A Complete Guide to Styling a Sweater over a Dress

Christine Steuber
Aug 3, 2022
Is it possible to style a sweater over a dress and look fashionable? Absolutely! Check out my guide with helpful tips and awesome outfits.

Once autumn arrives, sweaters become the most popular cold-weather clothing choice. They are an excellent option to feel comfy, warm, and look stylish at the same time. You may usually wear sweaters with jeans or skirts, but they also look nice with dresses. Besides, wearing a sweater over a dress and looking stylish is absolutely possible!

In this article, I will discuss the best ways, tips, and tricks to wear sweaters with dresses and inspire you with some cute outfits.

Ready to rock this style? Let’s dive in!

7 Types of Sweaters to Wear Over a Dress

You can never have too many sweaters. However, since there are different types, it might be tricky to style a sweater with a dress.

In this section, I will show you different types, such as cardigans, pullovers, and more, that you can wear over a dress and give you some tips on how to style them properly.

1) Cardigan

A cardigan is a knitted sweater with an open front, and we actually wear it the same way as the jacket. The only difference is that cardigans generally do not have a zipper. They are comfortable and soft, and sometimes we can use them as an overcoat. Besides, they add the perfect final touch to any combination and are warm like a fluffy blanket.

H&M cardigan sweater type example
Credit: H&M

And the best thing – cardigans are so fancy, versatile and look fantastic over the dresses. They add dimension to tight gowns and pair perfectly with midi and short models.

Also, cardigans will be the most practical choice if you are looking for an easy way to pull off the sweater over the dress.

2) Pullover

A pullover is a piece of woolen clothing that covers the upper body, and you have to pull it over your head to wear it. It’s a fashion synonym for the winter season, without which colder days would be almost unimaginable. I love them because they keep me warm when the temperatures are close to zero and look chic with some of my favorite dresses.

H&M pullover sweater type example
Credit: H&M

You can combine them with silk dresses, ruffles, or a straight cut. They also come in various lengths, so you can easily choose the size that best fits your dress model.

3) V-neck

The V-neck sweater is almost identical to a crew neck pullover. The only difference between these two is that the V-neck sweater has a neckline cut in a “V” instead of a rounded shape.

You can find them in various sizes, lengths, and colors, so they are adaptable to different types of dresses, especially those with collars.

Zalando V-neck sweater type example
Credit: Zalando

Shirt dresses will pair perfectly with this type of sweater because, this way, you will be able to highlight the beauty of collars.

4) Turtleneck

A turtleneck sweater is a clothing piece characterized by a layer of fabric that covers the entire neck providing an elegant and refined look.

There are tight and loose types of this sweater, but when it comes to combining this garment with a dress, I definitely recommend wider models.

Why? Well, you certainly don’t want your dress to crumple underneath and create unwanted folds that can be visible. Instead, choose something like this:

Telly Weijl turtleneck sweater type example
Credit: Tally Weijl

Whether you wear a spring floral  or sophisticated silk dress, this type of sweater over a dress will make you look like a real fashion icon!

5) Fanny sweater

A fanny sweater is a long pullover style with a hem that comes under the hip level covering the part of the buttock. Thanks to the length and warm wool of a fanny sweater, you can wear it instead of a jacket during autumn and mild winters.

You can often find these pullovers in variants with multi-colored stripes, which will add a touch of vividness to any plain and basic dress.

Cubus fanny sweater type example
Credit: Cubus

Fanny sweaters will look stylish with midi dresses, so don’t be afraid of this powerful duo. However, avoid dresses with ruffles if you wear a striped sweater. It will just be too much.

6) Boyfriend sweater

A boyfriend sweater is the definition of an oversized sweater in which every woman feels comfortable, agile, and simply chic. Although there are various models of this sweater, you can also take its name literally and actually put on a men’s sweater. In any case, one thing is for sure  – wearing a boyfriend sweater over a dress looks absolutely flawless!

JenniKayne boyfriend sweater type example
Credit: Jenni Kayne

If you like to wear tight dresses, putting a boyfriend sweater on will make your whole attire more powerful and striking.

7) Raglan style

A Raglan-style sweater is a pullover with sleeves that continue up to the neck without a visible shoulder seam. The sleeves are completely connected to the rest of the pullover, making this piece of clothing unique.

These models are usually a little looser, giving you more space and the possibility of wearing bigger dress models underneath.

Pinterest Raglan-style sweater type example
Credit: Pinterest

This sweater will also look great with dress shirts because the slightly wide neckline allows the collars to stand out and add a touch of style and sophistication to your outfit.

7 Ways to Style a Sweater over a Dress

Okay, now you know which sweater models exist. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how to combine them with dresses. 

In this section, I have prepared some of the best inspirational ideas, tips, and tricks you can use when planning your first autumn outfit.

Let’s get started!

Option #1: Over the belt

Wearing the sweater over the belt is one of the most recent outfit hacks you can see on Tik Tok and other social networks.

This trick is actually very simple. All you have to do is put a belt around the waist and pull the sweater above to make it fold over the belt and hide it. The best sweater models for this purpose would be the simple pullover or Raglan style.

Just look at the beautiful influencer Rivkah Levy, who proves this fashion idea looks spectacular.

Plus, a frilly dress like hers is a great choice if you want to hide your tummy.

And to inspire you a little more and convince you of this perfect match, I created an adorable outfit that will undoubtedly attract the attention of all passers-by on the street. Take a look:

Sweater over belt dress outfit idea

Cover your favorite light summer dress with a soft sweater in contrasting color and create an irresistible attire.

Extra tip: always choose thin belts because they are less visible and will allow you to do this fashion hack successfully.

Option #2: Under the belt

If you don’t want to hide your favorite belt but want to show it off, you’ll love the following idea. Essentially, you wear your sweater over a dress and add a belt as the final detail.

I was enchanted by the combination put together by fashion influencer Maria, who’s wearing a light cardigan wrapped in a black belt over her flowing summer dress.

Unlike previous autumn and winter outfits, this combination is an excellent option for spring days and cooler summer evenings. In this case, you can also choose a wide belt to accentuate your waist.

And if you’re not a fan of cardigans, but belts are your favorite fashion accessory anyway – don’t worry. You can pair the belt with another sweater model, such as a V-neck pullover.

V-neck sweater under belt and over shirt dress outfit idea

I’ve already talked about how V-neck sweaters look fantastic with shirt dresses, and the outfit above proves my point. A mint shirt-dress in combination with a dark sweater and a simple belt will put your attractive legs in the limelight while making you look refined.

Option #3: Front and back tuck

If you want to look relaxed and casual in your sweater-dress combination, it is enough to do a front and back tuck. You don’t need to tuck the whole sweater in because that might look crumpled up. Instead, take just one small part of it and tuck it in. If you don’t have anything to push it into, tie one part of the fabric with a hair elastic and twist it inwards. Do the same on the backside. Avoid too long sweaters and opt for shorter basic pullovers.

The beautiful fashion and beauty blogger Marie wears her Parisian all-black outfit exactly this way. Take a look:

If the previous outfit looks too dark and monotonous for you, I’m sure you’ll like the next one that exudes joy and energy.

White sweater green dress outfit idea for sweater tuck

Turtleneck white sweater and floral cocktail dress with all these white accessories look absolutely fashionable!

Option #4: Big sweater over a long dress

Slip dresses are one of the best fashion trends every summer, and in social media, you can see that many girls continue to wear them in the fall, adding a warmer layer.

Although dresses like this look fancy and even too elegant for every day, when you put an oversized sweater over it, it will look more casual and totally chic.

Need proof? Let wonderful Felicity convince you with her super-stylish oversized sweater dress combo:

And for all those who would like to add some color and sparkle to their outfit, I have prepared an idea that will knock you off your feet.

Oversized sweater and green zebra-print dress outfit idea

Unlike the first pullover, which is massive (and probably heavy), this sweater is more airy and light with a loose cut that makes it look big. The voluminous sleeves and long dress with zebra print add a dramatic and fabulous look.

Option #5: Pullover or cardigan over a short dress

Now tell me, does anything look better than a short dress and a long cardigan? This fashion duo pairs perfectly and creates an everyday, chic look. I recommend wearing a cardigan longer than a dress to achieve an interesting effect.

Among the many dresses and cardigans, I decided to single out one influencer whose styling inspired me a lot for my first autumn walk this year! 

Check out how fancy and stylish this looks:

Barbara chose a shirt-dress in olive green and covered it with a knitted cardigan with rhombus details.

And for all lovers of classic pullovers over short dresses, here’s a colorful, girly outfit that I like a lot! How about shades of green and pink? Why not?

Pink pullover over a green tight dress outfit idea

If you want to be unique, don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and seemingly incompatible pieces of clothing. As you can see, this plaid cocktail dress looks absolutely spectacular with a hot pink turtleneck sweater and comfortable baby-pink sneakers! This comfy outfit is an ideal pick for traveling, or long city walks.  

Option #6: Sweater over a bodycon dress

If you’re wondering if you can wear a sweater over your favorite bodycon dress, the answer is – yes! In fact, tight dresses are one of the best choices for pairing with sweaters. By wearing the appropriate pullover, you will add volume to the upper part of the body and a touch of uniqueness to every monotonous outfit.

The positive side of wearing a sweater over a dress in bodycon style is that you can choose any type of pullover, and the outfit will always look great.

Let’s see how a blogger Brandi rocks this style by wearing the gray cropped sweater and white bodycon dress:

In contrast to her white bodycon dress, I chose a classy black one for the next outfit inspiration. In order to raise this all-black attire to a higher level, I decided to break up the blackness with a bright yellow pullover.

Orange sweater over black bodycon outfit idea

One important note – always wear high heels with bodycon dresses. And no worries, you don’t have to go with 12 cm high heels, but at least choose block heel ankle boots to elongate your figure and look more attractive.

Option #7: Sweater under the dress

Now that we’ve covered all the options for wearing a sweater over a dress, how about reversing things?

Sweaters under dresses can also look great if you choose the right pieces of clothing. First and foremost, it is important that the dress is comfortable and has enough space inside.

Secondly, it is essential to adapt the type of sweater to the dress. Here, it is best to opt for classic or turtleneck sweaters made of thin wool.

To better understand what I’m talking about, look at the adorable style by blogger Stephanie Pernas. She paired her champagne-colored sweater with a cute jeans dress:

Earlier, we discussed how to wear the sweater over a slip dress, and let’s now do the opposite! Wear the most ordinary narrow turtleneck pullover under the silk dress, and you will undoubtedly achieve the desired “WOW” effect!

How about something like this?

White turtleneck under blue silk dress outfit idea

Finally, focus on accessorizing your blue dress with indispensable ankle boots, a small navy purse, and a nice watch to put your refinement at its peak!

Over to You

And that’s it, my ladies! Here ends my article on how to wear a sweater over a dress. Let’s sum up what we’ve covered so far:

  • The best types of sweaters to wear over dresses are pullovers, cardigans, V-neck sweaters, turtlenecks, fanny sweaters, boyfriend sweaters, and Raglan-style sweaters.
  • If you want to tuck in your pullover, you can quickly achieve that by using the belt.
  • Bodycon dresses are an excellent option for covering with all types of sweaters.
  • You can also wear sweaters underneath dresses, but ensure that your dress is not too tight and that the sweater is not too massive.

Would you like to read more similar content? If so, I am inviting you to check out my blog, where I regularly share articles about fashion, beauty, and home improvement ideas.

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