In 1974, Diane Von Furstenberg created the iconic wrap dress, a garment that would come to symbolize the feminist movement at the time since it was the perfect dress to wear to work and after work. It was powerful, sexy, and incredibly flattering. And, to this day, it remains one of my personal favorite styles for any event.
in 2014, I got the chance to visit the “Journey of a Dress” exhibit at the LACMA. While the fashion was obviously of interest, and I enjoyed seeing the various iterations of the famous dress, what was more inspiring was to get an idea of why and how this particular garment helped empower women.
These days, we all still need that confidence boost and feeling of empowerment. While women have come a long way since 1974, we still have lightyears to go in terms of equality. As long as we have to work to fight wage inequality, slut-shaming, and workplace discrimination, the feminist battle endures.
Diane’s famous quote is “feel like a woman; wear a dress.” To me, this means that we don’t have to try to be more like men. We don’t have to dress up in pantsuits and slick back our hair and try to blend in to the masculine workforce. Instead, we have the choice to embrace femininity. We can throw on a dress that makes us feel confident and go out there and own it.
We don’t have to be a “girlboss,” we can be a BOSS who is a woman.
All this to say, the wrap dress style is so much more than just a dress. To me, it’s the ultimate expression of femininity, independence, and power.
Is that a little extreme to say about just a dress? Perhaps. But, we live in a world that is tailored to men’s fashion. Offices are cold because men wear warm suits. We have to lug around a big heavy purse because our clothes don’t have pockets. And, if they did have pockets, it wouldn’t matter because women’s wallets are twice the size of men’s and don’t fit in pockets anyway.
So, to have a dress that allows us to seamlessly go from work to play without sacrificing style or femininity is actually a huge achievement.
The flattering, simple, versatile wrap dress is here to stay. And, it’s here to help us multitask and fulfill all the roles we play in life by being the one and done easy garment that helps us stay confident and wear multiple hats all day long while looking and feeling great.
So, here’s to you, DVF! Thanks for the enduring style that helps make getting dressed a lot easier. This wrap dress alone, even though it’s not DVF, has been such an essential, versatile piece this summer. I’ve packed it on every trip, worn it to date night, girls night, with sneakers, with heels, with slides, with sandals — just about any event imaginable! The wrap dress even makes for the perfect maternity dress for all you mamas out there!
Photos by Jenna Sparks Photography