A Classic Sweater Dress

Sweater dresses seem to be very in this year. I am a big fan of sweater dressing generally — see, e.g., Working in Pajamas and Sweater Dressing — but I did not own a sweater dress until very recently.

Is that because I like to make everything more difficult than it needs to be? Perhaps, perhaps.
Or perhaps I didn’t own a sweater dress because I hadn’t found one as charming as this?
A dress this charming deserves a special setting.
Let’s see what we can do.
A nice backdrop, but nothing out of the common way
A nice backdrop, but nothing out of the common way

A worthy backdrop
A worthy backdrop
There. That’s a fitting backdrop.
Let’s all just enjoy those beautiful scarlet leaves for a minute.

This dress has the look of separates, but it’s all one piece, color-blocked in three shades of grey. I forwent boots because I thought that three blocks of color were interesting, but four blocks (three greys + black boots) might be too chopped up.
I am wearing patent leather wedges, but I actually think the dress would look better with suede block heels. (In fact I bought the Tory Burch heels that you told me not to buy, but I haven’t yet decided that they fit, so they remain out of sight for now.)
Shoes you told me not to buy
I bought the shoes with the mirrored heels that you told me not to buy

Maria yoke
The Photographer labeled these photos “Sound of Music Blouse.” Setting aside the fact that his gut told him that I was wearing a blouse, not a dress . . . . the synapses in his brain connected this square yoke to the opening scene of The Sound of Music, in which Maria wears a dirndl apron over a black dress.
APPLAUSE, Photographer, APPLAUSE. That’s a complex fashion association.

It’s such a small detail, but I love that the belt is below the dividing line between dark and middle grey. It just looks so much better there than it would look on that line.
I’ve tied the belt in a bow and then double-knotted the bow to give it a little volume.
Double knotted bow
Snappy, double-knotted bow

A single knot just looked a little sad to me.
Sad box
Sad, scraggly bow

Details not competing with dress, just finishing it
A few quiet details to finish things off.

Silver watch
Silver watch band
Silver and pearl bracelets

Dress: Paule Ka from Halsbrook; Shoes: Cole Haan; Bag: Coach; Watch: Michele Serein 16; Bracelets: John Hardy
If Halsbrook is not known to you, you should visit the site. Halsbrook is a relatively new Internet retailer, carving out a niche dear to my heart: professional women. They’ve done the work of finding and collecting pieces from luxury bridge labels so when you visit the site, you don’t have to sift through 100 miniskirts to find a work dress. Everything is quality, everything is beautiful.
Sound of Music (1965) Julie Andrews Credit: 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
Image burned into the brain of
The Photographer
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

8 thoughts on “A Classic Sweater Dress”

  1. Hello Directrice! I adore everything about your blog – about time I join you here. Love the dress on you; it looks comfortable and easy to wear. I think the turtleneck removes any Sound of Music-ness and creates a tailored delight.

  2. This dress is lovely. I wear turtlenecks all though the cold months here in NJ. As soon as I saw it, I thought, tall boots!
    Is it a wool knit – for those of us allergic to wool?

  3. Love the dress – although one needs to be trim like you and have a dancer’s posture to carry this off successfully. And YOU do. It’s kind that the gradation of the greys go darker towards the bottom portion – but I’m dubious as to how wearable this might be on me. This might necessitate extra strength “foundational” garments… may be worth it for the convenience of one-stop dressing!

  4. Looks very pulled together and the turtleneck sets off your lively, beautiful hair. The purse adds the color and the whole is terrific. It looks effortless and smart. Kate


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