How to Wear Maxi Dresses with Sweaters

Different ways to wear a sweater with a maxi dress
Looking chic and warm is very much possible, especially now that fall is around the corner. Here’s a style guide on how to wear maxi dresses with sweaters.

Here at Maxipockets, we are all about getting the most wear out of every piece in our closet. That’s why we think wearing a sweater over your maxi dress is the greatest fashion hack to make your summer and spring staples work through the colder fall days too.

Because let’s be honest, summer ends too fast, and we are not ready to give up those breezy beautiful dresses yet. But wearing a sweater over a maxi dress isn’t as easy as models, and social media influencers make it look. You have to choose the right sweater, and know what goes well with which dress because nothing looks worse like a bulky or bunched-up sweater. It will be good also to learn how to accessorize this look.

Thankfully, we have style gurus amongst us who give up all the secrets to rock a sweater over a dress.

The Belt Trick

In 2019, comedian Sam Reece tweeted, “Hey boss sorry I’m 3 hours late I was trying to figure out how influencers tuck giant sweaters into tiny skirts.”

I have to say I’ve never related to a tweet that much, and 9,000 other people seem to feel the same way. A follower, God bless her heart, quickly replied with a TikTok video from blogger “JesswithLess explaining exactly how to do that.

According to Jess, all you have to do is wear a sweater over the dress, add a thin belt and then pull up the sweater gently until the belt and the bottom part of the sweater are no longer visible. You can hide away the entire belt or leave the front part visible, especially if you have a cute belt. This is the secret celebs and models have been hiding from you all along.

Alternatively, wear the belt over your dress as tight as it is comfortable and then tuck the bottom of the sweater into the belt. Pull the remaining fabric slightly over the belt to conceal it.

You can wear boots, flats, or sneakers with this look because it’s casual and cozy. You also won’t have to accessorize much because the chunky sweater is already too much. A pair of cute earrings and fall sunglasses is really all you need.

Make a Knot

But what if you don’t want to wear a belt? Creative designer Ashley Anderson suggests making a knot on the sweater. You can do this on the front, back, or side of the sweater and then flip it under to conceal the knot. You can also leave the knot out if you like, as we do with shirts.

To pull this off, you must have the right sweater because some are easier to knot than others. If the sweater is really thin and loose, you can tie the end into a knot using the sweater itself and then fold it on your waist.

Alternatively, use a hair elastic to gather the ends of a chunkier sweater into a knot. Flip the excess material under the waistline, and you will have a sexy, youthful look.

Again, this is a very fall or winter look that will go well with sneakers, boots (especially ankle boots), and flats. With a knot sweater look, you can pull your arms up to make it more casual and show off a nice watch or bracelet.

Cropped Sweater

Personally, I’m not a fan of chunky sweaters- belted, knotted, or otherwise. I prefer something lighter and more youthful, like a cropped sweater. There’s less fabric to fight with, and you don’t have to think about styling it. I simply throw on the cropped sweater over my straight-cut maxi dresses, wear a pair of sneakers, and head out.

This look also gives my midsection some definition and make me look taller. I love that I can even wear the sweater with a midi dress and feel free to run around all day.

Choose a Cardigan

Sweaters are great, but have you tried a cardigan? They are light, stylish, warm, and a perfect addition to any dress. For maxi dresses, you want to leave the cardigan unbuttoned or drape it across your shoulders. This elongates your midsection and also shows off the full length of your beautiful dress. It’s a really great way to style a maxi dress without looking overburdened with fabric.

Another trick is to button up the cardigan, especially if the dress is not too long. For a small cardigan, fold the ends inwards to have that skirt effect. But if the cardigan is a little long, buckle a belt around your waist to accentuate your curves and add some style to the outfit. I love this look for church or outdoor meetings where casual-meets-formal is the way to go.

My favorite cardigan look, however, is wearing a long cardigan over a maxi dress. By long I mean long enough to hit the maxi dress at the hem. Leave the cardigan unbuttoned and wear this with some sandals, open wedges, or stilettos. You can do a cross-body or tote handbag to bring everything together and very minimal jewelry.

Plain Sweater

When all is said and done, sometimes all we want is a simple outfit you can throw on and head out in a jiffy. This is where a crewneck sweater with a defined waist comes in. You won’t need all these styling tips to make it look good. Simply wear the sweater over your favorite maxi dress, put on some sandals or sneakers, and a cross-body bag. It looks especially fun when you pull back the arms and let your simple jewelry show.

When the afternoons get hot, I take off the sweater and tie the arms around my neck or waist. This is a look you can go with anywhere and then wear your sweater back in the evening when it’s cold again.

Final Word

There you have it- the 5 simple ways to wear a maxi dress with sweaters. There is a style here for every occasion, including church, weddings, errands, and even semi-formal meetings or casual Fridays at work. Once you know which sweater style to wear, you can stretch your summer wear to all seasons of the year effortlessly.

Can you wear a sweater over a maxi dress?

Wearing a sweater over a maxi dress is one of the best ways to extend the life of your spring or summer dresses. Sweaters are warm and cozy but also add a touch of color contrast and texture to the outfit. Also, this combination requires minimal accessories and jewelry.

What’s the best sweater to wear with maxi dresses?

When shopping for a sweater to wear with dresses, go for looser-fitting sweaters with a light knit. It’s easier to style a looser, lighter sweater without it bunching up. And since sweater over a maxi dress is more of a fall look, you have to be aware of the warmer afternoons and avoid anything too heavy or warm.

Lior Shapiro

I love clothes with pockets and dresses, and I think any woman can pull off a good maxi dress.
I believe women's clothes with pockets make the world a better place.