The 21 Best Knit Dresses for Effortless Elegance

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From minis to maxis, these are the knit dresses stylists can’t get enough of.

<p>InStyle / Reese Herrington</p>

InStyle / Reese Herrington

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are excited about cooler days and those who hold onto summer like their sunkissed lives depend on it. Luckily, knitted dresses suit a variety of temperatures, which is why it may just be the bridge, the peacemaker, if you will, between the two teams.

Whichever category you fall into (no pun intended), there’s guaranteed a knit dress for you. Particularly in the last year, knitted dresses have grown in popularity, which only means an increase in styles and designs. You want short and flirty? We found just the one for you. You want long-sleeved and floor-lengthed? There are several options, right here in this article.

As a matter of fact, we found so many beautiful knitted dresses, fit from the beach to the winter cabin, that our wallets are honestly shaking in our pockets as we speak. Don’t believe us? Scroll through the below list of best knit dresses yourself. We bet you can’t make it without reaching towards that card at least twice.

Related: These Are the 13 Best Places to Buy Dresses Online for Any Occasion

Best Overall: Dissh Reign White Sleeved Knit Midi Dress

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What We Love: There’s a tie around the waist, allowing you to adjust the snugness a little.

What We Don’t Love: They run large, so sizing down is recommended.

The first place I go to find cute dresses is always Dissh, whether it’s a linen, silk, or knitted piece. The Australian label has become somewhat of a destination spot for mature and effortless styles, and this knitted midi dress is a perfect example of that. With its long sleeves, scoop V-neck, and adjustable tie around the waist, the silhouette is sleek and sophisticated. She’s made of a blend of viscose and nylon, which makes it equal parts breathable and durable.

While I haven’t tried this exact piece, I have bought a number of the brand’s dresses before and can speak to their superior quality. It is evident that each piece has been made with care and love.

From my experience, however, everything I’ve ever ordered from Dissh has felt large, which I’ve noticed to be a bit of a common denominator amongst Australian fashion labels. I highly recommend sizing down for this reason.

Price at time of publish: $160

Material: Viscose, nylon | Sizes: XS–XXL | Colors: 3 | Length: Maxi

Best Budget: Merokeety Bodycon Sleeveless Sweater Dress

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What We Love: The bodycon dress is neither too tight nor too short, making it appropriate for almost all occasions.

What We Don’t Love: The lighter shades can be a little see–through.

I spent a good amount of time sorting through the customer photos of this dress, and have to say it looks even better in person than on the pictured model. This knitted midi hugs the body without feeling too skin-tight, flattering the curves in a comfortable embrace. The plunge neckline also allows the decolletage to show alluringly. Thanks to its longer length, however, the dress remains modest, making it appropriate for just about any occasion.

One common concern amongst the reviewers is that the lighter colors, like white and beige, can be a little see-through. Luckily, there’s a whopping 16 colors to choose from, so we recommend opting for a richer hue, like navy or forest green, to avoid any unwanted peekaboo.

Price at time of publish: $37

Material: Viscose, nylon | Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 16 | Length: Midi

Best Splurge: Cult Gaia Naunet Knit Dress

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Buy at

What We Love: The asymmetrical design adds an eye-catching detail.

What We Don’t Love: The 100 percent heavy ribbed cotton will require extra care to keep clean.

Celeb-loved label Cult Gaia knows how to make eye-catching designs. The Naunet Knit Dress, with its asymmetrical pattern, slit leg, and slouchy off-the-shoulder neckline oozes grace. It’s made of heavy ribbed cotton, ensuring it will feel nice and thick as you wear it through the cold temperatures. There’s even a hidden zipper on the side, which frees you of the need to awkwardly shimmy your way into the dress.

NYC-based fashion designer and stylist Danielle Williams-Eke, who has helped style shoots for 11 Honoré and Eloquii, says that “in the winter, I would opt for a heavier gauge sweater knit dress [such as this] with an interesting stitch pattern.” Just throw on some statement earrings and boots to complete the look. Considering its cream color, it may take some extra care to keep the piece clean. And because it’s made of 100 percent cotton, it’s at risk of shrinking if you put it in the dryer. Be prepared to treat this as the princess it is.

Price at time of publish: $488

Material: Cotton | Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 1 | Length: Midi

Best Plus-Size: Hanifa Soraya Mini Knit Dress

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What We Love: It comes in a mini and a maxi length.

What We Don’t Love: It runs large, so size down for a snug fit.

We’ve expressed our love for Hanifa’s knit dresses in the past — there are simply so many stunning styles that it’s difficult to pick just one. Still, we think the Soraya Dress, with its button-down details and unique floral print, make it stand out from the bunch. The dress comes in a mini and a maxi, so ponder which season you hope to wear it first before choosing the length. While we can’t guarantee we’ll look as good as Gabrielle Union-Wade in this dress, we do think the exaggerated collar and cozy fit are universally flattering. The brand does recommend sizing down however if you wish for a snug fit.

Price at time of publish: $229

Material: Viscose, nylon | Sizes: XS–3XL | Colors: 2 | Length: Mini

Best Petite: Reiss Michelle Bodycon Knitted Midi Dress

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What We Love: It’s extremely comfortable.

What We Don’t Love: Rather than an everyday dress, this dress suits formal occasions, giving you fewer opportunities to wear it out.

We love brands that offer different inseam lengths to our taller and shorter friends. Reiss is one of those brands, cutting off 2.75 inches from the regular fit to create a petite dress. I tried this dress on at the Reiss store in Manhattan, and instantly fell in love with the smart-looking person staring back at me in the mirror. Beyond just feeling extra comfortable in the stretchy knit, I loved the subtle yet tasteful details throughout the dress. There is a row of buttons along the side of the leg as well as on the chest, allowing you to customize how much skin you show. Little slits are cut into the cuffs of the sleeves, and the dress falls just below the knees, making it look chic and respectable. Considering I work from home most of the days, I did not see an occasion I could wear this dress to. But if you’re frequently going to the office and hitting up post-work drinks, this is the ideal knit dress to show up in.

Price at time of publish: $320

Material: Viscose, polyester, nylon, elastane | Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 1 | Length: Midi

Best Mini: COS Pleated A-Line Mini Dress

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What We Love: The timeless silhouette can be worn year after year.

What We Don’t Love: It will stretch out if you leave it on a hanger.

Although many of us think of cooler weather when we hear the world “knit”, you can’t deny that a mini knit dress is simply too endearing to pass up. Besides, you can always slip into some tights and boots to have a cozy outfit for fall. The pleated A-line dress from Cos has horizontal stripes across its body and a high neck to protect your chest from the sun. It’s a timeless cut that will look chic for years to come. The relaxed fit is also movement-friendly, so you’ll find plenty of freedom prancing around in this dress. Just be aware that the cotton and viscose blend may stretch if you keep it on a hanger too long. We recommend folding it in a drawer to maintain its shape.

Price at time of publish: $135

Material: Cotton, viscose | Sizes: XS–L | Colors: 1 | Length: Mini

Best Midi: Eloquii Turtleneck Sweater Dress

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What We Love: The asymmetrical stichtings make this dress pop.

What We Don’t Love: You can’t machine-dry this dress.

Midi dresses are ideal, as they’re not as formal as a maxi dress yet  not as playful as a mini dress, striking a perfect balance between the two instead. We loved the contrasting stitching around the front and the back hem on this dress as it gives it a bit more of an edge while highlighting your curves. And of course, the turtleneck-sleeveless combo always looks effortlessly stylish. Aside from a pair of cute boots and some statement earrings, you wouldn’t need much else to make this dress pop. Just refrain from throwing this into the dryer or any hot washes, as the cotton and acrylic blended material may shrink in the heat.

Price at time of publish: $100

Material: Cotton, acrylic | Sizes: 14–32 | Colors: 2 | Length: Midi

Best Maxi: Rumored Crawford Maxi Dress

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What We Love: The simple shade and silhouette lets you wear it on repeat with different jackets and accessories.

What We Don’t Love: We wish it came in a wider size range.

The metallic trend will fade, but this dark gray is like its everlasting sister. Cut in a maxi length, the Crawford dress features a high neck, a cut-out in the back, and a slit at the hem allowing for easy movement. Without any patterns, it acts as a fantastic base layer for different jackets and accessories. It’s a bodycon dress, so be prepared to have your curves out on full display. Luckily there’s generous stretch and compression so you don’t have to feel like a stuffed sausage. We only wish it came in a wider size range, as it currently only has three.

Price at time of publish: $86

Material: Acrylic | Sizes: S–L | Colors: 1 | Length: Maxi

Best Polo: Anthropologie Ribbed Polo Dress

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What We Love: It comes in petite sizing as well.

What We Don’t Love: You have to hand wash it.

A polo shirt, a dress, and the warm embrace of a long sleeve — just a few of the perks you get from wearing this dress. Add in the fact that it’s offered in a standard and petite length, and you basically have a dress to be universally loved by all. For all our office girlies, this preppy frock offers sophistication and warmth (those office AC’s are no joke). But more than just corporate attire, the chic look can easily be worn to brunches and days out in the city as well. The polo details are only present around the cuffs and the collar — what will be touching your skin on the interior would be the soft sweater material made of viscose and nylon. The only difficulty is in deciding whether to opt for the navy or the beige. In order to keep everything crisp, Anthropologie recommends hand washing the garment.

Price at time of publish: $148

Material: Viscose, nylon | Sizes: XXS–XL | Colors: 2 | Length: Mini

Best Patterned: Fabumily Bodycon Spaghetti Strap Dress

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What We Love: You get funky patterns at an incredibly low price.

What We Don’t Love: It may shrink in the wash.

Jumping on the Y2K trend, this fun patterned dress adds a touch of liveliness to your wardrobe. The look comes in various colors and patterns — some even have a slightly altered cut altogether. Still, they are all midi to maxi lengthed (depending on your height) and will turn heads when worn out in the world. And yes, reviewers are confirming that the knit is very comfortable — understandably so, considering it’s almost entirely made of cotton. That being said, some have also reported that there was some shrinkage in the wash. The dress would go from an ankle dress to a calf dress, so if you would like to avoid such a phenomenon then you’re better off hand-washing it.

Price at time of publish: $23

Material: Cotton blend | Sizes: S–XL | Colors: 15 | Length: Maxi

Best Black: Petal and Pup Nita Midi Dress

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What We Love: It can be worn in two ways.

What We Don’t Love: It’s hard to find the right bra to go with the cutouts.

Despite what anyone says, black will always be a go-to color, and with this dress, you basically get a two-in-one deal. That’s right, the dress is reversible, so the front can be worn in the back and vice versa. One side has a little more coverage with a high neck cut. The other side features an open cut-out below the chest while cupping the girls in a bralette-esque style. Depending on the event you’re heading to, you can go a little risqué or keep it modest. Whichever you choose, you’ll still have the same midi length cut and body-hugging fit. Due to the design, the dress isn’t exactly bra-friendly —no matter which way you wear it — so consider grabbing a backless bra if you want extra coverage. And just be aware that the brand recommends hand-washing the dress, so be sure not to accidentally throw it in the washer and dryer.

Price at time of publish: $79

Material: Acrylic, nylon, polyester | Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 2 | Length: Midi

Best White: Alohas Delicate White Knit Dress

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What We Love: Delicate spaghetti straps frame the back before endearingly tying together at your lower back.

What We Don’t Love: The side-boob might not be for everyone.

Heading on a vacation? Let this be the first dress you pack. The delicate knit dress doesn’t lack any wow factors, starting with the open back and thin spaghetti straps that tie at the lower back. She’s form-hugging at the hips but then dangles loosely down your calves before cutting off above the ankles. From the front, you’ll have a bit of side-boob action going on, which may not be for everyone. The brand also warns that the cotton knit can be a little see-through, so be prepared to wear your nude underwear and nipple covers underneath it. Once you get past those points, we’re certain the Spanish-made knit dress will transport you to beautiful places.

Price at time of publish: $145

Material: Cotton | Sizes: S–L | Colors: 6 | Length: Midi

Best Long Sleeve: The Line by K Candela Dress

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Buy at

What We Love: The fabric is double-layered.

What We Don’t Love: It may be difficult to walk in this design.

Here’s a dress you can wear all throughout fall and winter: the long-sleeved Candela Dress by The Line by K. Not only will it keep you covered and warm with its maxi length and full sleeves, but also with the double-layered, mid-weight stretch fabric as well. The delicately soft piece has a near-invisible zip going down the chest, while an edgy collar frames the face.  It’s a piece for the minimalist, who appreciates clean designs with quality stitchings. However, we could imagine it would be complicated to walk in this dress, seeing that it doesn’t have any slits around the legs. At least there’s a good amount of stretch in the fabric so that it may go along with all your movements.

Price at time of publish: $235

Material: Rayon, spandex | Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 2 | Length: Maxi

Best Cableknit: Na-kd Cable Knit Mini Dress

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What We Love: It won’t shrink or pill.

What We Don’t Love: You have to hand wash this dress.

Cableknit sweaters and all their cozy glory are synonymous with cooler days, and this one comes in an extra oversized cut, making it all the more snuggly. We love that the hem of this dress reaches the mid-thigh, making it undoubtedly a dress and not just a big sweater. With a generous turtleneck, your neck is amply protected from the chill as well. Thanks to its acrylic makeup, the dress is also spared from shrinkage or pilling and will remain deliciously soft for a long time. However, it also means you should hand wash, rather than machine wash, which can feel a bit tedious. For fashion content creator Aarica Nichole, this upcoming year is all about “a mini-length sweater dress with tights and ballet flats,” but you can never go wrong with a pair of boots either.

Price at time of publish: $55

Material: Acrylic | Sizes: XXS–XXL  | Colors: 2 | Length: Mini

Best Rib Knit: Reformation Evan Cashmere Sweater Dress

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What We Love: The 100 percent cashmere dress will feel like wrapping yourself in a luxurious blanket.

What We Don’t Love: You will need to hand wash it.

Reformation has become somewhat of a hot spot for dresses, thanks to their sustainable practices and feminine silhouettes. And while their silky gowns may take the crown in popularity, this cashmere dress is equally as deserving of praise. It has long sleeves, a fitted bodice, and an A-line skirt, all of which come together to look equal parts flirty yet modest. The rich auburn color is also like a harbinger of fall. And of course, there’s no softer or warmer material than cashmere, giving you a luxurious dress to spend the colder months in, even if it is a pain to clean. Just a heads up that the dress doesn’t come with a belt!

Price at time of publish: $378

Material: Cashmere | Sizes: XS–XL  | Colors: 1 | Length: Midi

Best Sustainable: Attire the Studio Rosie Midi Dress

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What We Love: You can read up on their price transparency, outlining how much it costs to create the dress and how much they are retailing it for.

What We Don’t Love: We wish the straps were adjustable for a better fit.

Attire the Studio is taking sustainability one step further, by including transparency into their definition of an honest business. This Rosie Midi Dress is 100 percent made of biodegradable organic cotton. You can find details of where the material was sourced, sewn, and made, walking you through their footpath from Turkey through Portugal and then Italy. They even break down the exact costs of their businesses, outlining the price transparency so you can better understand where your money is going. But aside from all of these honorable practices, I got to try on this knit dress and my jaw immediately hit the floor. It’s alluring, yet modest; soft, yet durable. The little window on the back adds a touch of femininity. Overall, it was evident that an overwhelming amount of thought and love was poured into designing this piece. Note that the straps are not adjustable, and I’ve experienced it sliding down my shoulder once or twice.

Price at time of publish: $420

Material: Organic cotton | Sizes: XS–XL  | Colors: 2 | Length: Midi

Best Off-the-Shoulder: Na-kd Knitted Overfold Midi Dress

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What We Love: There are slits in the sleeves for you to have access to your hands full range of motions.

What We Don’t Love: The extra long sleeves might not be ideal for those who are petite.

If you’ve ever worn a sweater dress, then you’re familiar with the overwhelming sensation of never wanting to take off the ridiculously comfortable attire. Particularly when it looks as sensational as this off-the-shoulder knit from Na-kd. We wouldn’t blame you if you decided to live in it for the rest of the season. The full-length dress is fitted throughout the body, but is loose enough around the calves for you to comfortably get your steps in. The sleeves are elongated to go past your palms and have little slits in them so you can have access to your thumb’s full range of motion. Yet if you already struggle with sleeves being too long on you — we see you, petite folks — this design may turn out way too long. And while the cream version may be difficult to keep clean, the black version would be more forgiving to stains.

Price at time of publish: $85

Material: Polyester, acrylic | Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: 2 | Length: Maxi

Best Wrap: Asos Curve Knitted Midi Dress

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What We Love: It’s an effortless style that delivers maximum impact.

What We Don’t Love: This dress requires dry-cleaning.

Comfortable, stylish, and effortless — the wrap dress never fails to turn heads while keeping you extra cozy. It’s the kind of dress you pull out of the closet when you don’t want to spend too much brain power piecing together a look, but still want to feel put together. This Asos design brings that point across well with its long sleeves, midi length, and V-neck cut. The string around the waist allows you to tie for snugness, cinching you in for an hourglass figure. Thanks to the elastane, it’ll have a decent amount of stretch to it as well. It’s a little difficult to see in the image, but the material is a rib knit, so it will have some texture to it. The only con? You are expected to get it dry-cleaned.

Price at time of publish: $45

Material: Acrylic, polyamide, elastane | Sizes: 12–24 | Colors: 1 | Length: Midi

Best for Lounging: Naadam Cashmere Polo Mini Sweater Dress

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What We Love: This dress feels like wearing your favorite oversized sweatshirt but is a bit more polished.

What We Don’t Love: It’s dry clean only.

If your preferred form of loungewear is oversized sweatshirts that you can wear as dresses, then you’ll love this mini sweater dress. As someone who loathes wearing pants, even sweats, at home, this design instantly appealed to us. After kindly receiving it as a sample from the brand, it quickly replaced some of our favorite sweatshirts since it’s just as comfy but looks more professional on Zoom calls, thanks to the polo collar. Add a belt and some cute sneakers or boots, and we can easily wear this outside of the house as well. On our petite frame, the dress hits a few inches above our knees, but the ribbed hem lets us place it higher if we want to show more leg.

Made from 100 percent Mongolian cashmere, the knit isn’t too thick or thin, allowing us to wear it nearly all year round. The cashmere makeup elevates the cost and maintenance — you have to dry clean it — but this piece can be worth the investment if you are looking for a new, high-quality work-from-home uniform.

Price at time of publish: $250

Material: Mongolian cashmere | Sizes: XXS–3X | Colors: 2 | Length: Mini

Best Bodycon: Enza Costa Silk Knit Sleeveless Twist Midi Dress

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What We Love: There is some silk blended into the material for a luxe feel.

What We Don’t Love: It may be difficult to walk in it.

This bodycon knit dress manages to hug all your curves in the right way, without feeling one bit revealing. Perhaps that’s due to the mock neck or the subtle ruching around the ribs. Maybe it’s the midi length gracing the calves — whatever it is, the dress looks extraordinarily sharp, all while sticking close to the body. Thanks to a little bit of silk blended into the material, you’re guaranteed a comfortable fit as well. The dress has a minimalist appeal, sticking to the classic silhouette and avoiding any extravagant detailing. It makes it that much more versatile, allowing you to style it however you please and wear it on multiple occasions. Do be aware, though, that bodycon dresses in this length will be difficult to walk in.

Price at time of publish: $225

Material: Viscose, silk, lycra| Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 4 | Length: Midi

Best Wool: Filippa-K Rib Knit Dress

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What We Love: It’s made sustainably with high-quality materials.

What We Don’t Love: You will have to hand wash this.

Pioneers in Scandinavian minimalism, Filippa K is all about sustainability, simplicity, and quality. Using only the best materials, including tencel lyocell, wool, and silk, the rib knit dress looks and feels luxurious. There will be no itchy or scratchy sensations with this on, only ultra-soft fabrics kissing the skin. Don’t let the image fool you, however, as this is a lightweight dress – you’ll still need a thick coat in the wintertime. Add on some boots and a thick scarf, and your winter outfit is ready to go. When the day is done, just remember to hand wash and hang dry if you wish to maintain its superior texture.

Price at time of publish: $380

Material: Tencel lyocell, wool, silk | Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: 1 | Length: Maxi

What to Keep in Mind


Knit is a universal term to define a fabric that’s been woven together in interlocking patterns. The materials used can thus range, as it’s more referring to the style of the weave rather than the substance. Williams-Eke says she looks for “anything blended with viscose or rayon, as this tends to give the sweater knit a more soft, sleek, and elevated feel.” The Line by K Candela Dress is a great example of that.

You will find a variety of fabrics mentioned here, including nylon, like in the Dissh Reign White Sleeved Knit Midi Dress, or acrylic and polyester, like in the Na-kd Knitted Overfold Midi Dress. More commonly, brands like to use the comfort of breathable cotton, as found in the Cult Gaia Naunet Knit Dress, Attire the Studio Rosie Midi Dress, and Alohas Delicate White Knit Dress.

For style curator Jamie Grimstad, it’s important that the fabric won’t itch, which is why she recommends “merino-wool, cashmere, or a blend of the two.” The Reformation Evan Cashmere Sweater Dress is made of purely cashmere, so it will not only feel incredibly soft but keep you amply warm as well. Meanwhile, the Filippa-K Rib Knit Dress blends silk with wool and lyocell, harnessing the strength, warmth, and softness of each to create a perfect knitted dress.


From fall through spring, the climate is at its best to wear knitted dresses — you just have to consider the length and weight to match the occasion. For fall, consider something that balances good coverage and exposure. If the hem is short, the sleeves should be long, and vice versa. The Hanifa Soraya Mini Knit Dress and the Eloquii Turtleneck Sweater Dress make great fall knit dresses for example. In the winter you want thicker materials and more coverage — think The Line by K Candela Dress and Filippa-K Rib Knit Dress. Meanwhile, spring allows you to shed the heavy-duty fabrics and opt for lightweight looks, like the Anthropologie Ribbed Polo Dress.

For those of you determined to wear it in the heat, Nichole confirms that it’s absolutely possible to wear a knitted dress in the summer. “I would go for an open-knit dress or a crochet dress, as you can style them as a swimsuit cover-up or even wear them with undergarments peeking through for a more daring look.” The Alohas Delicate White Knit Dress is a perfect example of that.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you style a knit dress?

“When styling a knit dress, it’s all about putting a look together with accessories that balance out the proportions (silhouette) and material of the dress,” says Grimstad. These details will depend on the season, of course, but both Grimstad and Nichole agree that knee-high boots are always a win. Grimstad continues that “a chunky pair of earrings or a stack of bangles” are great to accessorize.

If we’re talking about fall specifically, Williams-Eke suggests layering by “throwing a collared shirt under the dress and pairing it with chic patent leather booties. Throw a full-length trench or blazer over your shoulders to complete the look.” By the time summer rolls around, she explains that you can take the same dress and just “pair it with a strappy open-toed heel and oversized sunnies.”

How do I wash a knit dress?

It’s important to pay attention to each dress’s wash instructions. Many of them warn against throwing it in the washer or dryer, because the delicate weave may take a hit from the rigorous movement and heat in the machines. For this reason, you’ll need to either take it to a dry cleaner or hand wash and lay flat to dry. You also want to avoid having it overstretch by hanging it. To best care for your knit dress, Grimstad recommends “storing your knit dress folded in your closet to help preserve its shape.”

Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer at InStyle with three years of experience covering fashion and beauty. Over the past few years, she’s collected a number of knit dresses herself, prompting her to write this article. She consulted stylists and fashion influencers Jamie Grimstad, Aarica Nichole, and Danielle Williams-Eke who brought in professional insights on how to shop, style, and care for knitted dresses.

Related: The 16 Best Sweaters of 2023 for an Extra Cozy Year

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