FASHION/OCTOBER                                                                                                                                                                                                    2000 

Searching For 
The Perfect Wrap Top
    by Vsgal

          In search of the perfect wrap top, I browsed the Internet, the catalogs, and the outlet malls.  Wrap shirts are becoming more and more versatile.  A person may buy them in silk, cotton, polyester, and acrylic, etc, not to mention all the colors that are available.  The prices vary almost as much as the materials and colors. Some retailers have even created dresses and suits with this wrap effect.  The wrap shirt is also versatile in the way that it can be worn.  One could wear a wrap top with jeans, khakis, skirts, leather pants.  It all depends on the “look” one is aiming for. 

Tie Truths
          Depending on the style, the wrap shirt may tie in back, front, side, above the midriff, on the waist, below the waist, or wind around one’s body a few times before settling into place.  I prefer the wrap tops that tie on the side.  A wrap top that ties in back might be uncomfortable when one sits down in a chair.  The phrase “knot in your back” literally comes to mind. 

“Ab-normal” Attributes
          I found some of the wrap tops, although tied tightly in place, might show a bit too much cleavage.  The high fashion, runway models like to go bra-less when showing these shirts off.  I recommend a push up bra or deep V-bra when wearing one of these tops.  I do not recommend going bra-less however.  One might “spill out” of their shirt on accident.  For those of you that do that on purpose . . . shame on you!  If you are looking for a higher neckline on a wrap shirt, good luck.  The only wrap shirt I found that didn’t practically show my belly-button (other than the midriff tops) was the Paul Harris version.  The Paul Harris wrap top was conservative enough for the office (with a long black skirt and boots), yet fun enough to take to the club (by combining it with some sleek leather pants and slut sandals). 

Range of Rubles
         For the best price, the frugal fashion finder will want to emulate these name brand looks by shopping at Target, TJ Maxx, Wal-Mart, Schottensteins and the Thrift Stores.  However, for the brand name junkie, outlet malls rule the day!  I think the least expensive wrap top I saw was at Esprit Outlet for $16.99, and the most pricey wrap style was a suit from Victoria’s Secret Catalog selling for $198.00.  I called around the local malls for their prices.  Express has a wrap sweater for $59.00, and a wrap shirt for $39.50 at Tuttle Crossing Mall.  Ann Taylor has a silk dress wrap top selling for $78, a silk shirt for $68, and a cotton wrap shirt on sale for $39.99.  Paul Harris is completely sold out of their wrap tops in the local malls, however they may have received a new shipment to the outlet stores.  It is worth a check! 

         I went outlet mall shopping a few weeks ago.  I tried on every wrap shirt I came across.  Ann Taylor Loft had some nice metallic blue-colored dress shirts, however they didn’t fit me very comfortably.  Also, Ann Taylor was charging $58 a shirt or more.  I wasn’t comfortable with the plunge of the V in front; it was a bit low for comfort.  I wanted something with flexibility, so I didn’t feel “tied in” to the shirt.  I found the perfect wrap sweater at Esprit.  I loved the feel of the material, the price, and the color options, however it was a midriff top.  I couldn’t wear THAT to work!  I bought my khaki colored one for $16.99 on sale.  Then I discovered the miracle of Paul Harris.  Paul Harris was having this crazy 40% off sale, and they only had ONE wrap shirt left!  I stripped it off the manikin,  tried it on, and fell in love!  It was bright orange, and it still wears like a dream!  Of course, I had to buy it for $23.90 after the discount. 

“Wrapping” it up
           Last but not least, there is a renaissance version of the wrap top, although rarely worn to the office.  I found a Vampire modeling it for a Halloween costume online.  Here are a few pictures of the wrap shirts to help you visualize the various styles, colors, and prices. 

Until next time, VSGAL.

Vsgal’s Various Picks
Victoria’s Secret

$ 198

$ 58

 $ 58




$ 78



$ 34

 $ 16.99


    JC Penney

$ 24.99- 34.99


Halloween (online)

$ 70 - 95
Paul Harris

    $ 23.90