Watch out DVF, Truth BE Worn is coming for your wrap dress cred | Elizabeth Wellington

Jill Marple McCabe's with some of her dresses from her budding local wrap dress company, Truth Be Worn. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

Imagine a wrap dress that doesn’t require you to fiddle with your décolletage all day. Imagine one with a tie that wraps around your waist so smoothly the tiny hole the belt snakes through never gapes. And imagine it’s fashioned from a sturdy ponté knit fabric that hides panty lines just like your trusty Spanx do.

It gets even better.

Said perfect wrap dress — available in sizes XS to 3X— can also be custom-made. Prefer a midi-length hemline to one just at the knee? Done. You need a thicker belt to camouflage your pooch? Check. And then there’s this: The belt of this wrap can also be embroidered with your own personal mantra. So if you are a real estate agent, yours might read: Bought & Sold. Or if you are a new grandma, perhaps it says Mimi in fancy cursive.

Camera icon Michael Bryant
Each Truth BE Worn wrap dress comes with an embroidered message or personal mantra. This one: Keeping It Real.

Introducing what I think is the perfect — and I fancy myself a connoisseur – wrap dress:  Truth BE Worn. The designer behind this day-to-night wearable intention is 49-year-old mom of two and Philadelphia Fashion Incubator designer-in-residence Jill Marple McCabe.

McCabe, part of the new breed of designers who value an item’s function over useless fabulosity, officially launched Truth BE Worn two years ago. To date, McCabe has sold just under 1,000 of them at charitable events, at women’s empowerment gatherings like the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, and at house parties. Frankly speaking, that’s pretty good for a one-woman show.

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The first time I met McCabe was about a year ago at a Walnut Club event where a few of the city’s high-powered women were wearing her wraps  to utter perfection. And from that moment, I was intrigued. I finally caught up with her last week to chat about why her $297 Truth BE Worn wrap has Diane Von Furstenberg potential.

How did you get started?

The company was actually started and incorporated as a cheeky T-shirt company back in 2010. I used to work in corporate sales. Back then, I never wore makeup, wore my hair in a ponytail. I was Plain Freaking Jane. I used to wear Wonder Woman shirts under my Brooks Bros. [pant] suits. [So my ] idea was to  have a T-shirt company and put phrases on them that were fun and playful. That’s how I came up with the name Truth BE Worn. But I did nothing with it.

Where did the idea for the wrap dress come from?

Around 2012 or so, I was coming home from the gym and a friend asked me out for drinks, and I thought, ‘Man, I wish I had my DVF wrap dress.’ [At the time she owned about two.]  Then I started thinking about all the things [about the DVF] that worked for a 20-year-old but didn’t work for a 40-year-old, like the fabric was thin. The wrap [straps] were thin. It always gaped, the belt loops weren’t right. But it wasn’t until I had a car accident in 2014 that I realized it’s either now or never. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

What was holding you back?

It takes a lot of guts to say, ‘I can do this,’ [I kept thinking] who do I think I am?  I’m not a designer. I’m not a pattern maker. I work in sales. I need to get this person, or that person. I just had to commit to running with my idea. I had to start believing I could do it.

What made you add words of inspiration?

I thought they were fitting. Get it? Fitting. [Laughs] No, seriously,  I thought it would be a nice idea for people to be able to wear their intention. And by putting it on the wrap ties, you are literally embracing your own words of truth. It’s a wearable, loving intention. It’s an opportunity to wear your self-acceptance. Become a walking mantra.

What’s your personal mantra?

My mantra is Truth BE Worn’s tagline: Embrace your truth, inspire others. When we are truly honest with ourselves, we “embrace” and accept as well as love ourselves … every bit of our selves. The great parts, the average, and the defeating disruptive sides of ourselves.

Where is the Truth BE Worn wrap made?

Everything is done in Philadelphia. I source the fabric here. My pattern maker is here. My manufacturer is here. Everything is here.

There are so many awesome colors on this rack. How many colors is this dress available in, and, most important, how can we buy one?

I have up to 20 custom colors, including the new summer colors: taupe, peacock, ice blue, soft blush, and white. Anyone who wants to buy a dress can email me at Jill@truthBEworn.com. I can also be reached through Instagram and on my Facebook page.