If there’s one “odi et amo” fashion statement that (will) always comes back, it’s the sweater dress. Along with vinyl skirts, fishnet tights, and ankle boots, sweater dresses are one of this winter’s biggest hits, and there’s one great reason behind their success, namely that you can wear your sweater dress just however you prefer, with whatever you want, and, of course, whenever you like.
Sweater dresses are versatile to say the least, as they not only easily transition from day to night depending on how you style them, but also from winter to spring depending on the fabrics. Whether you are a sweater dress lover or are just willing to revive your early ‘00s self for one (or more) season, here are our fashion tips and tricks on how to wear a sweater dress right!
How to Wear Sweater Dresses According to Your Body Type
The first thing that many people say when talking about sweater dresses is that they cannot fit nor flatter every body type. Well, that is untrue! Sweater dresses are just perfect for everyone and, those who feel insecure about their body shape can always follow a few tricks to highlight their best assets.
As always, balance is key. And to achieve balance while at the same time accentuating your strengths and elongating the figure (if you feel it is needed), you just have to:
• Invest in sweater dresses embellished either with a cowl or V-neck, as such necklines magically lengthen the figure. In general, sweater dresses with embellishments on the top part tend to visually elongate the figure.
• The best sweater dresses for plus-size women are the ones featuring soft materials and solid colors, while chunky yarns and horizontal stripes are absolute no-nos in this case.
• Petite women, on the other hand, should steer clear of oversized sweater dresses that will downplay their figure even more. Instead, consider sweater dresses with vertical stripes to visually lengthen your figure.
• When in doubt, always opt for midi or above the knee lengths. Such lengths could flatter any height, figure, and size while also infusing your overall outfit with an effortlessly classy touch.
• Add a belt to your sweater dress cinched at the waist if you want to recreate a more hourglass figure.
• If you feel uncomfortable or would like to minimize parts of your body that you currently don’t like, opt for a solid-colored sweater dress paired with ton-sur-ton tights and accessories (in this case, long necklaces are win-win finishing touches). Outfits like these make you look instantly leaner and chicer, and are always appropriate for any occasion.
• If you are looking for something to pair your brand-new thigh-high boots with, opt for a mini sweater dress and wear it without stockings. Whether your figure is petite or not, it will look instantly slenderized!
• If you feel your figure is too petite, opt for a black mini sweater dress paired with black tights and stiletto shoes during wintertime, or either a black or nude/ light-colored mini sweater dress combined with just nude pumps during springtime.
• If you feel your bottom is fuller compared to your upper part, invest in a warm sweater dress either with an off-the-shoulder or Bardot neckline, as it will harmonize your figure, visually creating a more hourglass silhouette.
Shoes to Wear with Sweater Dresses
Three are the key elements of a look featuring a sweater dress – its neckline, its fabric, and the shoes you pair it with. While the fabric determines the season of the sweater dress, the neckline and the shoes help highlight the figure.
As mentioned above, while V-necklines elongate the silhouettes, off-the-shoulder options balance them. Shoes may harmonize the figures, too, helping anyone feel more self-confident while donning a sweater dress.
• Stiletto and thigh-high boots flawlessly slenderize the silhouette when worn either without stockings or with tights coordinated to the sweater dress, and could flatter both petite and taller women.
• Sneakers are quite versatile to wear with sweater dresses, too, but we recommend opting for high-top sneakers only if you feel comfortable with your height, as they tend to downplay the figure.
• Flats, on the other hand, are suitable for everyone, we just suggest opting for knee-length or mini sweater dresses if you feel too petite and would like to elongate your figure while at the same time wearing a comfy pair of ballerinas.
Style-wise, with sweater dresses being so incredibly cute and bon-ton, we could easily affirm that combining them with the best items according to various occasions is not that hard, either. One single sweater dress can, in fact, instantly transition from day to night depending on the pair of shoes and/ or a few accessories. Just make sure to stick with these three golden rules when styling your sweater dress:
• Combine your sweater dress with a pair of chunky ankle boots if you have to follow a casual-chic dress code that is appropriate from day to night.
• Opt for a pair of sneakers if your sweater dress is light-colored, and you need something to feel comfortable and cute on a daily basis.
• If it is springtime or you live in a place where winters are not that cold, combine your sweater dress with a pair of killer gladiator sandals for a party or a night out with friends.
Sweater Dresses and Accessories
Sweater dresses are synonymous with playing around with accessories, and who doesn’t love to play with necklaces, fancy belts, shoes, and purses? While the latter are those kinds of accessories that automatically pop into our heads whenever we are thinking about styling our outfits with anything fancy, there’s more to play with when it comes to sweater dresses.
• One of the accessories that people underestimate the most is the scarf, which in this specific case is not only perfect to keep us warm during wintertime, but also to make our figure stand out from the crowd especially when we are wearing a ton-sur-ton sweater dress outfit.
We highly recommend investing in a warm scoop-neck, light-toned (or black) sweater dress and pairing it with a long, solid-colored scarf, either in bright red or yellow, as it will simultaneously accentuate your body shape, skin tone, and great personal style.
• Another key element when donning a sweater dress is the stocking. Pairing your sweater dresses predominantly with black tights (these are all-time classics), lace stockings (these are perfect for sensually naïve looks), or bare legs always leads to the best results. The latter is a must-do if your sweater dress outfit consists of high boots, a thin belt cinched at the waist and a small purse, as bare legs light up the outfit and the figure at the same time.
• Leggings also look quite good with sweater dresses (although we suggest avoiding both denim and colored leggings, since they often look tacky when paired with a sweater dress), as they leave a lot of room to play with accessories, too.
Extra Tips to Consider When Styling A Sweater Dress
When it comes to skilfully creating successful outfits with sweater dresses, following these three essential tips will make your task a cakewalk:
• Choose chunky and heavy-knit sweater dresses for winter, while lightweight cotton and linen options are perfect for the warmer weather.
• If you decide to pick longer sweater dresses, play with slits or figure-enhancing silhouettes to make your outfit look interesting and avoid boring looks. Adding a belt to a longer sweater dress will also create a more attractive silhouette.
• Consider smart layering – this is where you can show off your creativity and styling skills! You can wear your loose or oversized sweater dress over slip dresses or lace-hem designs to create sensual and romantic looks, while throwing a biker jacket over your sweater dress will add that covetable subtle rocker vibe to your otherwise toned down outfit. If you pick a super-short sweater dress, wearing it over a pair of skinny jeans is a fantastic idea.
9 Best Sweater Dresses to Buy for Winter 2018
Last but not least, if you feel it is about time to add a sweater dress to your wardrobe, here’s our selection of the best sweater dresses for winter 2018!
1. The Perfect Effortless Sweater Dress
Cute with both sneakers and thigh-high boots, Lovers + Friends’ sweater dress is warm, cozy, and stylish, meaning that it is just the perfect option for the upcoming long and cold winter days. You can get it at Revolve!
2. Meant To Be Pink Sweater Dress
Free People always provides us with the newest and trendiest style inspiration, so it is no surprise one of the fanciest sweater dresses for winter 2018 comes specifically from the boho-chic e-shop par excellence. Embellished with dramatic sleeves and a funnel neck, it won’t let you walk unnoticed down the streets, for sure!
3. The Bodycon Sweater Dress
Available at Revolve, this ultra-elegant Tularosa sweater dress is everything you have been looking for this winter, as it will complement any silhouette while at the same time transitioning from day to night effortlessly. You’ll just need to combine it either with a pair of ankle boots/ sneakers or thigh-high boots!
4. Maxi Sweater Dress for Winter
For a more casual, hygge-approved sweater dress style, head over to Nasty Gal, as this knitted maxi dress with striped patterns is utterly cute and cozy at the same time! One of the best sweater dresses to get for fall and winter 2018, this one looks ultra-cute with a pair of Converse sneakers.
5. Slouchy Sweater Dress
Turtleneck sweaters are all-time winter favorits, and so are turtleneck sweater dresses! Available at Revolve, this light blue rib knit sweater dress is infused with a casual appeal and sensual touch, and is perfect to wear with thigh-high boots. If you are looking for something lightly sultry for the everyday life, this slouchy mini sweater dress is the way to go!
6. The Elegant Long Sweater Dress
Who doesn’t love a warm cashmere sweater for wintertime? If sweater dresses have (and will) always been your thing, we suggest investing in this soft and high-quality sweater dress, as it is the epitome of comfortable clothing. Get yours at Shopbop!
7. The Coolest Sweatshirt Dress
Who says sweater dresses are boring? Spice up your look with this ironic Instagram-approved Baja East sporty-chic sweatshirt dress, the soft material of which will give you something to add to both your winter and spring wardrobes (or, alternatively, something your Frenchie lover BFF will surely appreciate as a gift!). You can find it at Revolve!
8. The Timeless Sweater Dress
100% wool (which is good news indeed, given the fact that winter is coming), Madewell’s sweater dress for fall 2018 is available at Shopbop, and is meant to be for all those girls who cannot help investing in bon-ton, Parisian-inspired ensembles.
9. The Coziest Turtleneck Sweater Dress
If there’s one trend which perfectly goes hand in hand with the sweater dress look, that’s the “mustard” yellow color. Combine these two huge winter 2017-18 trends together picking this mustard sweater dress by Free People, which is available at Revolve, too!
Photos via @fashionedchicstyling, @wantgetrepeat, @thriftsandthreads, @jourdansloane, @janicejoostemaa, @kenzas