Trend Alert: The Sweater Dress

What: The sweater dress as a wardrobe building option for fall.

What the experts say: This, from the New York Times: “The sweater dress, no longer a boring basic straight out of your mother’s college yearbook, is swiftly racking up votes for the retail world’s Homecoming Queen.”

What I say: They’re adorable in photos and on the mannequins, but actually wearing a sweater dress is a whole other ball game. I guess that’s why God invented Spanx and the like, so if you don’t mind being squeezed in, or if you just happen to be naturally svelte and bulge-free, go ahead and give it a shot. Keep it modern by picking a dress with current details like a shirred neckline, a belt, or short sleeves. And with the season’s fab shoe offerings – sleek pumps, sexy boots, and sassy flats – you’ll have lots of options for work and play. Ready to buy? Try this versatile cowl-neck option from Banana Republic, for $98. And if you’re looking for something even more budget, click here for a kimono-sleeved version at Target, $27.99.

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  1. Lynn says

    Thanks, Kathryn, for finally calling attention to the fact that while sweater dresses look fabulous on paper, I don’t know a single woman that they flatter.

  2. Rachel says

    If only spanx would make you as smooth and flat as the models or the manequins. I guess they’ll have to work though if this is what you want to get.

  3. christal says

    This dress here is fine but please don’t bring back the heavy and thick ones from the 80’s.  Someone will pass out from the heat.

  4. Sweater Girl says

    Um, no. Heck to the nay on sweater dresses. They always look bad. Watch for deep discounts by Thanksgiving on all the weird thick sweater things they’re trying to foist on us. Normal people + thick knits = dummmmmppppyyyy!

  5. laura says

    I completely agree that looking at them in the store and wearing one are two different things.  Its a balance involved, looking chic and just looking unkempt. If I found the perfect one (with the right undergarments to match), I’d totally rock it with a pair of knee high boots.

  6. Mia says

    After seeing the adorable sweater dress from Target linked to this post, I ran right out and got it.  And I hate to say it, but while it looked terrific in the picture online, once I got it home and tried it on (I bought the black one, not the yellow) I was thoroughly dissappointed.  Even though the fit was OK (I ordered one size up, just to be safe) I still looked like I was wearing an oversized sack (despite the belt).  I don’t know; maybe with the cowl neck PLUS the kimono sleeves, the dress had just to much “volume” for me.  Anyhow, buyers beware: try before you buy.

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