Want an extra layer of warmth or looking for a versatile piece to throw over any outfit? Look no further than to the world of wraps, ruanas, and ponchos. Wraps have been around for centuries and go by different names in different cultures. From the bright color wools of Peru and South America to the silky light free-hanging fabrics of Asia, wraps have crossed continents and even ended up on catwalks. Wraps can be styled for every occasion and are loved for their sheer versatility in terms of season and style. Let's delve into the world of wraps and find out exactly how to wear them.
Understanding Different Types of Wraps
Ruanas, ponchos, wrap dresses, tunic wraps, and even wrap scarves, there are many different kinds of wraps out there. Understanding the different types of wraps can help you find the best cover-up for your occasion. Whether looking for extra warmth or something stylish, wraps are the ultimate fashion accessory.
Ruanas and Ponchos
Ruanas are a style of wrap or poncho that can be traced back to the Andes region of South America. Different indigenous communities first wore them, and they took the appearance of being large square pieces of fabric with a hole for the head. It was common to see ruanas in a wide range of colors. A ruana takes its name from the word for blanket, and these wool fabrics would also be used as blankets, for extra warmth, and for sitting on. Ponchos share a similar story and a similar design and are also from the Andes. They are often made from wool or cashmere for ultimate warmth and, in classic poncho style, are known for their simplicity.
The Classic Wrap Dress
The wrap dress first fell into fashion when iconic designer Diane von Furstenberg created them in the 1970s. With its feminine appeal and flattering shape, the wrap instantly became a hit. Wrap dresses can be an entire outfit on their own and come in many different styles. The wrap dress is famed for creating a stunning silhouette and is known for its signature feature of having a wrap closure that crosses the front of the body and is tied at the waist. There are endless styles of amazing wrap dresses out there, from light fabric maxi wrap dresses for sweet summer flow to cashmere wrap dresses that make the chicest fall outfit and stretchy fabric wrap dresses in bright colors that look dreamy when paired with boots for a casual weekend outfit.
Styling Wraps for Different Occasions
One of the best things about wraps is that they can be worn for a variety of occasions. Whether you want a cashmere travel wrap to keep you warm at the airport or if you are looking for a festive color wrap for festival season or a high-class wrap to finish a dressier outfit, they can
Wraps work with anything, so you can wear them on your next casual occasion - whether it's grabbing lunch with friends or chilling on the sofa at home. Wear your wrap with leggings or skinny jeans and simply throw the ends over your shoulder or drape it like a cardigan or wrap it over your shoulders and secure it at the front. You can pair wraps with skinny jeans, a colorful tee, and ankle boots for an everyday easy look. If you want a more bohemian flair to your fall looks. - try a wrap or poncho in seasonal colors with knee-high boots. A casual, brightly-colored wrap dress paired with white sneakers and a denim jacket is also a look that works for spring days, summer nights, or a warmer fall.
For more formal occasions, wearing a luxury cashmere wrap or gauzy wrap scarves is one of the best ways to elevate your outfit elegantly. Look for wraps in high-quality materials like silk satin or cashmere for colder weather and with solid colors or neutral colors. Wearing a wrap for a formal event really all sits in the way you drape it. Wearing a wrap over one shoulder with a simple dress and classic heels is always a sophisticated look. Accessorizing with statement earrings and a clutch bag can also help you to polish the look.
Step-by-Step Guides to Wearing Wraps
Just like learning to wrap a sari, you can find many different ways to wear your wraps. Here we delve into some of the different ways in which you can wrap your dresses, ponchos, and more.
Tying a Wrap Dress
Wearing a wrap dress well means tying it well. These step-by-step tips can help you make the most of this timeless silhouette style as you learn to tye your wrap dress.
- Start at the Waist: Hold the two ends of the wrap dress at your waist and cross them over each other.
- Wrap Around Your Back: Bring one end of the dress across your back to the opposite side.
- Wrap Around Your Front: Take the other end and wrap it across your front, covering the first end.
- Secure at the Waist: Tie the two ends into a bow or knot at your waist, ensuring a snug fit.
- Adjust as Needed: Make any necessary adjustments to ensure the dress sits comfortably on your body.
Draping Ruanas and Ponchos
The Classic Shoulder Drape
This look is perfect for casual occasions or even formal events when paired with a classy dress.
- Start with Shoulders: Place the center of the ruana or poncho on your shoulders.
- Cross Over Front: Cross the ends over your chest, creating a V-shape.
- Secure at the Back: Tie the ends at the back, allowing the fabric to drape naturally.
The Asymmetrical Wrap
If you want a more unique look to your wrap style, the asymetrical wrap can lend a creative edge.
- Off-Center Placement: Position the center of the ruana or poncho slightly off-center.
- Cross Over One Shoulder: Bring one end diagonally across your chest, leaving the other side open.
- Secure Asymmetry: Pin or knot the open end, allowing the fabric to flow asymmetrically.
Accessorizing Your Wrap
Jewelry and Wraps
Wearing jewelry with your wraps will complete the look and can lead to stunning outfit style. A simple wrap dress with statement earrings offers beautiful balance. A solid color wrap with a gemstone or crystal pendant will add bohemian feminine flair. A bright poncho with layered bead necklaces is also a bold look. Dangly earrings or big hoops with a wrap also fits well as they create a harmonious and layered look.
Shoes and Bags
Bright colored paired with ankle boots is a great combination for fall, whereas a light color wrap dress or mini wrap dress with sandals and a tote can work wonders for your day at the beach. For an elegant evening look, pair a pretty fitted midi dress with a neutral cashmere wrap and a pair of high heels and a clutch bag to finish.
Care and Maintenance of Wraps
When looking after your wraps always be sure to read the specific care labels as care instructions will really depend on the kind of fabric - for example bamboo clothing has different care needs than wool or silk. If you need to wash your wrap, hand washing or cold water delicate washing is best. Be sure to fold your wrap rather than hanging it as excess hanging may make it stretch out.
Can wraps be worn in all seasons?
Yes, wraps make a great choice for every season as they are a very versatile garment. You can wear lightweight wraps in the warmer seasons or opt for wrap dresses. In winter, heavier wool or cashmere wraps can bring an extra layer of warmth.
How do I choose the right wrap for my body type?
Whatever your body type, a wrap will suit you well. You can wear wraps cinched at the waist if you want to accentuate your curves or you can opt for a shoulder drape or asymetical drape if you want to bring extra volume to your look.
Are there any quick fixes if my wrap dress comes undone?
If you don't want to permanently change the wrap dress that has come undone you can look to double sided tape to fix the gape. Safety pins can also be used if your wrap dress comes undone and you want to pin it closed.