Something you need in your closet, pronto! This flattering shirt style—also called a wrap around top, wrap over top, or surplice top—usually closes in the front with two sections of fabric that wrap across each other. It is secured by buttons, ties, or a combination of the two. Unless, of course, it’s a faux wrap, in which case the illusion of a wrap is created by the construction of the garment, secured by seams.
There is surprisingly little info about the history of the wrap top, with most of the conversation on this style devoted to the wrap dress, which came into fashion into the 1930s, and was popularized by designer Diane Von Furstenberg in the 1970s. It is probably safe to assume that the idea for the wrap shirt came from the wrap dress. And why not? It is a universally flattering silhouette that translates well into other styles, including wrap shirts, wrap sweaters, wrap coats, wrap swimwear, etc. The wrap top is also closely associated with ballet. Ballerinas sport a cropped or sweater version of the style in dance classes.
You can find a wrap style for almost any occasion. For casual outings, pair your wrap top with a pair of jeans and heels. This style of shirt works with both flared and skinny jeans, making it a versatile addition to your wardrobe. For professional settings or dressier occasions, look for a wrap blouse in crisp cotton or silk, and pair it with trousers and pumps. Wrap tops are available in both long and short sleeve styles, and fabrics and prints for every season.
Don’t be intimidated by the ties, sashes, and fasteners of wrap tops. If anything, embrace this silhouette wholeheartedly, because it’s an unfussy, elegant way to dress. The cut of a wrap top is extremely forgiving, and you can creatively tie to your top to expose your best assets, or minimize problem areas. And if all else fails, a faux wrap top is an effortless alternative to mastering the sash of the traditional wrap top.