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Few things say “effortless romance,” quite like a draped garment. And, luckily for anyone hoping to channel their inner romantic heroine, we’re about to see a whole lot more of it. If the idea of draping brings to mind images of Greek goddesses, that makes sense. After all, according to JD Institute of Fashion Technology‘s School of Design, draping can be traced back to the Ancient world, with Greece, Egypt, and Rome all having references to the technique in their artworks. Centuries later, we still can’t seem to get enough of it, and throughout history, there are instances of draping revivals.
It’s pretty evident, then, that the fashion world has always had a soft spot for those flowy garments. And, 2023 is no exception to the rule. Far from it, this summer, draping is everywhere — from trousers to dresses to skirts and tops, this trend has come about just in time for those wanting to tap into their romantic side.
Go for full-on Grecian goddess at your next event
Got a ton of weddings coming up, this summer? Embrace the romance of the occasion and be super on-trend with a one-shoulder draped dress. We hear you: every wedding has its own dress code. However, the great thing about a draped one-shoulder look is that it can be adapted for just about anything. Headed to something more formal? Go for a draped floor-length gown. More on the semi-formal end of the spectrum? Try a midi version like this one.
Keep those cowl necks at the ready
Cowl necks have been in style for a hot second, and they just so happen to fall under the draping trend. The great part? You probably already have a few pieces in your wardrobe, whether it’s a top or a dress. If a very 2023 take is what you’re after, however, look for pieces that incorporate another trend making a major comeback this summer: ruffles. As seen on the Instagram pages of Rachel Ward and Ellie Buckles, dresses with ruffles draping off the shoulder, or artfully placed along the diagonal instantly give any cowl neck dress a fresh, Y2K revival-inspired update. Ruffles and draping: never was there a more romantic duo.
Create a slinky seaside-inspired look with satin and silk
The draping technique creates a flowing shape, almost as if you were in water. Draping in silk or satin can take this effect to the next level. If you’ve headed to the cinema to see “The Little Mermaid” more than once this summer, it’s time to look into silk and satin draped pieces, like slip dresses. Think Raquel Leviss’ look for the Vanderpump Rules Season 10 reunion (via PopSugar). Scandoval may have been a mess, but Leviss’ mint green Simkhai outfit was anything but.
It works great for more modest styles, too
Not a fan of minis and open arms? No problem — draped styles work just as well in more covered-up pieces. As seen in Sofia Richie‘s light blue dress for one of the festivities leading up to her wedding, a drapey, silky dress looks just as good with full sleeves and a high neck (mesh panel aside) as it would on a slinkier, skimpier piece. Prefer even more coverage? Follow fashion Instagrammer Zeenat’s lead and pair a drapey top with equally drapey pants. All the seaside elegance, sans a ton of skin on display.
… and you can bring it into your office looks, too
Spending summer at your desk? Don’t despair — draped styles work anywhere. While silky textures might not be the most office-appropriate professional look, Closet London on ASOS offers a fun, business-friendly take on the draping trend with a front twist. Alternatively, for more romantic, yet structured ideas, look to Victoria Beckham for inspo on bias cuts and draping detailing.
Draping has been a mainstay in fashion since ancient times, and it’s not hard to see why. Timeless and incredibly versatile, to say the least — this trend makes romantic dressing an easy go-to.