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Item of the week: The draped dress

By Léana Esch

4 Aug 2021


Ted Baker

What it is:

The draped dress is an easy option to dress up or down - and a surefire way to create an entire outfit from just one piece of clothing. It comes in an array of lengths, fabrics and cuts, but the architectural details that adorn it are a constant. Enveloping the silhouette and often highlighting the waistline, the draped dress is a good option at any age, as you have the freedom to choose the style that suits you most: mini or maxi, flowy or bodycon, with sleeves or not.


Why you’ll want it:

A modern silhouette with a twist - that’s what the draped dress achieves when you put it on. Whether it’s a pared-back design that’s all about minimalism or one that comes with dramatic details, the draped dress offers a good alternative to a timeless wardrobe staple. First, it’s comfortable to wear, as it’s often made from supple fabrics that easily follow movements. Also, drapes work well with both lightweight and thicker fabrics, which means they can embellish summer and winter dresses alike. The trend is seasonless; the fabric you choose will make it season-appropriate.


Where we’ve seen it:

We’ve witnessed the draped dress take on the runway by storm over the past few seasons, and Spring/Summer 2022 won’t be any different. From wintery wool and leather to breezy silk and cotton, the options to choose from are endless. At Alaïa, a white asymmetrical maxi dress stole the show with draped details on the sleeve and neckline while at Vetements it was a mid-length floral-print number with shoulder pads and a cinched-in waistline. Lemaire presented an option that played with proportions and was cut for an oversized fit whereas Balmain introduced a halter neck neutral alternative that lightly grazed the floor.

Dorothée Schumacher

How to style it:

There is no shortage of styles and cuts to choose from, so the draped dress is easy to match anyone’s personal sartorial style. Wolford’s sleeveless ruched style is a good option to dress up or down - it’ll look good both with a pair of high heel sandals or sneakers and a denim jacket. If you’re looking for something timeless, NU-UI’s knee-length draped dress is the one to choose as it’s an ideal piece to build a look from. Dorothée Schumacher’s one will easily transition from summer to fall paired with knee-high boots and a boxy bouclé jacket. Finally, Ted Baker’s one shoulder option will come in handy for any upcoming event - weddings and patio gatherings alike.

The draped dress is a wardrobe mainstay that’s sure to pack a punch, whether you choose it uncluttered or with eye-catching details. While it’s mostly been spotted on dresses, drapes come in many other iterations that are just as covetable - think blouses, coats and even trousers. They’re here to stay and will elevate any outfit from casualwear to eveningwear.

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draped dress
Item of the Week