It’s that time of the year again. Some people love it, some people hate it. No matter where you stand with the weather and seasons, if you are reading this article, you are interested in how to look cute when it starts to get colder and that’s why today I want to share with you how to wear a sweater dress. This is a closet staple for this time of the year.
If you have read my previous blog posts, you’ve noticed that I started sharing an ‘outfit formula’ to help you create any of the looks I share in here with similar pieces you already own. My intention with these posts is to inspire you to dress better, so you can feel better about yourself. I know it sounds shallow, but when you feel confident, nothing can stop you! You can read more about these outfit formulas in this post.
I also want you to maximize what you have in your closet and think about it twice when you need to go shopping. Don’t just buy stuff for the sake of having stuff. Shop smart! Think about it twice. It’s your hard earned money you are spending and I assure you will be happier with less things.
Let’s learn why you should learn how to wear a sweater dress!
In a hurry? Go straight to what you are looking for :)
- Why shop smarter and maximize your closet?
- Why invest in a sweater dress?
- How many sweater dresses do you need?
- Why is it important to learn how to wear a sweater dress (or any piece)?
- For which seasons can you wear a sweater dress?
- How to wear a sweater dress for different occasions and styled with 4 key pieces
- Bonus looks
- Final thoughts
- Related style posts you may also like
Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
Why shop smarter and learn to maximize every piece in your closet? My story.
I cut down on shopping a couple of years ago because we started saving money for a 2-year trip around the world. I was spending $400-$500 a month buying random stuff here and there that I would only wear once and forget about it later. My closets were packed with stuff I didn’t even know about and I somehow always ended up wearing the same things over and over again…. I’ve saved so much money by shopping smarter! Money I now spend on things that actually matter to me, like traveling ;). (2021 update: we sold everything we owned and started living in Airbnb’s full time!)
I know it’s my job to talk about outfits and brands, and share promo codes, but I don’t expect that every time I post something you will go out and buy it. That’s why I always say, IF YOU NEED to shop for something here’s a promo code or here’s this website I think has great stuff. I always try to make my posts useful and honestly I want you to try to recreate these looks with things you already have and add your own special touch. That’s why I provide different ways to style basic pieces.
Why invest in a sweater dress?
First of all, it doesn’t have to be a huge investment. This is a key piece because you can wear it all year round (even during certain Summer days if the dress is thin enough and you live in a city with crazy weather like Chicago). Right now I’m in Florida and I would never wear a sweater dress here during the Summer LOL. If you live here then you know.
I think you should have a sweater dress because you can style it in many different ways and that’s what I’m all about. It’s a timeless piece that never goes out of style, especially if you get a neutral, simple style of sweater dress. If you buy a high quality one and take good care of it you can have it in your closet for many many years.
How many do you need?
I have a sweater dress as a part of my Fall capsule wardrobe and I’m thinking if I should include a second one (a warmer version) for my Winter capsule wardrobe. I think you can have one or two if you live in a four-season city, but if you live in South Florida for example, then you only need one.
My advice? Well, if you live up north get 2 different ones but make sure they are very different from each other. Take a look at the fabric, the color and even the length. Make them different from each other but keep them classic. And if you live south and it doesn’t really get super cold, then you only need one and make sure the fabric is lightweight. If it gets too cold you can always layer it.
Why is it important to learn how to wear a sweater dress? (or any piece)
As I’ve said many times before, I want you to find your own style and learn how to create outfits on your own. This blog is just here to inspire. That’s why I am a little vague with the outfit formulas I mention so often. Yes, there are pieces that I mention that are very specific, like in my Summer Capsule Wardrobe blog post and that’s because I also want to help you shop smarter and invest in the right pieces.
Pay attention to the looks below because I also provide other pieces you can consider to create similar looks. I have written a lot about outfit formulas, but here’s basically what you need to do to recreate them:
- Take out all the pieces from the outfit formula and put them on separate piles.
- Mix & match what works together
- Try things on and take photos. This way you will have outfits for later
I know it’s kind of annoying to take out a lot of things out of your closet, but if you see everything, you will be able to visualize the whole picture a lot better. If you want to read about having a minimalist wardrobe and cleaning out your closet, check out this post. If you want to read a post where I explain a lot better about the outfit formulas, then read this one.
Once you master how to follow these outfit formulas you will be able to create any looks and add your own personal touch and style. Imagine if you could dress easily every morning and never say ‘I have nothing to wear’ ever again!
For which seasons can you wear a sweater dress?
This one depends on the style of sweater dress and where you live. In Chicago for example, I wear the beige sweater dress you are about to see all year round, because we do have some cold Summer nights. I try to avoid it obviously because during Summer I try to stay away from sweaters and pieces like that, but sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate you know?
If you live somewhere warm, then you would probably wear it 5-6 times a year. That’s exactly why I recommend only having one sweater dress if that’s your case. Think about where you live and realistically calculate how many times in a year you would wear a certain piece.
I included a sweater dress as a part of my capsule wardrobe for Fall blog post – Make sure to check it out to see which 25 pieces I think are needed, plus some fall outfit ideas too.
How to wear a sweater dress – 4 looks for different occasions
I want to teach you how to wear your sweater dresses for different occasions and also give you style tips for each look. Remember to follow the outfit formulas below and simply use whatever you have in your closet.
Here are some sweater dress options I found in case you are looking for one (all below $100). If not, move along and try to copy any of these looks with any sweater dress you already own!
Ready? Let’s do this!
How to wear a sweater dress for the office with a long cardi
Not all sweater dresses are made for the office. Of course this will depend on what kind of job you have and what are the dress codes in your work place. However, in most cases a sweater dress is perfectly appropriate for your workplace.
As a general rule this is how the outfit formular would look like:
Style tips and other pieces to consider:
- Instead of a long cardigan, use a blazer, jacket or long vest.
- Instead of Spanx Leggings, use tights or nothing at all if the dress is long enough.
- Instead of booties, wear heels, flats or OTK boots.
Keep in mind that in order for it to be appropriate for the office (and again this depends on your work environment), the sweater dress shouldn’t be to tight and if it is then add an extra layer like I did here with the long cardigan. Depending on the length of the dress you may have to add tights or leggings, and make sure to pair it with comfortable shoes too.
Also, don’t forget about the accessories. Depending on which style of sweater dress you have, you can add a belt, necklace, rings, or even a hat!
Also read: How to wear a long cardigan
How to wear a sweater dress with leggings for date night
I bet you didn’t think this sweater dress would be sexy enough for date night, but it can be! I decided to use the same sweater dress to show you that you only need one, but if you have a more than one, you can pick a shorter or tighter one for date night and it will look even sexier. It’s very easy to style a sweater dress for date night! Also notice that I’m wearing my Spanx Leggings on 3 out of the 4 outfits. If you are interested in getting a pair, read this review first!
This is how the outfit formula would look like:
Style tips and other pieces to consider:
- You don’t have to wear leggings underneath, it just depends on how cold it is.
- Instead of sandals you can wear OTK boots if you have them (they are perfect for date night!)
- Don’t forget the accessories. Have fun with statement earrings, rings, necklaces or bracelets.
How to wear a sweater dress with sneakers – For casual weekends
This is my favorite way to style a sweater dress for sure because it’s the most versatile and comfortable way. I love getting dressed on the weekends. Probably because I work from home and I’m always wearing PJ’s, workout clothes or sweatpants LOL so the weekends are my time to shine. This outfit is super easy to recreate because I’m wearing very basic pieces.
The formula outfit would look like this:
Style tips and other pieces to consider:
- You don’t have to wear a jacket, but if it’s cold and you need an extra layer, consider a puffer vest, long vest or long cardigan.
- I love sneakers, but if that’s not your style you can also wear flats or even sandals if it’s warm enough.
- Have fun with the accessories! I decided to wear a hat, but you can also have fun with a cool handbag, belt, earrings or whatever you have.
- Remember you can always layer your sweater dresses with a long vest or even with a cute printed scarf.
Also read: 70+ outfits with a jean jacket for every season
How to wear a sweater dress with ankle boots – Great brunch outfit!
This look is perfect for brunch. It’s always so fun to dress up for brunch or to go out with your girlfriends. This is where you can have the most fun with and wear the things your partner doesn’t understand or appreciate how cute they are. You know what I’m saying?
The outfit formula would look like this:
Style tips and other pieces to consider:
- Instead of a moto jacket, consider a statement or printed one.
- You don’t have to wear tights or leggings underneath.
- Also consider a cool bag, belt or any other fun accessories. Just stick to one statement piece, otherwise it will look like too much.
- You could also add a faux fur vest or a cute printed scarf, or both!
Sweater dress outfit ideas – EXTRA LOOKS:
As always, I try to update these posts and include other times I wear my most styled pieces. I just want to show you that it is possible to have a classic style that’s also timeless. That’s why I invest in pieces that will rarely go out of style, versatile, that transition well into new seasons and if possible high quality, so you can keep them in your closet for a long long time if you take proper care of them.
I’ve had other sweater dresses over time too. I think I’ve always had one or two at a time though, but I do replace them when they have been around for a while (if I have to). Here are other sweater dresses I’ve had and how I’ve styled them over the past 6 years:
*notice that I’m also repeating the beige sweater dress styled above and even styling some of these in different ways.
Also read: how to style an oversized sweater
As you can see they have all been so different! But at the same time, classic and timeless. I like to play with prints and make sure that whenever I get a new version of a sweater dress they differ from each other in one way or another. That’s how I like it. I don’t feel like I have to have all of these sweater dresses available at once, that’s why every year or two I replace the one I have with a different option.
By having less of the same pieces (like just one sweater dress), you will find yourself wearing it more often, so by the time you decide to get a new one, it’s because the old one isn’t in great shape anymore and that’s ok. I think that’s how it should be. I gave away so many things I had in my closet when I downsized that I only wore once (or ever!). What a waste of money! I don’t want you to do the same.
As you can see there’s so much more you can do with your sweater dresses!! When choosing which type of sweater dress consider the fit, length and material if you are just going to have one. Make sure it fits just like you like it and pick a lighter fabric so you can wear it all year round because you can always add layers when it’s too cold. It will depend on your style and where you live, but even if you live somewhere warm you can choose a short sleeve sweater dress. Also, don’t forget that a printed sweater dress is also a good option here.
I hope this post helped you think outside the box and it inspired you to create new looks with old pieces you didn’t think you could wear. That’s what makes me the happiest! For you find your own style and that you learn to maximize everything in your closet.
Anyways… thanks so much for stopping by! If you have any favorite looks, let me know in the comments below. And if you have any questions or doubts, leave them in there too or send me a DM on Instagram. I’m always here to help and to clarify any doubts you may have.
I hope you have an amazing day ahead! Thanks again for stopping by my blog :)
Did you learn how to wear a sweater dress today? Please pin it :)
Want more classic style blog posts? Check these out next:
- Capsule wardrobe VS minimalistic wardrobe – Which one is for you?
- How to create a Summer capsule wardrobe
- How to build your own capsule wardrobe for Fall + Outfit Ideas
- How to style a black dress
- How to wear pajamas as daywear – Sharing 7 different looks with your PJ’s!
- Outfit ideas for Spring with one dress
- What to wear with leather leggings
- Interested in Spanx Leggings? – Read this Spanx Leggings Review before you buy! Learn from my mistakes.
- How to wear white sneakers all year round
- How to wear jumpsuits – Styling tips for first timers and outfit ideas
- Midi skirt outfits for every season
- 80+ outfit ideas for the office – Organized per season
- How to style a white blazer – 10 white blazer outfits to inspire you