Wraps of all shapes and sizes are common apparel throughout much of the world, particularly in Asian, Indian and African cultures. In Western cultures, the wrap serves more as an accessory, making an elegant or flirty statement, or even keeping you warm on cool days and nights. Wraps are available in many different fabrics_from a simple cotton to silk, chiffon and luxurious Pashmina_and many different styles, including prints, solid colors and embellished with details, from sequins to tassels. You can find many options for this versatile classic at such online fashion retailers as New York & Company and metrostyle.

Office Ready

While most everyone is familiar with the evening wrap, few have considered wearing a wrap over a suit for a classy, professional look. Throw a wrap over one shoulder, securing it with a brooch to keep the wrap in place. Tucking one end of a longer wrap under your belt, especially if it has tassels that you can leave dangling, is also a fashion-forward style. You also can throw a shorter wrap over both shoulders for a completely different look or tie one around the waist of a long blouse instead of wearing a belt.

Day to Night

Wraps are so versatile that they can take you from day to night in an instant. Wear one as a cover-up over an evening gown or strapless dress, or pair a see-through wrap with sleeves over a sleeveless dress for a more modest look. A colorful wrap also can accent and elevate the little black dress, especially when paired with a matching handbag or clutch and shoes. Or, for a creative club or party look, drape yourself in a longer wrap, secure it with a knot or a brooch and slip on a pair of strappy heels.

Heads Up

If you don't have time to wash your hair or you're just looking for something different to do with your hair, take your wrap up a notch by twisting it around your head for instant glamour. This is an especially cool look if you have shoulder-length or longer hair and can leave a few strands peeking out around your face.

Weathering Change

Protect yourself from winter's cold with fleece or wool wrap worn as a shawl or as a scarf under your winter coat. The extra layer of warmth makes it easy to go from a cold parking lot to a heated building without having to lug around bulky layers. Keep an extra wrap in your desk or tie one to your handbag, and when a chill hits, you'll have it on hand. This can be especially useful when traveling by car, train or airplane.

Wraps are great at the beach, too. Light, flirty Indian or Gypsy prints and silk wraps work especially well in summer's heat as a quick top or skirt when traveling from the beach or pool to an afternoon of shopping or dinner. Longer wraps can double as a beautiful sarong or dress.