Raise your hand if you love a great sweater dress. I probably sound like a broken record talking about my affinity for fall outfits, but there’s just something special about the time of year when you can wear cozy clothes and still look chic!
Every autumn, I browse shops for new sweater dresses in versatile styles that will dress up with thigh-high boots, dress down with sneakers, and layer well under a wool coat later in the year.
Keep reading for 4 styling tips and 7 outfit ideas for sweater dresses, along with some of my favorite sweater dress styles right now.
Sweater Dress Styling Tips
Tip 1: Choose the Fit Carefully
Some sweater dresses are loose, which can hide your waist and create a frumpy look. The chunkier the knit, the more likely a belt will help elevate the outfit. Cinch your knit dress with a belt if you feel you’re losing your shape. Also, keep in mind that the neckline can be limiting. For example, cowl neck and turtleneck styles don’t lend themselves to scarves as well as boatneck, mock neck, and v-neck styles.
Tip 2: Check the Fabric Content
Sweater dresses made from natural fibers like cashmere, wool, and cotton are best. If you want a sweater dress to be with you longer than a season, stay away from synthetic fibers like polyester and rayon. Recycled wool and cashmere blends tend to be less itchy.
Tip 3: Consider Length
Proportion and silhouette are vital to a flattering look. Look at yourself in thirds: you either want one-third on top and two-thirds at the bottom or two-thirds on top and one-third at the bottom. Examples of this include a mini dress with over-the-knee boots and a midi dress with suede booties. Try different shoe styles and layers until the proportions feel balanced to you.
Tip 4: Think Seasonally
Short sleeve dresses, shoulder sweater dresses, and sweater shift dresses can be warmed up with cardigans, moto jackets, and oversized sweaters through late fall, but once the weather gets particularly cold, long sleeve sweater dresses and maxi dresses are the way to go. Of course, there’s always the option of layering leggings or black tights under a shorter dress, but I find it hard to pull this look off.
7 Sweater Dress Outfit Ideas
1. Layer It
Even cozy cashmere sweaters need an extra layer for ultra cold days. A long sleeve sweater dress paired with a streamlined camel coat (or blazer) and ankle booties works perfectly for the office.
2. With Over-the-Knee Boots
The dress I’m wearing in these pictures is the Everlane black sweater dress (it’s a best seller from my fall capsule wardrobe), and I can tell it’s going to be a new favorite. I love long sleeve knit dress styles because they balance two things that are hard to tie together: coziness and elegance. I paired this relaxed cashmere turtleneck sweater dress with over-the-knee suede boots as I felt it was most flattering with the length.
3. With Knee-High Boots
Balance out a classy slitted knit or a shorter style with knee-high boots so that you’re not showing too much skin. My current favorite sweater dresses to pair with knee-high boots include this Tularosa dress, this Song of Style dress, and this Lovers + Friends dress.
4. With Sneakers
Cozy sweater dresses come in all shapes and styles (some even have hoodies), but most can be worn with sneakers. I think knee-length and midi sweater dresses, like this one from Nordstrom, are best for casual sweater dress looks. My favorite sneakers are by Vince, Golden Goose, and Veja.
5. Add Dark Accessories
Black ankle boots and combat boots can bring a clean, streamlined look to brighter colored sweater dresses for fall. I also like the clean contrast of white sweater dresses styled with black accessories, like a black leather jacket.
6. Mix Autumnal Tones
There’s no better time to bring out your accessories that scream fall, like evergreen, burgundy, and red. Pair a neutral sweater dress (camel, ivory, black) with a pop of color or an animal print pattern for interest.
7. Go Monochrome
Pick a single color palette from head to toe for an easy and chic sweater dress outfit. I love creamy neutrals and earth tones: an ivory sweater dress with camel knee-high boots and a wool overcoat. All-black and mixed grey sweater dress outfits look gorgeous as well. Pair black leather boots (tall boots or ankle boots) with a long sleeve dress in grey for an edgy vibe.
Sweater Dresses for Fall
1 Turtleneck Sweater Dress, 2 Wrap Dress, 3 Cowl Neck Sweater Dress, 4 Mini Sweater Dress, 5 Balloon Sleeve Sweater Dress, 6 Mock Neck Sweater Dress, 7 Midi Sweater Dress, 8 Bodycon Sweater Dress , 9 Cable Knit Sweater Dress
Thank you for reading, and let me know if you have any sweater dress styling questions in the comments. For more fall outfit ideas, make sure you’re following along on Instagram, in the free LIKEtoKNOW.it shopping app, in my Amazon shop, and on Pinterest (fall fashion board here). xo!
More fall and winter fashion posts:
- Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2020
- The Best Trench Coats for Women
- Party Dresses for a Winter Wedding
- How to Style An All-White Winter Outfit