Winter Dressing Heats Up Early This Year

Sweater weather is sneaking up on us quickly (for some regions of the country, it’s already beginning). Sweater dressing, however, does not have to be frumpy, dumpy, or strictly ho-hum utilitarian. In fact, you’ll find that a whole new world opens up if you just keep this garment on the lengthier side. Whether you opt for the tunic style to stretch over skirts and pants, or the one-and-done ka-pow of a sweater dress, this is how you keep winter’s warmest staple in the red hot zone.

For my money, Michael Kors has grown to be just as rock solid reliable of a designer as Ralph Lauren. And if Lauren has become the definition of timeless, classic fashion, then Kors is the modern equivalent of instant classics, able to consistently strike gold in his collections. His Fall 2014 RTW show displayed several ways to both glamorize the sweater, and transform it into an essential that women will be reaching for, time and again.

In this look, Kors combined big and beautiful boho with a vague ’80’s feel of “the more of anything, the better.” The brown ribbed turtleneck was rich enough to stand on its own, but when it was added to the mix of fur-style boa, long coat, peasant floral skirt, and hooped belt, it entered a realm of glory. No one could ever accuse the sweater of being hopelessly one-dimensional after taking in this vision.

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Kors combined the ombré and fringe trends in another tunic style that was both comfortable and attractive.

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And here, the grey fisherman knit sweater with billowing, silky pants took me back to that brief period in the early ‘90s when the winter fads were long and lean, and head-to-toe cozy. Let’s face it – some seasons are just too arctic (ahem, hello winter of 2013), to worry about the “peek of skin” rule! A huge bravo should go out to MK for completely sympathizing with women on this point.

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If you’d rather keep your outfits to a minimum of pieces, the obvious choice is the sweater dress. And while the usual accompaniments for this basic are opaque tights with knee-high boots, you may be surprised to learn there are cute and quite sassy ways you can revel in this luxe piece NOW. A wide-brimmed hat and booties will make any look instantly cool; but in this case, those very accessories all but revolutionize the girl’s sweater dress. Here’s a look that would be sharp anywhere from a college campus to perusing the stores during New York Fashion Week. The 20-something Tomboy meets the Transition Season Expert – not bad, not bad at all.

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Black and white, meanwhile, will always make sweater dressing chic…especially if part of the ensemble includes a mod-ish micro mini. Here’s another one to wear now while you can, ladies – before the first big freeze hits!

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And this charming, red pleated sweater dress is not only slimming, but easy to doll up with either a vintage medallion necklace, chain belt, or suede booties.

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Let’s not forget how flattering to the figure this apparel can be – there was a reason why screen siren Lana Turner was dubbed “The Sweater Girl.”

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Spend a little time investing this season in the right long and lean sweater, and you just may end up with a new nickname yourself.

Written By: Jenny Neiheisel

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