Best Classic Dress: Why You Need a Wrap Dress

best classic dress style

As we kick off the new year, I’ve been busy reassessing/organizing my closet. It’s quite a mess! Consequently, I made a 2021 resolution—buy less by focusing on quality. Stick to the classics. Keep things streamlined. Are YOU looking to simplify your wardrobe in 2021? Do you gravitate toward easy, elegant styles? This post dives into what I firmly believe is one garment every woman needs in their closet: the wrap (or faux wrap) dress. In fact, many designers call it the best classic dress style on the market!

When friends come to me for fashion advice, when I need to look my best for a professional function, or if I’m searching for a stellar on-camera look… I always reach for a classic wrap dress first.

What is a wrap dress?

An invention of famed designer Diane Von Furstenburg in the 1970s, the wrap dress features a tie waist, V-neckline and an A-line skirt.¬†Consider it the utility player of your wardrobe. Its lines flatter all body types, creating a sleek and feminine silhouette. Add one to your closet and you’ll have the power to highlight what you love and downplay areas you don’t.

best classic elegant dressesDress – “The Ruby”

What makes a wrap dress the best classic dress style?

  • It accents your waistThe “wrap” of wrap dresses visually narrows your waistline.
  • It downplays your tummy – Feel a little bloated after the holidays? The layering of wrap dresses provides great camouflage, particularly in printed styles.
  • The V-neck slims your upper body – V-necklines are super elongating and create long, dancer-like lines. They are especially flattering for women with a larger bust.
  • It is timeless, perfect for all ages – Wrap dresses look appropriate in all scenarios and on all ages from sassy date nights to conservative church services.
  • Many wrap dresses have sleeves – Sleeves provide great coverage, keeping you warm while lengthening your silhouette. You will look taller instantly!

If you browse my Instagram, you’ll see pretty quickly that I’m a total dress girl. It started back in my TV days, when my job required me to wear beautiful, camera-ready dresses each night on the anchor desk. There’s a reason people joke about the camera adding 10 lbs! Dressing for television can be really tricky. It requires a thorough knowledge of how line, shape, and fabric work on the body. However, once I understood those principles, it became very easy to identify a great dress. So let me share the insights I learned!

Can you guess what silhouette I turned to over and over? Yup, the best classic dress style… The wrap dress!

What To Look For in a Wrap Dress

best classic dress styleDress – “The Ruby”

Not all wrap dresses are created equal. When choosing a wrap dress, here are a few things to consider:

  • What’s the fabric like? – You want fabric with a bit of “heft” or thickness to it. Thin, clingy fabrics are tough to wear. If the fabric is thin, the dress needs to have a lining.
  • How wide/deep is the V-neck? Is it hitting you in the right spot? – While V-necks are really flattering, they need to be proportionate. For instance, women with a larger bust look beautiful in V-necks but need to watch out for plunging styles that have a tendency to gape. Likewise, petites might find a “moderate” cut neckline way deeper than they expected. I can’t tell you how many styles I’ve had to pin shut for modesty (it’s such a hassle).
  • Does the length flatter you? This varies greatly depending on your height. For example, my 4’11 frame demands dresses that hit me at the knee or just above. Longer, midi-length styles appear dowdy and call attention to my smurf-esque stature. In contrast, taller women look magnificent in midi-lengths. Not sure what length suits you? Try on multiple silhouettes in front of a friend – or snap mirror selfies of yourself in each style, then assess the the photos. Looking at photos rather than your image in a mirror will help you be more objective.

Now, let me tell you about the style I’m wearing. It’s the “Ruby” from Karina Dresses.

the best travel dress

As my father (a savvy businessman and restauranteur) taught me, successful companies stick to what they’re great at. They do one thing and do it well. That’s what I love and respect about this small, US-based company. Karina Dresses focuses exclusively on high quality, vintage-inspired, travel-friendly dresses. A friend introduced me to the brand last summer. I now own two Karina styles and wear them a ton! These dresses are so versatile.

What makes this brand great? 

It is very size inclusive, carrying XXS through 4XL. Every garment is machine washable, wrinkle free, and made in the U.S.A. Many of the dresses have pockets and the majority have faux wrap styling. Also cool? When Karina launches a new print, it typically offers it in several styles. This is ideal for helping you choose the best classic dress style for your body type. Case in point? My lovely houndstooth dress (the Ruby) is also available in the Megan and Margaret cut. Below is a photo, showing how Karina Dresses flatter all different body types.

Any downsides?

Honestly, no. However, I will say Karina Dresses come at a higher price point than many of the pieces I share on this blog. Most Karina styles ring in around $100. I’m a bargain shopper, but don’t hesitate to invest in garments I know will stand the test of time. If you believe in cost per wear (I certainly do), these dresses are money well spent. They are classic cuts, well-constructed, and made with quality materials. Shipping (in the U.S.) is via Priority Mail. Dresses should arrive within 2-3 business days. Returns or exchanges are free.

Here are a few other examples of the best classic dress style! Happy shopping and feel free to comment below if you have any questions.



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