Sweater Girl - une femme d'un certain âge

Sweater Girl

In recent weeks, the idea of a sweater dress has captured une femme’s imagination. Now that we are in boots-and-tights weather, the idea of tossing on a comfy, chic and easy knit dress is gaining in appeal, and I’ve begun searching for one that’s Just Right. It can’t be so snug that shapewear becomes necessary, nor be shapeless or bulky. I’m trying to avoid cowl necklines and turtlenecks are right out too, which considerably narrows the field.

This one from Banana Republic looks to be the worst of both worlds, baggy through the torso and snug on the hips.

Also from Banana Republic, this dress has a simple, flattering shape but exposes a bit too much leg pour moi.

Oy. Just….no.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Cute, but I look at this and think, “Spanx.”

From Talbot’s, this dress has simple styling and is available in this gorgeous green color, but I’m not sure about those pleats at then neck when combined with my bustline… and again, will this fabric be dangerous with curves?

Love the pockets! We’re getting closer with this J.Jill dress. The simple styling and ease of fit appeals, but will it drape well or fit like a potato sack? Unfortunately, it’s backordered until January.

To be continued…

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  1. November 12, 2009 / 12:12 pm

    I agree, I agree, I agree. I’m seeing them everywhere and in all shapes and lengths. I’m considering. . .

    And once we add the opaque tights can feel snuggly undercover. (You know, protected on all fronts including the psychological. . .)

    Does the Talbot’s come in black?


  2. audball
    November 12, 2009 / 5:09 am

    Pseu, I found this Garnet Hill one to be a nice, relaxed sweater dress. They also introduced a T-neck version this year too:

    Garnet Hill Sweater Dress

  3. November 12, 2009 / 1:26 pm

    Spanx indeed. I used to have a sweater dress when I was rail thin oh a few decades ago and even then it clinged to curves like crazy. I love the way they look on the models though.

  4. November 12, 2009 / 1:44 pm

    love the “what not to wear post”!!

  5. November 12, 2009 / 1:56 pm

    neki desu – didn’t know that (I’d borrowed from Daddy Likey’s popular theme) and I’ve removed so as not to offend anyone.

  6. metscan
    November 12, 2009 / 6:04 am

    I agree, none of the pictured was just the right one. Am waiting for the your post to be continued…

  7. sarahn
    November 12, 2009 / 2:49 pm

    Oh, I like the Ann Taylor one. The Garnet Hill one could be great with a big belt, but that depends on the fabric and drape, like you said. I have a black t-neck sweaterdress from Marshall’s that I wear with a belt and jeans. I’d love to have the confidence to wear it with tights; my legs are good but my saddlebags are not! Sadly, this trend might be best left to the tall and willowy.

  8. LaurieAnn
    November 12, 2009 / 4:44 pm

    I love the IDEA of the sweater dress: single item, snuggly, warm, comfortable, etc. But the execution on me just doesn’t work no matter what, unless I’m going for a very casual look ala the J.Jill number. I just have to be really careful about anything that could enhance a lumpy front view.

  9. Katriona
    November 12, 2009 / 5:41 pm

    Checked out the Garnet Hill dresses (I have the same issues, Ms. Pseu) and there are a number of great dresses there–I am going to get one myself, I think–the one on page four with the reversible neckline, boat or vee, it looks right up my alley. I cannot tell from Audball’s post which dress she’s referring to, but this looks to be a great shop.

    A big belated welcome home by the way(!) I’ve been out of town myself and not keeping up–

  10. neki desu
    November 12, 2009 / 9:45 am

    just to let you know.
    it may sound catchy and cute or perhaps be turned into a sales gimmick. However chocha means cunt in all it’s crassness and connotes sexism.
    you would not casually throw around the word cunt in English.Same with chocha in Spanish.

  11. November 12, 2009 / 6:49 pm

    Miss J hasn’t worn a sweater dress since the 80s. That coincides precisely with the last time she felt she had to bod to pull one off. She’s anxious to see if Miss Pseu finds one that suits!

  12. Lisa
    November 12, 2009 / 1:52 pm

    I hope you find the one you are looking for. It’s worth the wait to get exactly what you want. I bought a sweater dress about 7 years ago and it has become my “go to” dress every year. As soon as the weather starts to get chilly I pull it out and have worn it on many different occasions from very dressy with heels to casual with tights and boots.

  13. November 12, 2009 / 11:39 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this. I think you’d look superb in any of those styles, and I’d never imagine you would “need” Spanx. You always look beautiful and trim to me!

  14. November 13, 2009 / 12:45 am

    Maybe it’s the photography but these dresses don’t look very “good” to me. I’d be more tempted by one of the Pure cashmere tunics or long cardis over a skirt or pants. One needs to be trim not just standing but sitting to carry a sweater dress, and if you can, I agree with metscan, find the right one.

    PS I enjoy learning crass words in other languages, just for the sake of edification.

  15. Frugal Scholar
    November 12, 2009 / 7:10 pm

    I too have been looking longingly at these. Then I remember back to…yes, 8th grade. There I was, miserable in my sweater dress. As a flat chested person with a bit of a tummy then…and again now….the side view is misery-making. I was so self-conscious. Then this beautiful girl looked at me and said “Are you expecting?”

    I still remember her name!

  16. November 13, 2009 / 3:31 am

    audball – Garnet Hill does have some interesting options, thanks!

    metscan – still looking. I’m hoping to have some more options up next week.

    tishjett – yes, it comes in black too! And yes, I feel much more comfortable wearing skirts/dresses when I can wear tights.

  17. November 13, 2009 / 3:33 am

    Bonjour Madame – I think the last sweater dress I had was when I was 14. It was the last time in my life I was naturally thin.

    Mi – glad you enjoyed! Sometimes finding what *not* to wear is a whole lot easier…

    Lisa – yes, that’s exactly the kind of dress I’m looking for!

  18. November 13, 2009 / 3:35 am

    sarahn – the Ann Taylor one would be OK for someone younger or with a more willowy figure than mine, but those boob ruffles would be a Fashion Don’t for me!

    LaurieAnn – I know, it’s the *idea* of one that’s got hold of me right now, and I don’t know if I’m chasing wild geese or if there will be a viable alternative out there somewhere for me.

    katriona – I’m thinking about that one as well! It has some good reviews.

  19. November 13, 2009 / 3:40 am

    Miss Janey – I’m hoping to find one that doesn’t require a perfect bod. I saw a few women in Paris wearing sweater dresses with less-than-perfect physiques who were able to make them work.

    Frugal Scholar – I had a similar experience with a blousy jumper in the late 70’s. Her, “oh, when are you due?” Me, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat.” I’m happy to report the upper hand in that exchange was ultimately mine.

    enc – you are far too kind, or else Wendy is drugging your drinks. 😉 Thank you.

  20. November 13, 2009 / 3:42 am

    Duchesse – it’s true, most of these probably won’t work. And maybe I’m tilting at sartorial windmills again, but I keep thinking there’s a dress out there that will work for me.

  21. Anonymous
    November 13, 2009 / 2:31 pm

    metscan Would you reveal the source of your cashmere dress and sweater. It sounds perfect.
    Hope you’ll consider sharing and equally hopeful that it was a US store.

  22. metscan
    November 13, 2009 / 6:52 am

    Btw, I bought myself a kind of loose tulip shaped sweater dress, with long sleeves and a matching 5/6 long v-.neck cardigan with pockets. Both are cashmere. Something like this might look good on you too. It is not licking the body and doesn´t show the tummy section at all. The dress can be worn with jeans too, as it is a bit above the knee and the cardigan also can be matched with different outfits. I recommend something similar!

  23. tiffany
    November 13, 2009 / 9:37 pm

    I almost bought that Talbots one, but I had the same concerns about the fabric – clingy doesn’t work on my sausage shape … But LOVE the colour and I think that neckline would work ok on me (being devoid of bust). I have a cashmere sweater dress that I do love but always feel slightly self-consciously in.

  24. metscan
    November 14, 2009 / 7:38 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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