Once temperatures plummet, those floaty dresses we’ve been wearing all summer just don’t cut the mustard. But as dress devotees (they make getting ready in the morning so much easier!), we’re not prepared to forego this wardrobe staple completely. Enter: the jumper dress. Past iterations have been on the shapeless (and, it’s fair to say, scruffy) side; today though, jumper dresses are A LOT more glam. So, how to wear our new-found favourites? Well, to style yours with panache this season, here’s our go-to guide.
Add a Belt
If you’re worried about being swamped in your knitted dress, fastening a belt around your waist is the perfect way to define your silhouette. This is an especially useful style trick when wearing longer jumper dresses (that fall on the knee or below it). It’s also a great way to embolden a plain design. If you fancy adding a splash of colour, you could also tie a boldly printed thin scarf around your waist in lieu of a belt.
Layer it Up
The key to keeping warm throughout winter is to layer. Sometimes, wearing a jumper dress on its own won’t be sufficiently warm, so it’s worth investing in a few long-sleeved tops to wear underneath. If you’re wearing a crew-neck jumper dress, layer it over a roll neck top for a chic finish.
For a modern take on the trend, throw a shorter jumper dress over a ruffle-hemmed dress or skirt, so that it’s just peeking out underneath.
And if it’s too cold to wear tights, throw your jumper dress over a pair of tailored trousers or skinny jeans (seriously!). This works well if your dress sits above the knee, though don’t be put off by pairing longer styles with a pair of muted trousers too – the dresses-over-trousers thing has been a huge hit on the runway for a few seasons now. One of the key things to remember is to keep your waistband on the mid to low side; high-waisted styles will add bulk to your waistline. And you can toughen up the look for night time by swapping out your skinnies for a pair of leather-look leggings or trousers.
Pair it with Boots
One of the easiest ways to go from sloppy to smart is with your footwear. And, given that ankles are prone to turning blue during the colder months, your flats aren’t going to work on those extra nippy days. Everyone needs at least one pair of boots in their winter wardrobes; they’re ideal for wearing with your jeans – and your jumper dresses.
Knee-high, ankle and over-the-knee styles all work well with most jumper dresses, but you should think about the length of your dress. OTK boots will only suit shorter styles, for example, whilst ankle boots will best suit mini or midi jumper dresses. Knee-high boots are a good all-rounder, though they work especially well with midi lengths; they’ll keep your legs warm and your outfit on point!
At the peak of winter, you’re probably going to have to wear opaque tights too; when it gets a little milder, go bare-legged. This gives you a good indication of just how versatile jumper dresses can be; they’re a trans-seasonal piece as much as a seasonal one, so it’s worth stocking up on a few different styles (ranging from heavier knits to lightweight pieces you can wear in spring too).
Do the Drape
Given that it’s pretty cold outside, you’ll probably be used to taking a coat out with you. One of the best style tips for this season is the drape (which we’ve definitely mentioned before!). Avoid extra bulk when wearing a chunky knit dress by draping your coat over your shoulders – just like all the best street stylists! This will stop your jumper sleeves from ruching up inside your coat sleeves; it’ll keep your overall look firmly on the chic – not frumpy – side.
When the weather’s grey, it’s easy to avoid bold colours and pattern. But if there’s one way to stop your seasonal wardrobe from becoming uniform (and, dare we say it, dull), it’s by adding splashes of colour. Even if we subconsciously stick to drab colours as soon as the days start to shorten, we should make a concerted effort not to. And luckily, designers are with us; there are plenty of colourful, printed jumper dresses out there – so why stick to subdued tones?! Embellished details are another way you can bring a little sparkle (quite literally) to your outfit.
Styling Tips to Flatter Your Shape
No matter how many styling tactics you bring to the table, it’s important to dress in a way that’s going to flatter your figure. Here are a few things to think about when purchasing your new season jumper dresses:
- If you’re petite, opt for styles that will elongate the figure; look out for jumper dresses that have embellishments on the top half. Vertical stripes are also going to lengthen your figure. Anything that’s oversized and shapeless runs the risk of swamping petite frames, so avoid anything too bulky; bodycon or ribbed jumper dresses are good alternatives.
- If you’re plus-sized, don’t be afraid to embrace the jumper dress! Choose soft, lightweight fabrics over chunky knit dresses, and add a belt to show off your waist. Solid (but still bold!) colours are a safe bet too.
- If you’re unsure about which style to go for, midi or above the knee lengths tend to be the most universally flattering.
- If you’re pear-shaped, a boat or bardot neckline will help to balance your frame to create an hourglass silhouette.