I have a love-hate relationship with sweater dresses. On one hand, they stretch which makes them so comfortable to wear. On the other hand, they can cling to every curve, which you don’t want when you have post-dessert-belly-bloat. So what’s a chocolate-cake-loving gal to do? Find the right sweater dress for your body type and know how to accessorize it. Details below…
Sweater Dress Styles
There are a few trends that I’m seeing online and in-stores this year. Obviously, the best way to figure out which style works for your body is to try several of them on, but if you’re shopping online or just aren’t sure what to look for, here are a few tips for finding a good style for your body type…
Fitted Top With Pleated Skirt (Fit-And-Flare Style)
I’m wearing the Metallic Stripe Sweater Dress from Banana Republic. The fitted top and slightly flared skirt works best for slim, slightly curvy, or pear-shaped figures.
If you have a larger bust, the stripes may look “over-stretched” so consider sizing up, or trying a different style. Ann Taylor’s Shimmer Pleated Sweater Dress has a solid top so it won’t accentuate a snug fit around your chest, the way a vertical stripe would.
Adelyn Rae’s Kier Pointielle Sweater Dress in periwinkle is fresh and bright for spring.
Wear your fit-and-flare dresses with a blazer when it’s cooler outside or you want a professional look.
For a softer look, add a cardigan.
My cardigan is an older version of Ann Taylor’s Jeweled Neck Ann Cardigan. You could also try an open front cardigan.
Blouson Top With A Fitted Skirt
If you are apple-shaped, or just want a looser fit on top, take a look at Baily 44’s Karina Blouson Long-Sleeved Sweater Dress.
Gal Meets Glam’s Tiffany Long Sleeve Sweater Dress also has a looser top.
If you have toned legs that you want to show off, wear a blouson style dress with sneakers, flats or booties. Add simple jewelry to finish your look.
If your arms don’t look like Lupita N’yongo’s, then consider a puff-sleeved or balloon-sleeved style.
Banana Republic’s Puff-Sleeved Sweater Dress has a fitted ribbed body so expect it to cling to your curves.
If you want a more relaxed fit, try the 1901 Varsity Stripe Sweater Dress.
Buttons are a nice detail on a cardigan-style dress. Wear this on its own or belted.
Banana Republic’s Ribbed Button-Down Dress comes in black or creamy white.
Ann Taylor has a Contrast Trim Long Cardigan that can also be worn as a dress.
Why You Must Buy The Right Size
A sweater dress is difficult to alter (unlike a fabric dress which you can cut and sew), so make sure you buy the right style and size. Finding the right size seems obvious, right? Well sometimes, we cling to the size number that we’re used to, and in the case of a stretch dress, you may need to size up to avoid a second-skin look. Take a look at yourself in the dress from all angles, to make sure no particular area is overstretched or or too loose.