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 sweatshirt 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 a few years ago 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, summer or winter. With men’s long johns in winter and just on its 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 a year ago 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

Wearing

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 downplayed accessories with my sweater dresses. There’s a time and place for sparkle and when I’m wearing sweatshirt material, that just doesn’t fly with me. Although I do feel as though Kim Kardashian could pull it 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 streamlined 

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.

UPDATE: I published this post over a year ago and I thought it would be interesting to republish it with an added photo of me wearing this dress at 6 months pregnant. I’ve been LIVING in this dress, it’s so comfy and just keeps on stretching to accommodate bub. I really can’t recommend this brand highly enough, this dress was one of my favourite purchases of last year.

sweater dress

Wearing 

Sweater dress from Fitzroy Emporium by Lentendre

Randolph Engineering sunglasses

Coin necklace from Poppy Smaggle

Clogs from Funkis 

Headscarf from Witchery 

 

This outfit was worn for a bananas day full of filming, designing, writing and meetings with clients. This year has been so typical – super quiet and chilled all year and then suddenly September hits and everyone wants a piece of me. Why doesn’t anyone want anything from me in March? March is always so dead and I have so much time. October is panic month it’s like ‘Whoa! All the shit I was supposed to get done this year needs doing now!’. I swear I do 90% of my years work between September and December every year. It’s madness. Does that happen to you too?

sweater dress

What are you up to this weekend? I’m planning on seeing friends, soaking up the sunshine, crocheting and doing a few bits and pieces of work.

Here are some other style posts you might like –

Pregnancy Style: 5 Things I Can No Longer Wear

What To Wear To School 

What To Wear On a Delicious Windy Day 

Pregnancy Style: Second Trimester Fashion Tips

I Bought The Same Dress in Three Different Colours Because I’m a God Damn Genius

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

P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff.
P.P.S Don’t forget Crochet Coach has a free trial offer period at the moment so make sure you sign up!

10 Comments

  1. Kelly 1 year ago

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

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 1 year ago

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

  2. Jodie Smith 1 year 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 1 year ago

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

  3. Missy D 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago

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

  5. Nadine Chan 1 year 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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