I’m not going to pretend that knit dresses don’t sometimes come with a laundry list of issues. You buy one thinking that it will offer you tons of freedom and comfort only to realize that in order to not look like two pigs wrestling under a picnic blanket (thank you Steel Magnolia’s Clairee Belcher for that fantastic visual and RIP Olympia Dukakis) you need to armor your entire body with shapewear, ultimately defeating the purpose of buying a knit dress in the first place. Yes, knit dresses can be terribly disappointing.
However, when the fabric is beefy and drapey enough, the cut is flattering and you find a style that doesn’t wear like a second skin, knit dresses can be amazing. As we return to work, even if it is a few days a week, I have been thinking about how key comfort will be as we head back. We may be looking forward to “getting dressed” again but I think the pandemic has made us reluctant to ever being uncomfortable again. This is what inspired this post; how do we go back in a way that makes us feel like we’re going to work while still feeling comfortable in what we wear.
I have styled five knit dresses for work and be sure to check out additional styles at the end of this post.
KNIT DRESSES FOR WORK: COMFORT AND PROFESSIONALISM ALL WRAPPED INTO ONE
This rust dress from The Fold is easy to wear. It has a full skirt which will keep the thigh cling at bay. The waist detailing can cover and lumps and bumps and the top is clean and fuss-free. What would make this dress a complete winner would be if it had sleeves. To cover up the arms, I added this Hobbs cropped cardigan and I finished the look with beige slingback pumps and a resin chunky link necklace from PONO by Joan Goodman.
This knit dress from Aware by Vero Moda fits slimmer than the last dress but it still isn’t nearly as clingy as some knit styles you see out there. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is exceptionally curvy. A crew style isn’t flattering for a large chest and if you’ve got a little extra flesh this might not work without shapewear. I styled the dress with block heel sandals from Bella Vita and black drop earrings from Akola.
Ruching and gathers can be a woman’s best friend. They offer shaping while simultaneously camouflaging lumps and bumps. I styled this dress from Halogen with a pearlized square necklace from Ann Taylor and gold wedge sandals from Comfortiva.
Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress has been repeated so many times by so many designers for a reason, it can be incredibly flattering and easy to wear. I styled this cobalt dress from Hobbs that is an iteration of the original. I styled the dress with Tory Burch gold disc sandals and an organically shaped link necklace from M.M. Lafleur.
This dress from M.M. Lafleur has a beefy enough hand that it may not require shapewear. It all depends on your body type. It’s easy to wear and easy to dress up or down. If you saw my post from Monday about tailored and soft, this dress would work well. I styled the dress with snake-embossed sandals from AGL, a cropped jacket from Theory, and a chunky tortoise link necklace from Trina Turk.
Shop for Knit Dresses
Still looking for knit dresses? Check out these additional styles.
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Don’t forget St. John! My go-to professional knitwear.
It’s a great option and I think I included a St. John dress at the end of the post.
Have you seen the Fold rust dress in person and is the longer length flattering? Could you wear a blazer over it? I like the Fold –the fabrics and tailoring are usually great–but returns take forever and their shipping charges aren’t nothing. This looks like a really comfortable option for summer if I could make it work in my law office.
The Fold dress has a sleeved version, not in rust but in two other colours. https://thefoldlondon.com/product/knitted-camelot-dress-indigo-blue/