How To Wear A Sweater Dress

How To Wear A Sweater Dress
Carly Jacobs

I only just recently discovered the joys of the jumper/sweater dress. Actually before I continue I need to clarify that I use the word ‘jumper’ like American’s use the word ‘sweater’. A jumper in America is overalls but as a dress. In Australia a jumper is like a sweater. Usually made out of sweat shirt style material and worn as a school uniform or to the gym. I would usually say jumper dress but I’m saying sweater dress because Google is making me. A jumper dress is a whole different thing when you Google it and it seems that by popular demand, it is indeed called a sweater dress. So sweater dress it is. Sorry Australia, but you lose the language war on this one.

And speaking of sweater dresses, I’m straight up addicted to them. I haven’t owned one in a while but last year I stopped by Nique at the end of one of their sales and picked up the sweater dress of my dreams for $90. It’s 100% cotton and dark blue and perfectly baggy. It hasn’t made it on to the blog because it promptly became my favourite comfy at home dress and now I feel weird wearing it as a regular dress. It was money well spent though, I literally wear it every night. With men’s long johns in winter and just on it’s own when it gets a bit warmer.

Since I unwittingly wasted an amazing dress on a house outfit (don’t you hate that?), I’ve been on the search for a sweater dress I can wear in public ever since. I had a rare morning last week where I didn’t have anything particularly pressing happening, so on the way back from the gym I stopped buy Fitzroy Emporium to have a look at their stuff. It’s a tiny little store on Smith Street in Fitzroy that sells a mix of vintage and indie designer clothes. I tried this on and bought it immediately. I was a touch worried about the colour. I thought it was a little more mushroomy than I’d like but I’ve received lovely compliments every time I’ve worn it so that’s good enough for me! Plus it gives me serious booty. As someone who suffers from flat butt syndrome, the combination of this dress plus an eight week fitness challenge at my gym has done wonders for my usually pancakey derrière. Could I crush walnuts with these butt cheeks? We’ll never know (because I won’t try) but let’s pretend I can.

sweater dress


Sweater dress from Fitzroy Emporium by Lentendre

Birkenstock Amsterdams

Dinosaur Designs bangles

Randolph Engineering sunglasses

Coin necklace from Poppy Smaggle

Tips for wearing a sweater dress…

Make sure it’s flattering 

Not all sweater dresses are created equal. Some are fitted and a bit more flattering and some are soft and slouchy which might not add much to your shape. My advice? Shop around and see what’s on offer and never settle. A well fitting sweater dress will be one of the best additions to your wardrobe. An unflattering one will never see the light of day. Having said that, don’t discount a soft and slouchy sweater dress. My favourite dark blue one is soft and slouchy but it’s also super flattering. Go figure.

Dress it down 

I’ve tried to go glam on a sweater dress but it just doesn’t work for me. I always wear flat or casual shoes and down played accessories with my sweater dresses. There’s a time and place for sparkle and when I’m wearing sweat shirt material, that just doesn’t fly with me. Although I do feel as though Kim Kardashian could pull if off. Am I correct in that assumption? I don’t know her that well but that seems like it would be a thing. Note to self: know more about the Kardashians. They are very topical.

Keep your lower half stream lined 

Sweater dresses can add a bit of bulk to the top half of your body and if you’re like me (built like a brick shit house) you don’t need to add volume anywhere else. I go with tights in winter, with boots or bare legged in warmer weather. I wouldn’t add your favourite boyfriend jeans or flowy pants under them. That’s just too much comfort for one outfit to handle.

sweater dress

Add a belt 

If your sweater dress just isn’t giving you the love you want, pop a belt over it to give you some shape. It’s a sneaky little trick that works a treat. I love an obi belt but thin belts can look super gorgeous and so can vintage style woven belts.

Wear it with a long necklace 

Sweater dresses create a big solid block of colour on your body that needs breaking up. A long necklace or scarf will do the trick to make the solid block of colour look less bulky.

This dress was worn for a date with an old and dear friend and her little bubbas. I’m in Canberra for Daddy Smaggle’s 60th birthday this weekend. It’s also my birthday too (we’re born on the same day) so I just couldn’t miss it. Mr Smaggle has been away this week in Milan for business (I know right? Lucky bastard) so I’ve been flying solo for a while. I’m a bit of an extrovert so I’ve been going a little stir crazy this week with no one around to talk to. I looked forward to the gym every morning this week just so I could hang out with people. Speaking of the gym, I did an 8 week challenge at my local F45. It’s a little competition thing where they do a fancy body scan at the beginning and end and track your results. I had my final scan a week ago and guess what? I won! I’m so stoked. I don’t actually know how I won, I think it’s a combination of effort and results but I get a month’s free membership. I’m quite stoked about it actually, I don’t think I’ve ever won a fitness thing ever. Yay me!

I’m going to have a very relaxing day hanging with my family today and celebrating with Daddy Smags tonight.

What are you up to this weekend?

Are you a sweater dress wearer? Or is it not really your style?

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  1. Kelly 11 months ago

    Happy birthday to you and Daddy Smaggle. And well done on your win! Very exciting!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 11 months ago

      Thank you! I’m so excited, I’ve never won a fitness thing before!

  2. Jodie Smith 11 months ago

    Happy birthday! Well done on the gym challenge and this dress is just lovely. I don’t comment often, but I always read your words. I always smile and am so happy when a smaggle post is in my blogreader feed… I guess that makes smaggle my favourite blog? Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 11 months ago

      That is just the nicest thing to say! Thank you so much! xxx

  3. Missy D 11 months ago

    Happy birthday! And yay, congrates on the win. 🙂

    Is that a dexa scan that you got done? I’ve always wanted to get one, but I’m scared of the results. 😉

    Love the dress too. I used to have a jumper (‘straya) dress when I was thinner, but I find they’re often high in the neck which doesn’t suit me with my boob size, so I don’t wear them much anymore. If I could find a nice v-neck one I probably would go back to it.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 11 months ago

      It might have been a dexa scan I’m not sure, I don’t think the scan was that useful to be honest. The people who did them didn’t seem to know what they were doing. The collar on this dress is quite wide which is why it suits me. I don’t have boob but I have broad shoulders so I know what you mean about high necked stuff not looking right on you.

  4. Lizzie Fourman 11 months ago

    Thank you for the advice! I have never been able to wear dresses properly because of the way my body is shaped. I have odd proportions, to say the least. (I’d laugh but it’s not funny.) I love to wear tights, though, so this will give me the chance to wear them.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 11 months ago

      I’m hugely into tights – wouldn’t last through winter without them!

  5. Nadine Chan 11 months ago

    Hi Carly, just wanted to say congrats on the win and wow I couldn’t have imagined a windcheater dress looking good, but….. it looks totally fabulous!! Somehow I’m thinking it’s because your hair is totally on point, & how is it the bottom 1/2 is snug & the top 1/2 is chic’ly (chic’ly? what the? – ) slouchy.
    You’re the bomb. Xx Nadine

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