Style Advice Q & A

Can A Long Sweater Go Over A Dress?

Hi Deborah,

I have many long cardigans, and I’m wondering if it is o.k. to wear them over dresses. What do you think?  Liz

Hi Liz,

This is such a great question. Yes, you can wear a long cardigan over a dress. It’s a fabulous way to give your dress a whole new look. I find a sheath dress, fit and flare dress and wrap dresses work best with a long cardigan. (A shift dress or trapeze dress has a looser cut and can make you look really wide and boxy if you wear it with a long cardigan.)

Take a look at the outfit I am wearing above. This is a classic shirt style wrap dress in a leopard print that I’ve had in my wardrobe for a long time. I was looking to refresh things and added this chic black cardigan and a suede belt.

Black suede boots and my favorite velvet Gucci bag polish off the look. The cardigan makes it look like a whole new dress!


Long cardigans over dresses are also practical too. I have many readers emailing me about what to wear over sleeveless dresses because a) their arms get cold at work in the winter b) they prefer to cover up their arms. A long sweater solves both these problems.


Long Sweater with Dress Black

There are many lovely boyfriend cardigans that work really well with a nice dress.  I like the cashmere ones because they’re light, thin, and don’t overpower your dress.

Plus, they’re super soft, warm, and very luxurious looking. Cashmere gives you that easy, elegant look. These long cashmere sweaters I’m showing work really well with dresses.


Long Sweater with Dress - Striped

The other great thing about wearing a long sweater over a dress is that if you wear a solid dark dress under your lighter colored long sweater, and you wear the sweater open, you will create a long thin dark column of color down your front that will make you look taller and slimmer. This styling trick is called the Column of Color and is very popular with stylish women and celebrities.

So go ahead, Liz, wear that long sweater and let me know how it goes!

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5 thoughts on “Can A Long Sweater Go Over A Dress?

  1. 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.

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