The classic wrap top is back with a vengeance. They were very popular ten to twelve years ago, but fell away when fashion favoured the fluid and oversized vibe. The sisterly version that followed the wrap top was the draped blouse, or wrap-front top. Wrapped in front but voluminous on the midsection, creating a different look to the traditional tailored “ballerina” wrap top.
I’m happy to report that the tailored wrap top is on trend. I love when modern classic items make a trendy statement and become the hip contender. It sends a message that fashion fads are a dated concept, that trends have a higher longevity factor than they used to, and that it’s how you incorporate an item into an outfit that makes it look current and fabulous.
Wrap tops are tailored at the waist most of the time, thereby creating conventionally flattering outfit proportions. To my eye, this looks fresh amidst the sea of unstructured tops of our fashion era. The wrapped front can be real or “faux” depending on the style. Either way, the silhouette narrows at the waist creating a streamlined effect. Wrap tops can be woven or knitted, sleeved or sleeveless, long or short, and patterned or solid.
Here’s a collection of wrap top variations.
Sometimes, wrap tops aren’t tailored at the waist, as these examples show. Some do narrow at the hem with a welt or tie creating structure that way. Some look wide and straight. These tops are suited to those who don’t want to define the waist, but like the visual effect of the wrap.
Wrap tops that define the waist are a slam dunk on a curvy hourglass and pear-shaped body type. The wrapped fronts create a V-neckline that works extremely well on a larger bust and/or shorter neck and broader shoulder line. The tops work well with the high-rise bottoms trend because the waist tie and waistband are in the same position on the body.
Real and faux wrap tops can be slightly odd on the wrap section when they aren’t cut properly, thereby fighting with the bustline. But when the cut is good, a wrap top flatters the bustline and waist beautifully. The knitted versions fit particularly well over a larger bust because they stretch and mould to the contour of the body. They can also be quite forgiving of midsection “extra bits” when they don’t cling on that part of the body.
Simple and sleek faux wrap tops layer extremely well under blazers and jackets. The jersey versions are an easy item to travel with, especially for business wear capsules. The maximal versions with gigantic ties and bows on the waist make a fabulous statement on their own. They are hard to layer under a topper, but fun for Summer.
I generally steer away from wrap tops because the necklines are too wide for my body type. My narrow shoulders, long neck, and regular size bust battle to fill them out. That said, about twelve years ago I had a few AMAZING gauzy and delicate faux wrap tops that worked well for my body type. The neckline created a shawl collar effect on my shoulder neck points and the V-shape in front was very narrow. These specific design details provided ample structure around my shoulders, and shortened my neck. I wore them with a pretty lace camisole that peeked out from under the narrow V-neckline, and layered them under jackets. I am open to wearing that type of wrap top because it provides structure where I need it most. I also enjoy defining the waist.
Over to you. What’s your take on wrap tops? Many of my clients are back to wearing the silhouette because they enjoy the streamlined effect.