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5 Tips for Wearing Wrap Dresses Over 60, Stylists Say

Ready to embrace this effortlessly chic staple? Just follow these simple pro tips.

It didn't take long after Diane Von Furstenberg introduced the wrap dress in 1974 for the design to become an iconic best-seller. Equal parts chic and practical, this piece embodied the zeitgeist of the time—when more and more women were joining the workforce. Millions of wrap dresses sold in just the first two years they were available, and sales have continued to soar. Is it any surprise? The wrap dress looks good on anyone and everyone—including those over 60.

"Wrap dresses are universally flattering because they cinch the body at the waist, accentuating your curves and creating a seamless hourglass figure in seconds," says Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a stylist, luxury fashion expert, and contributor to Margo Paige. "Secondly, wrap dresses are incredibly versatile—they're suitable for various occasions, from casual outings to formal events. Also, their adjustable fit ensures comfort and ease of movement all day or night. Last but not least, wrap dresses have a timeless appeal that transcends age and fashion trends—you will always look put together wearing one."

According to Fonseca and other stylists, wrap dresses are suitable for any age group—and are an excellent choice for women over 60. Just follow these pro tips to maximize all their benefits.

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Choose fabrics that are breathable and drape well.

Cheerful senior woman in long dress enjoying vacation on private sailboat
Youngoldman / iStock

The material can make a big impact on how the wrap dress hangs on your body, says Mindy Kittay, a style expert and owner of The Kama Connection.

When it comes to comfort, cotton and jersey blends are a top pick because they're known for their breathability. Not only that, but Kittay points out that they're also super easy to care for.

"Rayon offers a blend of comfort and elegance—I find it to drape beautifully and feel soft against the skin," she shares. "As a woman over 60, it's my go-to fabric." If you're aiming for a more luxurious look for a special event, Kittay suggests luxurious silk chiffon.

"Keep in mind that pleated skirts and mid- to heavy-weight materials, like crisp poplin, rayon crepe, and worsted wool blends are more forgiving than jersey and ponte knits," adds Fonseca.

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Consider your body type.

woman looking at clothes in her wardrobe at home

As with any other piece, a wrap dress is only truly flattering if you find the right fit for your body.

"A wrap dress should not be too tight or too loose, but rather hug your curves without restricting your movement," explains Peter Martinez,  a fashion designer and stylist with Leather Skin Shop.

A-line wrap dresses with subtly flared skirts are universally flattering—and work particularly well if you're pear-shaped and don't want to accentuate your thighs, says Fonseca.

If you're pear-shaped, consider a ruffled neckline to add volume up top and balance out your silhouette. Wrap dresses that have full skirts and detailing around the neckline can also create the illusion of curves for people with straight candle-shaped bodies. And if you have an apple-shaped body, seek out wrap dresses with empire waistlines and ruching or ruffles on the skirt. This can define your waist while drawing the eye down to your enviable legs.

To avoid any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions, Fonseca recommends using fashion tape along a gaping neckline and adding a discreet safety pin to secure the wrapped top if necessary.

Elizabeth Kosich, a certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, also advises wearing shapewear underneath a wrap dress to help smooth out any lumps and bumps and achieve cleaner lines from head to toe.

When in doubt, don't hesitate to get a wrap dress tailored for a more customized fit, says Joe Manktelow-Pimm, a fashion expert and editor at 7Gents.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Getting Out of a Clothing Rut After 60, Stylists Say.

Find your perfect length.

A mature woman with short blonde hair wearing a brown leather dress and red heels against a light brown background.
NeonShot / iStock

Wrap dresses can be found in a wide range of lengths, from thigh-grazing minis to ankle-skimming maxis. So, which length is right for you? That may depend on your height, body type, and personal style—as well as the season.

Midi-length wrap dresses tend to be a safe choice for most. "This length strikes a balance between modernity and modesty," notes Leanne Lee, a fashion stylist and buyer at Blue Bungalow.

However, according to Adriane King—a fashion designer and editor at Elemental Spot—these styles may fall at an awkward place on your calf if you're especially petite. "Choosing a style that hits just above or below the knee will make you look taller, especially when accessorized with a pair of heeled shoes that help to elongate your legs," she explains.

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Opt for timeless colors and prints.

A mature woman wearing a red dress with a white floral print sits on a couch in front of a stone wall
cometary / iStock

Experts agree that you can't go wrong with solid wrap dresses in slimming neutral shades like navy and charcoal gray, as well as rich and elegant jewel tones like emerald and burgundy.

"When it comes to patterns, keep in mind your frame and height," says Fonseca. "For example, subtle patterns like ditsy florals, pinstripes, and classic polka dots will always look chic on petite women, but it's best to steer away from oversized or overly busy prints that may overwhelm their frame. Abstract, all-over prints look amazing on fuller-framed women."

Ultimately, though, you may need to play around a bit to find what works well for your complexion, body shape, height, and wardrobe. "Experiment with different colors, prints, and accessories to find a wrap dress that suits your mood and occasion," says Martinez. "For example, you can wear a silk wrap dress in a jewel tone for a formal event, a cotton wrap dress in a pastel shade for a casual outing, or a denim wrap dress in a dark wash for a trendy look."

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Keep accessories and footwear minimalistic.

Accessories style concept with pearl earrings, necklace, and scarf
Andrey Cherkasov / Shutterstock

Especially if you're going for a wrap dress in a bold print or pattern, it's best to opt for simple accessories and footwear that don't distract from your ensemble.

"Wrap dresses are notorious for creating a gorgeous V-shaped neckline so take advantage and put the finishing touch to your look with a single statement necklace or multiple layered chains," says Fonseca.

Manktelow-Pimm suggests going for timeless options like a pearl necklace and matching stud earrings and finishing the outfit with nude flats or low pumps.

"Consider adding a thin belt if the dress doesn't come with one to define the waist further," adds Lee.

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Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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