Wrap-Style Dress History
According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Designer Claire McCardell was the designer of the original 'wrap-style' dress or 'popover' dress.
"Although it is often claimed that Diane von Furstenberg 'invented' the wrap dress in 1972/73, Richard Martin, a former curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, noted that the form of Fürstenberg's design had already been "deeply embedded into the American designer sportswear tradition," with her choice of elastic, synthetic fabrics distinguishing her work from earlier wrap dresses. Wrap dresses had been designed by Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s, and Claire McCardell in the 1940s, whose original 'popover' design became the basis for a variety of wrap-around dresses."
"Sally Kirkland, in All-American: A Sportwear Tradition, reported that McCardell's "Pop-over" dress "sold in the thousands (its low price [$6.95] was because it was classified as a 'utility garment' and Claire's manufacturer, Adolf Klein, of Townley, was able to make a special deal with labor). But some form of a wraparound dress around $25 or $30 was always in Claire's collection thereafter, and she liked denim so much she made coats and suits of it for townwear completed with the workman's double topstitching as a form of decoration. … Norman Norell once told me that Claire could take five dollars worth of common cotton calico and make a dress a smart woman could wear anywhere." In utility achieved with ingenuity, McCardell found a synergy. The modern woman could both be chic and do the cooking. In a photograph by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, the model wearing the "Pop-over" has one hand in an oven mitt and the other in her capacious pocket." http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/84029