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. 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 materials. Whether you are a sweater dress lover or are just willing to revive your early ‘00s self for one (or more) season, find our fashion tips and tricks on how to wear a sweater dress right!
The Trend of Knit Sweater Dresses: Contents
- 13 Best Sweater Dresses to Buy for 2021
- How to Wear Sweater Dresses According to Your Body Type
- Shoes to Wear with Sweater Dresses
- Sweater Dresses and Accessories
- Extra Tips to Consider When Styling A Sweater Dress
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 2021!
1. The Perfect Effortless Sweater Dress
Cute with both sneakers and thigh-high boots, BB Dakota’s sweater dress is warm, cozy, and stylish, meaning that it is just the perfect option for the upcoming long and cold winter days. With a draped fold-over turtleneck and in the perfect neutral color, this mini knit dress is thick to keep you warm and simple to look cool at any gathering. You can get it at Revolve!
2. Meant To Be Pink Sweater Dress
ASOS always provides us with the newest and trendiest style inspiration, so it is no surprise one of the fanciest sweater dresses for 2021 comes specifically from the streetwear retailer par excellence. Embellished with dramatic sleeves and a bauble detailing, it won’t let you walk unnoticed down the streets, for sure! Find it at ASOS!
3. The Eco Rib Sweater Dress
Available at Net-a-Porter, this ultra-elegant Reformation 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! It’s green in every sense, as it’s made from eco rib and comes in a rich emerald green color that shines through its minimalist design.
4. Maxi Sweater Dress for Winter
For a more casual, hygge-approved sweater dress style, head over to Revolve, as this knitted maxi dress by Song of Style is utterly cute and cozy at the same time! One of the best sweater dresses to get for fall and winter 2021, this one looks ultra-cute with a pair of Converse sneakers.
5. Slouchy Sweater Dress
Oversized sweaters are all-time winter favorits, and so are oversized sweater dresses! Available at Net-a-Porter, 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 Neutral Mini Sweater Dress
Who doesn’t love a warm wool sweater for wintertime? If sweater dresses have (and will) always been your thing, we suggest investing in this soft and high-quality Isabel Marant sweater dress, as it is the epitome of comfortable clothing. Get yours at My Theresa!
7. The Coolest Honey Bear Sweatshirt Dress
Who says sweater dresses are boring? Spice up your look with this ironic Instagram-approved teddy bear 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 Cheerful Sweater Dress
50% wool and 50% acrylic (which is good news indeed, given the fact that winter is coming), MSGM’s sweater dress for fall 2021 is available at Farfetch, and is meant to be for all those girls who cannot help investing in bon-ton, Parisian-inspired ensembles. The lovely ruffled details on the sleeves perfectly clash with the streamlined design, V-neck, and short length. We also love the pretty blue color!
9. The Elegant Turtleneck Sweater Dress
If there’s one trend which perfectly goes hand in hand with the sweater dress look, that’s the timeless ivory color. Combine these two huge trends together picking this elegant bodycon turtleneck ivory sweater dress by LPA, which is available at Revolve in an animal print, too!
10. The Club-Approved Sweater Dress
Although knit dresses are often associated with casual, everyday looks, there are spectacular designs you can confidently wear to the club, too. This Staud piece is the best sweater dress to wear to the coolest party, as every detail about it is meant to put a spotlight on you. Coming in a delicious mocha color, it features a pearl trim along the neckline, one shoulder, and a body-hugging stretch fit. Pick this one up at Forward!
11. The Coziest Bright Knit Dress
With long balloon sleeves, a mock neck, and a cozy mini length, this lime green sweater dress feels ultra-soft thanks to the chenille yarn used to create it. It can be dressed up with heels or down with a pair of flat booties, looking perfectly on point at any outing. Get it for yourself from Nordstrom!
12. ’70s Californian Sweater Dress
Meet the cutest, vintage-inspired sweater dress for 2021! Available in two color options at Revolve, this LPA checkered knit dress channels both Italian romance and Californian cool-girl vibes, depending on how you decide to style it. Pair it with kitten heels and a cute mini bag for a romantic lunch in your favorite European city, or give it a bit of edge wearing it with combat boots.
13. Baby Pink Sweater Dress
Can a girl have enough pink items in her closet? Hardly ever! What makes this pink sweater dress different from the rest is its “baby” coloring, and simplistic design, which you can easily elevate with a chic designer belt cinched at the waist. It’s streamlined, mini, soft, and warm. What else do you need from a perfect knit dress? Get this one from Revolve, too!
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 designer 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.
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 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.
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.
Photos via Instagram