by Andrea Sparks
They're quickly becoming a fashion staple, but finding the right sweater dress for your cool weather wardrobe can be a bit tricky. The cozy knits of these casual dresses tend to hug your shape more than other fabrics might, making it harder to find the right style of sweater dress for your body type. Read the following tips to help you discover the best sweater dress styles for your shape.
Hourglass: For women with an hourglass figure, a sweater dress with a defined, fitted waist will always flatter. Look for knit wrap dresses or sweater dresses with a tailored bodice and full skirt to emphasize your slim waist. A sheath dress will hug your sexy curves; just make sure to pick a dress that hits close to the knees for the most flattering effect.
Pear: For women with a fuller lower body, it's important to find a sweater dress that flatters and slims your lower half rather than emphasizing it. An A-line sweater dress will balance out your look and have a slimming effect on your hips and thighs. You can disguise a heavier lower body with dresses designed with full skirts that are knee-length or longer. Draw attention upward and balance your look with wide, interesting necklines, such as boat and square necks.
Apple: If your body is fullest in your upper body, keep dresses simple through the body and avoid low-cut or dramatic necklines. A sweater dress with an empire waistline is most flattering on apple shapes and can hide a fuller waist. If you have an apple body type, you likely have nice, lean legs, so show them off with shorter lengths and smock dresses cut above the knee. Pair them with opaque tights or leggings in the fall and winter.
Straight: A straight body type lends itself well to figure-hugging sweater dresses. If you're tall and lean, a mini dress looks great with a pair of bright tights, and straight-cut smock dresses will fall perfectly around your figure. If you're looking to create curves, a wrap dress will create definition around your waist, and A-line sweater dresses with full sleeves will create the impression of a curvier figure.
Petite: The key to finding the right sweater dress for petite women is to look for dresses that elongate. Sweater dresses with 3/4-length sleeves that hit just above the knee will give the impression of longer arms and legs, and an empire waistline will certainly make your body look longer, too. When you're shopping for petite sweater dresses, look for elongating, vertical knits, like ribbed and cable-knit dresses.