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How to Find the Elusive Sweater Dress

Dresses are generally hard to fit, and sweater dresses can be the hardest of all. Too short, tight, itchy, lightweight, shapeless, or just all-round unflattering. That said, when you find a sweater dress that works, it’s the best Winter dress because it’s warm, cosy and versatile. Dress it up or down, layer it with hosiery and toppers, and combine it with any style of boots. 

Sweater dresses come in many variations. Short, long, body-con, fluid, A-line, solid, patterned, casual, dressy, sporty, retro, chunky, fine gauge, and belted. Take your pick.

In 2008 I wrote a post on how to find a flattering sweater dress and the guidelines are just as relevant ten years later. I’ve changed my preference for my perfect length though. A decade ago, I liked my sweater dresses just above the knee, and now I like them just below the knee.

I’ve had many sweater dresses over the years and loved them all. They became instant workhorses because you can throw them on with fun hosiery, boots, a topper, scarf, bag, and not feel cold in the dead of Winter. They are a fabulous change to jeans and pants. If only it weren’t so hard to find a perfect fit. I currently have one midi sweater dress from last season and I am constantly on the lookout for more. My challenges are insufficient length, a fit that’s too body-con, a neckline that’s too wide, bad quality, or flimsy fabric. Or I find a fabulous fit and great quality but it’s in a colour I don’t like, or at a price I don’t want to pay.

These sweater dress guidelines aren’t flop proof, but they might help get you on your way.

1. Embrace a Fluid or Oversized Fit

Surrender the waist with a very straight cut, or avant-garde and arty silhouette that drapes over lumps, bumps and extra bits in an architectural way if body-con fits are not your thing. This type of gently fluid or very voluminous cut can work on any body type when there is just enough structure in the outfit. My olive sweater turtleneck sweater dress is fluid and straight through the body, hugs my hips and bottom a little, and tapers at the hem for structure.

2. Consider an Empire Cut

The baby doll style is an extra roomy option on the bottom, making it a forgiving A-line silhouette. Good for apple shapes, pear shapes, and even straighter figures who crave ample movement. A larger bust needs a lower neckline in this style, and the empire cut should not cut across the bust.

3. Find a Fit & Flare

If you’re curvy or very curvy and prefer to define the waist, silhouettes that are belted or fitted on the torso create that type of structure. The flared bottom creates movement and camouflages hip and thigh extra bits you don’t feel comfortable showcasing. You can also add a wide belt to a fluid fit dress to define the waist.

4. Choose Heavier Knits

This does not necessarily mean “chunky knit” because fine gauge knits can be substantial (like the knit of my olive sweater dress). Knits with weight smooth over the contour of the body instead of grabbing onto curves in an unflattering way. Chunky knit sweater dresses with a fluid fit can also be a lot more flattering than you think.

5. Get the Length Right

Sweater dresses can’t be hemmed, which means that the length has to be perfect upon purchase. I like them just below the knees these days, or a little longer. But many of my clients prefer them on the knee, or just above the knee if the fits are voluminous and the knit is chunky. Some will wear them a whole lot shorter with very tall boots and opaques.

6. Complete the Outfit

Make sure you try a potential sweater dress with the right support act before you say no thank you. The right shoes and hosiery can make the difference. And remember that shapewear is a lot more comfortable than it used to be.

7. Block the Dress Back to Size

Sweater dresses can lose their perfect shape and fit after laundering. This is usually an easy fix with the steam iron that presses out wrinkles, and blocks the areas back to the right shape.

And last, you can wear a knee-length sweater dress over cropped flares, cropped straights, culottes, bootcuts, leggings and skinnies if you like. I LOVE this outfit, although I’d wear flat white booties and a white bag. For this look, I would get a knee-length sweater dress instead of a knee-covering one.

DURO OLOWU Polka-dot Jacquard Wool Sweater Dress

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Places to visit this fall that have the best sweater weather

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If you fancy traveling somewhere new this fall, but the idea of a cold skiing vacation or hot beach break doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe a cooler city with all year long sweater weather might be ideal for you. If you like cozy jumpers, boots, and jeans, then traveling somewhere where that’s your everyday outfit could be the perfect getaway. These are a few of the best places for you to visit this fall.

Portland, Maine

Portland is a beautiful peninsula full of beaches, lighthouses, and a perfect waterfront for fishing. There are plenty of attractions, restaurants, and things to do in Portland, as well as it having flawless sweater weather. The average fall temperature in Portland is in the low-30s, making it ideal if you fancy a getaway where you can live in sweaters, jumpers, and scarves.

Sa Pa, Vietnam

If you fancy somewhere slightly more exotic and further from home, Sa Pa grants the perfect weather for your fall vacation. Although, if sweater weather is your favorite kind of climate, you might want to visit Sa Pa in any season. With the highest temperatures of the year averaging at about 67°F in July, and the lowest being 48°F in January, it’s practically jumper and scarf weather all year round. It’s not just the climate that makes Sa Pa ideal, however. The town is one of the central market locations in the area and boasts incredible mountain views, trekking opportunities, and an exploration of traditional Vietnamese culture.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The capital city of Utah is one of the most picturesque cities in the United States. With a climate which averages at about 50°F in the fall, it’s the perfect place to bust out all of your favorite sweaters. It has a number of parks, including Liberty Park which spans over 100 acres, with a lake that has two islands in the middle of it. It is also home to a variety of bird species, making it perfect for nature lovers. Salt Lake City is also has a wide range of cultural and artistic attractions, such as museums, art galleries, music festivals, and conventions.

Kundasang, Malaysia

In the east of Malaysia resides a small resort town called Kundasang. Though the area has little in the way of attractions, it could be the perfect place for a lazy vacation. The temperate weather sticks at around 68°F, with temperatures not deviating much from 61°F to 75°F all year. There’s a World War II memorial and plenty of fresh vegetables, and also allows for a stunning view of Mount Kinabalu, not to mention the iconic cabbage roundabout, which is worth traveling to Malaysia for in itself!

There are plenty of places around the world which have chilly fall temperatures which are too cold for t-shirts but too warm for coats. Most of these reside in the United States, but if you fancy traveling further afield, many parts of Asia also have all year long sweater weather. It’s not just fall you have to limit your sweater wearing to!

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The post Places to visit this fall that have the best sweater weather appeared first on Worldation.

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How The ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ Conquered America

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

This year, Debbie McClain will make around 800 ugly Christmas sweaters from her workshop in Fremont, Indiana. She’ll ship the bedazzled jumpers around the world—but McClain will not be found in one herself.

“I love them, but I don’t actually wear them,” McClain told The Daily Beast. “I don’t go anywhere this year. I’m strapped to the shop. I’m in such a Grinch mode by the time we get to Christmas that we don’t usually have a tree up.”

McClain works with a team of nine to pump up the wearable holiday cheer found in her brick-and-mortar store and online Etsy shop, which is aptly-titled Tacky Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Sporty Sweater That Will Give Alyssa a Leg Up on Layering This Winter

Ask any fashion enthusiast what their favorite thing about fall and/or winter is, and they’ll likely tell you that it’s the sartorial joy that comes along with ample opportunities for layering. Blouses under sweaters! A denim, fleece or leather jacket under a boxy coat! The possibilities are …

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Fashionista

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Sonia Rykiel’s Warm, Fuzzy Sweater Project

The yearlong celebration of Sonia Rykiel’s 50th anniversary continues with another special project: Generous Sweaters.
Creative director Julie de Libran thought that a capsule collection of sweaters with charitable causes was apropos to celebrate the queen of knits’ golden anniversary. De Libran enlisted a group of international, influential women to design a limited-edition sweater, the proceeds of which will go to a charity of their choosing. The group includes actresses Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Boutella and Kristin Scott Thomas; architect Kazuyo Sejima; model and activist Liya Kebede; artist Langley Fox and ballet dancer and artistic director of the Korean National Ballet Sue-Jin Kang. The charities include La Maison des Femmes, Planned Parenthood, Ving, Hope & Home for Children, Le Refuge, Lemlem Foundation, Okaeri-Gohan Shokun and the Children’s Hospital of Seoul National University.
“These extraordinary women have been much involved in the creative process, each talent has given her precious time to this charity-driven sweater capsule,” said de Libran. “I’m thankful they jumped into this initiative, focusing on charities helping women around the globe. It means a lot in 2018.”
The global launch of the capsule for Sonia Rykiel stores is Nov. 5. In the U.S., 10 Corso Como in New York will carry the collection

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