All women are the same, really: They are strong, but they are afraid of their own strength.
Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good.
Attitude is everything.
Diane von Furstenberg
If you saw this IG post, then you know we love DVF. We have her book, we drove to San Antonio together to hear her speak at conference years ago where she chatted with Gloria Steinem, and we almost died. But do we love her iconic wrap dress as much as we love her? And is it as flattering for everybody as they say? The answer is….complicated.
Possibly one of the, if not THE most well-known fashion items is the DVF wrap dress. Known as “the universal dress,” we both have a love/hate relationship with it. First, it’s Diane – see intro paragraph. Second, the prints, the colors, the fabrics are all to die for and they somehow keep getting better and better every season. As the website states: “DVF is a print factory. Taken from the archives…the six most iconic prints are the Six Sisters: Chain Link, Cubes, Twigs, Leopard, Python, and Diane’s Signature. “ We would invite these sisters to Christmas dinner if we could.
We both own other DVF pieces because the print factory is great for blouses, wide-leg pants, and other silhouettes of dresses too. As vintage lovers and clothing collectors, Diane’s pieces, especially the wrap dress, tick all our sustainable, non-cookie cutter, timeless style boxes.
As the true thrift ninja of this group, I have found many a DFV wrap dress at Goodwill for under $20. As someone that currently owns 7, I love that they retain their value, popularity, and demand. The older the better! I have worn and resold the occasional print at a profit, and even traded with Jennifer. Etsy is a great place to score these dresses from $49 – $150.
But universally flattering? Only if you are flat-chested with a short waist and twig arms. Seriously, they are exceedingly difficult to wear. But as we both have pointed out, Diane is everything we want to be, so we start wrapping and hope for the best. Besides, no self-respecting fashion lover’s collection would be complete without at least one of the blasted things in it.
Neither of us can wear them without a camisole. We both tend to wear a size 10 in the DVF wrap dress (while anywhere from 6 – 12 in her other items). We did try sizing up, but the tight things did not get lose enough to deal with increased fit problems in all the other areas.
Neither of us can squeeze our arms in one without making a sausage reference, and Ellen says, “I have yet to find my ‘Goldilocks’ style,” meaning the sleeve length is either too long or too short. Never just right. As far as how it fits in the waist? That is a crapshoot too. With Jennifer being long-waisted at almost 6 feet and Ellen’s 5’7 coming from her legs because her waist is practically non-existent, we are universally surprised when one fits us properly in this area. In fact, waist and arm fit issues are why we recently traded the newsprint one with the chain link one.
As Jennifer says, “The arms are like pulling on pantyhose. I must wear a camisole to fill in where the wrap does not quite overlap as it should. The sash ties a good 2-3 inches above my natural waist. But when I wrap that silk jersey around me in one of those iconic graphic prints, I feel like a woman #InCharge. “
If you have not yet read Diane Von Furstenberg’s autobiography, The Woman I Wanted to Be, buy it now. It is not just the story of the iconic dress, but of everything that went into it in all its iterations, chronicling the fabulous Diane throughout her glamor-filled life of ups and downs, successes and failures, loves and losses – all of which there are many. This book came along at an integral point in my life and showed me a woman who wasn’t afraid to embrace life and all its baggage; who didn’t shy away from her failures and defeats; who rose to the challenges she met; and who never gave up on love, or her passion. And it made me fall in love with the dress all over again. I now own five of them.
The Verdict? We give it a solid maybe. If you want us to base this off fit alone, then no it is not. But what we have learned over the years of wearing the DVF wrap dress – which has been reconfirmed with every recent post about them – they make women feel good. Most acknowledge fit issues but wave them away with a #worthit. This dress lights a spark on your inside and you walk with your head a little higher. This dress makes you own it – whatever your “it” is that day, that week, that moment. And that is worth putting on a camisole for.
Photography by Breezy Ritter