Help needed to style a sweater dress

Angie's blog article on creating a cozy holiday look with a sweater dress sent me to the closet. This post is based on a medium grey Calvin Klein dress I've had for a few years. The toppers are all from my closet. Do you like any of these? I'd appreciate your opinions and suggestions for how to make this basic dress more festive.
1. is the basic dress with a simple scarf. I have other scarves. The other photos show other possible stylings. Thoughts?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • anne replied 2 years ago

    Joy, I think they all look good as shown, with the exception of number 7 - I think it is the proportions of top to "skirt" on that one. I like number 1 the most though. Bit hard to see the neckline on some of them (this is hard to show on photos taken by yourself, I know too well) which might influence my opinion if I could see it.

  • Karie replied 2 years ago

    They all look great, but #1 and #8 are my favs. With sweater dresses I prefer simpler stylings that let the simplicity of the dress stand out. I usually just add a scarf, long necklace, or sometimes colored tights for a little pizzaz.

  • Windchime replied 2 years ago

    The dress looks like it fits you beautifully, and you've created extremely flattering proportions with the ankle boots. I love how the scarf in #1 bookends your hair (there's that signature color again). Also, how awesome is your fur topper in #6?!

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Anne, Karie and Windchime, thank you for looking at all these and commenting. The vests in 7&8 are the same vest. It is reversible. I'm sorry to have made it difficult to see the collars, something I need to work on.
    Katie, I'd forgotten that I do have patterned grey tights that I often wear with this dress. It sounds like simple is best. That crazy furry vest needs it's own styling thread.

  • Brooklyn replied 2 years ago

    Great dress. I think the fur topper in no 6 is the winner for holiday glam. I also really like the biker look you gave going in no 8. Not sure how festive it is but it looks good. I think no 7 might look better with tall boots. Not sure why I say that :). No 1 and 2 are classy chic. No 4 could perhaps use some extra sparkle or bling - either jewellery or a scarf? YLF Joy.

  • shevia replied 2 years ago

    I love #1,#2 and #5 for a regular fab day and #6 for high power glam festive!

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    I don't think you need much help styling this dress! I like 1 best. Very very nice.

  • Dee replied 2 years ago

    I like 1 and 2 for more casual looks and 6 for the most fun/festive.

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Thank you, Brooklyn, Shevia, JAileen and Dee. Brooklyn, I'd not thought of using taller boots with 7 but it might help. I agree that 4 could use some bling or scarf. I will remember to try that and have a scarf that has grey and burgundy in it.
    Shevia and Dee, using 6 for a glam look made me smile. I think it would be fun.
    Are proportions off on 3? Might it be better without the faux fur collar? (It is removable and has a regular small collar underneath)

  • lynn replied 2 years ago

    I agree with others--#6 for glam (but used other times too) and I don't think the proportions are off at all in #3. I like it a lot! In fact, I like them all!

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Thank you, Lynn.

  • Cococat replied 2 years ago

    I like them all too. My favourites would be 1-3 and 8.

    You always look fab Joy!

  • bonnie replied 2 years ago

    My favorite is #2.

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    #6 is my best by far, and #5 is next. Dramatic. You look fab, Joy. 

  • Dee replied 2 years ago

    I don't think the proportions are off, per se, but with the collar it does look a little top heavy to me.

  • Peri replied 2 years ago

    I love 5, 6 and 8. Overwhelming love for 6, that looks so crazy fun! 

    I think I would love the scarf better in a different color. A print with some grey in it, so it had a reason for being. The white scarf just gives me a feeling like it's an afterthought, no real reason to belong. 

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Coco, thank you. Those felt most like "me".
    Thank you, Bonnie. I actually wore that outfit (2) to church.
    Thank you , Angie. The drama of that furry vest does turn heads and it is the right weight without a coat on chilly days.
    Dee, you have hit on the problem.
    Peri, that vest in 6 is crazy and warm. Another scarf in a print seems a good idea.

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    My favorite is 6, followed by 1 and 2. In 1, I wondered about adding more color with the scarf--a red one, or a plaid, perhaps? But in 2, I like the soothing all-neutral effect, with the addition of the vest.
    I like the idea of tall boots as an option, too, and sparkle is fun for adding a festive touch, too, perhaps with a bracelet or clutch.

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Sharan, I love your suggestions.  Thank you.

  • Staysfit replied 2 years ago

    My favorites are numbers 1 and 6.  I love them both!!

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Thank you, Staysfit. All the love for 6 has helped me decide to probably wear #6 to a holiday event tonight for which I have no idea what others will wear. I may try silvery sparkle hosiery and silver shoes to up the sparkle. Do you think that would compete too much with the furry vest?

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    Hard to say whether sparkly hosiery and silver shoes will compete with the vest; I tend to think not, but often I find my faux-fur vest tricky to pair things with. I end up trying a lot of combinations with it before I walk out the door.

  • approprio replied 2 years ago

    Nice dress. Looks good in all these pics. To glam it up, maybe metallic pants underneath? I seem to recall you have a pair?

    I like a sweater dress as a tunic over pants or leggings. There's something about wearing tricot as a skirt that makes me feel a bit insecure. Apropos of nothing in particular, I've just done a deconstructive alteration on a sweater dress, cutting a large hole in the front and using it as the neckline or alternative armhole. Trust me, it worked. Might post a pic or two.

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Sharan, I know what you mean. The furry vest can add so much volume on top.
    Approprio, please do post a picture. Good idea with the sparkly pants. If they don't work with this dress. I have another sweater dress that should and it needs legging or something more than tights.

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