Fashion Question: Can This Long Sweater Go Over A Dress?

Dear Deb,

I have sent you two photos and need your help. I feel this dress is age appropriate.  It is not black.  It is not baggy.  It is the right length.

  1.  Do you think that I have “overdone” the cream with the hose and shoes? I am only 5’2’’.  So I try to follow rules for petites.  Unfortunately, the dress doesn’t really have a sleeve to it.  So I wore it with the wrap and I think that looks nice.
  2. I also have this rust colored sweater.  What do you think?  Can I wear it over the dress?

I am enjoying your website and I have told lots of other women about it!  Thank you.   ~Dianna

Dear Dianna,

This is a great dress and it fits you’re lovely figure well.  While the sheer wrap on the left does technically match the dress, what has happened is that you have started mixing up styles and this is why you’re feeling like there might be something going wrong here!

This dress is very classic and needs to have a classic wrap with it.

The sheer wrap on the left is just too romantic looking for your tailored dress and the red sweater on the right is too heavy and casual.  It is meant to be worn with jeans and some boots.  Also, the cream sheer hose: while the “rules” say that they elongate your leg, right now, cream hose are out of style.  You would look more updated if you wore a nude hose and nude shoe.  Actually,the style of your shoe is nice and would look fine with nude hose.
One more thing: the necklace you have put with this is a little too frilly as well.  You don’t really need a necklace at all but some simple pearls would be fine.  Here are few ideas that we think would step this outfit up to the next level:
This simple white sweater would be perfect worn open. It is from Talbots and comes in a variety of colors.  Or you could go more dramatic and opt for a black jacket like this one from Dillards. However you would need a black pump and nude hose to pull the outfit together.

Ladies do you have any ideas or suggestions for Dianna?  Please comment below:



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  1. Wanda Jollymore says:

    Actually, I don;t see a lot wrong with the first picture. I would wear either nude hose or the cream. To be really truthful, I would probably wear a bare leg. :) Nude hose can be tricky – you need to find a shade that is very close to your skin tone and that usually does not happen with hose from the drug store or supermarket racks. I prefer a wrap over a cardigan. To me a plain cardigan adds little to an outfit. For instance, while the entire world seemed to love the outfit that Michelle Obama wore to meet the Queen, I was horrified that someone would wear something so casual and that appeared to have so little thought attached to it to such an auspicious occasion. It looked more like something one would wear to a Parent Teacher meeting than to meet the Queen.And that is what Ithink cardigans do to most outfits – dress them down.

  2. Barbara Pennington says:

    I would wear a bright colored shrug with some kind of long necklace.

  3. Attending an evening wedding in Manhattan in May. Finally decided on basic black dress with embellishment on the belt. I will find a great pair of black evening shoes, but should I wear sheer black hosiery or none at all? Although I am 51 my legs are in very good shape. I had a hard time dressing for this occasion. Everything I tried on felt like I shouldn’t be wearing it at my age even though I am petite and in good shape.

  4. I like the color of the shawl but would prefer a proper jacket/sweater with sleeves.

    Here in the DC area where we’re known for out-of-style white stockings I wouldn’t consider those stockings entirely out of the question. They’re fairly sheer. I don’t know if the ones with the red sweater are the same or different but I like the way they look. Nude stockings on young girls with smooth long legs are great, but sometimes our legs have blemishes etc… and a bit of color smooths that out.

  5. I have a similar sheath dress in light gray that I style with a fuschia 3/4 sleeve sweater jacket. The jacket hits at high hip, so it doesn’t overwhelm the dress. In warmer seasons, I wear the dress with a light weight, hip length cardigan in bright aqua, yellow, or pink (i love cardigans). I have also worn the dress with a long sleeve blouse under it, giving it the look of a different dress.

  6. Definitely like picture one. No to the rust sweater. Ja, the cream hose & shoes might be a bit much & am not sure what color to tell you to get instead. :)