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Freshen up your holiday wardrobe this season with these 10 cozy sweater dresses

How to choose the right sweater dress

What we wear is important. It's the first thing others see. It's how people get a quick preview to learn who you are before meeting you. In a diplomatic setting, it can reveal your status. In day-to-day life, something as simple as a sweater dress can put people around you at ease and make you more approachable. This season, sweater dresses are plentiful, so it's good to know which one is best for your style and body type.

Understanding body shapes

While bodies come in all shapes and sizes, in general, they can be broken down into four broad categories: triangle, inverted triangle, hourglass and rectangle:

  • Triangle: If you have a triangle shape, your hips are wider than your shoulders.
  • Inverted triangle: If you have an inverted triangle shape, your shoulders are wider than your hips.
  • Hourglass: If you have an hourglass shape, your hips and shoulders are roughly the same size, but they are wider than your waist.
  • Rectangle: If you have a rectangle shape, there is no significant difference between your shoulders, waist and hips.

How to choose a sweater dress that's right for your body type


Since a sweater dress covers both the shoulders and the hips, people with a natural triangle shape will want to stay away from a style that draws attention to the shoulders. Any horizontal patterns or flares should be in the skirt. The more delicate and unassuming the top, the better because too much will make the wearer appear unbalanced or top-heavy.

Inverted triangle

If you have an inverted triangle shape, flip the guidelines for the triangle shape upside-down. Draw attention to the neck, choose a dress that has a horizontal pattern on the top and keep the dress elegant and understated. Again, the purpose here is to balance your appearance so there's equal attention placed on the shoulders and the hips.


While an hourglass shape already has the natural balance other body shapes seek to emulate, it can be easy to choose something too loose or too tight that hides or draws attention away from that natural balance of your body. Your best bet is something that hugs your curves gently without being so tight that it bunches. Understated designs and patterns are the secrets. Don't draw attention away or throw your shape out of balance by emphasizing any of the three key areas too much.


The best sweater dress to wear for this body shape is one that has a vertical knit or pattern as it emphasizes length, making you appear taller. You'll also want to draw attention to the waist, either with a darker horizontal accent or by wearing a belt. This helps de-emphasize the rectangular shape by guiding the eye to a strategic focal point near the middle. 

The best sweater dresses this season

Nina Leonard Women's Pleated Skirt Fit and Flare Sweater Dress

This delicate, stylish sweater dress has a pleated flare that pulls the eye down to the waist. The understated pattern makes this dress versatile and easy to accessorize. Sold by Kohl's

Charter Club Women's Cable Sweater Dress

This heavy knit sweater dress is designed for warmth but also features an elegant lengthening vertical knit. The buttons along the shoulders add a stylish accent. Sold by Macy's

PrAna Women's Cascadence Sweater Dress

With its long sleeves and crew neck, the upper portion of this sweater dress has an appealing simplicity that contrasts beautifully with the front wrap skirt that winks with a chic style. Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods

Nina Leonard Women's Balloon Sleeve Sweater Dress

The black skirt and bright top of this elegant sweater dress have a dramatic appeal that makes the shoulders pop and accentuates the neckline. Sold by Kohl's

Toad & Co Wilde 1/4-Zip Sweater Dress

Soft and casual, this comfortable dress is a versatile option that's as suitable for the office as it is for after-work drinks or lounging around your apartment with a good friend. Sold by Backcountry

Anrabess Women's Long-Sleeve Ribbed Sweater Dress

If you want to turn heads, this long, slim-fit, ribbed, turtleneck sweater dress will do the trick. It's available in a variety of colors and can be accessorized with a necklace or a stylish clutch. Sold by Amazon

And Now This Women's Chain Cutout Sweater Dress

Featuring a tantalizing cutout and a chic chain that crosses the shoulder, this curve-hugging sweater dress will make a striking and unforgettable impression at your next elegant affair. Sold by Macy's

Nina Leonard Women's Print Fit and Flare Sweater Dress

Cute is the best adjective for this joyful option. It features a bold pattern with a clearly defined waistline and a flared skirt. Sold by Kohl's

Anrabess Women's Chunky Pullover Short Sweater Dress

Sometimes, comfort comes first. This chunky, oversized pullover isn't going to flatter your figure. It's the fashion equivalent of curling up beneath a thick blanket. Depending on the occasion, however, that could be just perfect. Sold by Amazon

Celebrate Together Women's Holiday Snowflake Sweater Dress

Not every Christmas sweater is ugly. In fact, this one is absolutely adorable. It has ribbed cuffs, balloon sleeves, a comfortable fit and a festive pattern. Consider accessorizing it with your favorite seasonal earrings and a holiday-themed scrunchie. Sold by Kohl's

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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