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What is a Wrap Skirt?

By Susan Grindstaff
Updated May 21, 2024
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A wrap skirt is a type of skirt that wraps around the waist and is secured by tying. The wrapping usually overlaps so that knee or leg movement will not cause the skirt to open up and reveal the body. Soft, pliable fabrics usually work best for making this type of skirt, but they are sometimes made using heavier fabrics such as denim and canvas.

Sarong style wrap skirts are a type of skirt often worn over bathing suits or as a type of swimwear. They can be long or short, but when used as beachwear, these skirts are usually made of very soft fabrics depicting tropical or floral prints. Wrapping and tying of this Eastern style garment can take some practice, because depending on how it is tied, a sarong style wrap skirt can also be used as a dress or top. A sarong usually consists of one rectangular piece of fabric that is secured without buttons or separate ties. The edges of the fabric pieces are used to tie the garment in place.

The wrap skirt became widely fashionable during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most of these vintage style wrap skirts are ankle length, though some fall just below knee level. They were often made of batiste, a type of very soft cotton often used in baby clothing. Some vintage wrap skirts feature embroidered bordering along the hemline.

One of the more attractive components of a wrap skirt is the easy fit. Most of them are made so that their fit can be adjusted for various waist and hip measurements. To make a wrap skirt larger, it is usually only necessary to loosen the ties, and to make them smaller, the ties are simply tied closer together. This easy adjustment makes it ideal for purchase through catalog sales of online retailers, where garments cannot be tried on prior to buying.

Finding a wrap skirt at a retailer may not be as simple as finding other types of skirts. Though most retailers carry them in their stores, the variety offered is generally somewhat limited. Many people may choose to make their own wrap skirt, and because they are so simple to make, they are an ideal project for people just learning to sew. Patterns for making a wrap skirt are usually available at most fabric stores, and many Internet tutorials are available that help illustrate the process.

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Discussion Comments
By Pippinwhite — On Jan 20, 2015

I had a wrap skirt that I just loved, but I wore it to work and rolled my chair wheels over it! It was ankle length and I didn't think to hitch it up when I sat down.

The wheels tore two or three holes in it, down toward the hem. Made me sick. I adored that skirt and wore it everywhere. I could still wear it, but the elastic has started to deteriorate and I'll have to get new elastic in the waist so I can wear it again.

It was one of those skirts that dressed up or down and I wore it to work, to church, to weddings and funerals. It was one of the best multi-tasker garments I've ever had.

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