How to Wear a Sweater Dress Over 50 and Look Fabulous!

Now that I’m over 50, and my lifestyle is more casual, I’m not wearing as many dresses as I used to. But when I do, I usually reach for a sweater dress. If you are sick of pants and want to wear a cute sweater dress but are unsure how to pull it off, I have some style tips. Here’s how to rock sweater dress at 50, 60, and beyond.

purple sweater dress and pendant

purple sweater dress and black booties

1. Start with Shapewear

It’s no surprise that 50+ bodies are naturally a little rounder and softer than they used to be. No matter how fit you are, you’re bound to have a  few lumps and bumps. This is why many gals our age shy away from sweater dresses. But, the reality is a soft sweater dress on a rounded body can do wonders to complement your curves, so long as you start with a good foundation.

By foundation, I mean shapewear. I always wear shapewear with my sweater dresses. Shapewear smoothes things out and gives me a flawless shape. There are so many choices in shapewear, but I like Spanx Oncore Open Bust mid-thigh Shaper Bodysuit. It’s an all-in-one body shaper that does a great job flattening my mommy tummy, preventing muffin top, and lifting my bottom.


2. Avoid  Body Con Styles

Sweater dresses may stir up images of young girls in super short, skin-tight, neck-plunging knit dresses, but that doesn’t mean that’s all that is out there. At 50+, the goal should be to look classy and sophisticated, so shop around for a dress that’s more like this. One of my favorite styles is a V-neck ribbed sweater dress like this gorgeous purple one.

It’s slim-fitting but not tight and perky above the knee, but not so short that it feels inappropriate for my age. Plus, the vertical ribbing makes it very slimming. I love the long sleeves that you can push up to look a little sporty, and it has a fabulous V-neckline, which is flattering on all body types.


purple sweater dress and bag

3. Wear with Tights and Boots

The most modern, youthful way to wear a sweater dress is with tights and boots. Go for opaque or semi-opaque tights ( nylons look too thin and flimsy with a knit dress),  and then add a pair of tall boots or short booties. Yes, you see the younger girls wearing sweater dresses with bare legs, but let’s be honest, it’s not the most attractive look after a certain age.

Tights can look quite chic, plus if you wear them in the same color as your booties, they lengthen your legs!

You may wonder, can you wear shoes with opaque tights and a sweater dress? Yes, but not strappy sandals or too fine of a shoe. Something with weight and texture, like a suede pump with a chunky heel, looks better with tights and a sweater dress.

4. Belt It

The beauty of a sweater dress is you change up the look with belts. You can use a belt to create shape and highlight your waist. I love how this basic sweater dress looks with a simple black belt. Or you can add different styles of belts, like a leopard belt, for a more creative or fun look.


purple sweater dress


purple sweater dress black purse

5. Layer It

Layering a long cardigan, jacket, or blazer over a sweater dress can give it a different vibe. I like to layer this honeycomb knit cardigan, which is very lightweight, over this relatively thin sweater dress for a cozy, modern look. A slightly oversized black blazer gives this sweater dress authority and a professional edge.

6. Add some Chic Accessories

Even though most sweater dresses are pretty casual, a little jewelry and a few simple accessories go a long way to uplevel the look. I love wearing this sweater dress with this Dean Davidson jewelry. My sporty black Coach bag matches the relaxed style of this cute knit dress.

purple sweater dress and jacket


purple sweater dress black jacket

7. Keep the Lint Roller and Static Guard Handy

Finally, if you have a cat or dog, keep a lint roller handy if you wear a sweater dress, and of course, the static guard is super convenient. There’s nothing worse than a sweater dress with lint or one that rides up when you move.

Wearing a sweater dress at any age is easy and a great way to be comfy and look casually chic.  To shop this entire look, click the links below!

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