SUIT WAS HARD TO FIND BUT LOOKED GREAT!!! NO ONE EVN KNEW JUST REMOVE THE TAGS!!! HERE IS THE WEBSITE

    http://www.target.com/Liz-Lange-Target-4-Sleeve-Dress/dp/B000RLUO62/qid=1198106551/ref=br_1_1/602-9064262-3690252?ie=UTF8&node=162410011&frombrowse=1&rh=&page=1

    must see at least its not the number or maternity words on the tags its the fit!!! good luck