How to Wear Sweater Dresses

A long cold winter makes you want to snuggle up in something comfy and cozy. A cute sweater dress  is a great way to do that and look Fab after 40.

how to wear a sweater dress with boots

What kind of sweater to wear with a dress

Why not get that knit dress out of the back of your closet, or if you don’t have one go out and try one on! Here’s some ideas for how to wear one.

Belt It

Sometimes a big chunky knit can be overpowering and make you look like a blob, so if you have a waist and want to show it off, try belting your knit dress with a medium to wide belt at the waist, or belt it on angle just below the waist. The chunkier the knit the more substantial the belt.

Put On Some Patterned Tights

Sheer hose make a knit dress look off kilter.  They’re too flimsy to work. What you need is  heavier hose to balance the look.  Try a plain colored, opaque tight in black or a dark shade. If you want  more of a  fun feel, then go ahead and choose a patterned tight.

There are so many styles of tights out there, from dotted to swirly to striped and brightly colored, it’s hard to know which one to choose, and the wrong one can make you look wacky. So, to get some tips on the basics of wearing patterned tights check out this detailed post I wrote.

Cowl Neck and V-Neck’s Flatter 

Turtlenecks are popular, but to look a little more youthful it’s a good idea to show some skin. Cowlneck knit dresses elongate your neck and are very elegant. A V-neck also opens up your chest area making you look taller, slimmer and fresh.

Add a Pair of Booties

A tall sturdy boot, like a riding boot or cowboy boot works best with knits , but you may not always such a heavy, everyday look.

On those days you want to lighten up, try a pair of feminine, ankle booties. Their short height gives them a more flirty, fun vibe. If they have a chunky or stacked heel, they will still really ground your sweater dress look.

Throw Over a Pair of Leggings

You may be shopping and come across a cute sweater dress but find it’s super short.  A leggy twenty-something could pop it on with opaque hose and platform heels and look quite darling, like she’s playing dress-up in her boyfriend’s big sweater.  But on a grown up gal, thigh high with heels looks silly.

So what do you do if you love it, but it’s too short?

Don’t toss it to the curb. Instead wear your sweater dress with leggings.

Choose stretchy knit leggings or even a pair of black leather leggings. The key here is that the leggings are really leggings. They have to be thick and opaque like pants, and not like a pair of semi-opaque leotards, otherwise it will just look like you lost your pants.

Style With Flat Boots and a Scarf

Knits like this striped sweater dress (above) are casual and sporty and look best with a similar type boot. That’s why flat boots work best. Choose a flat boot in leather or suede and make sure it has a chunky heel or a wedge heels. Fine boots with little skinny heels are just too delicate for an earthy knit.

Add a scarf and you have the perfect sweater dress outfit. This look works great if you have a casual lifestyle or if you want something easy to throw on come the weekend. How to wear a sweater dress to work? You can also wear a knit dress in a casual workplace, so long as the color is neutral and the knit refined..

One note, you will want to wear shapewear underneath to smooth out any bumps or lumps that many of us over 40 gals have! I like this cami dress slip from Cass and Co.

How to wear a sweater with a dress shirt

This shapewear from Cass and Co. works perfect under a knit dress to smooth you out!


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  1. Eleanor Sikking says:

    I have fallen in love with the chunky, beige dress in the photo on this article on Sweater Dresses.
    Can anybody tell me where I could buy this dress?

  2. I have yet to find shapewear that stays put where it should. Slips creep up. Shapewear meant to go up to the bra line never stays there. It either rolls down toward the waist or digs into me somewhere so that some bits pop out over the top somewhere. I stopped even looking at it long ago. If the dress doesn’t look good on ‘just me’, I don’t bring it home. Not worth the hassle.