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Knitted dresses

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The characteristics of the knitted dress

The classic weave of a knitted dress creates a garment that is shapely, supple and beautiful. Whether you opt for genuine wool, or a synthetic fibre mix, a knitted dress should be an essential part of your wardrobe.

The knitted dress is characterised by the stretchy nature of the design, making it extremely comfortable to wear and flattering for your figure. But this doesn't mean that all knitted dresses look the same. You have a choice of styles when you're looking to buy a knitted dress, ranging from the figure-hugging to the free-flowing oversized version, but all epitomised by a simple and unfussy line.

The knitted dress style

Plain knitted dresses have an undoubted sophistication and you can achieve a completely different look by choosing your colours carefully – pale pastels or soft greys evoke a gentle feminine feel, whilst bright vibrant colours can really make a statement.

Patterned knitted dresses are also hugely attractive. You may want a traditional design, such as one based on a Fair Isle pattern or coloured stripes, or you may prefer a modern geometric print-like pattern or a soft floral. Varying the texture of the knit is another way to make a knitted dress look special, perhaps by choosing an Arran cable knit pattern or boucle finish.

Where can I wear a knitted dress?

A knitted dress is generally more suited to less formal occasions; it is not considered suitable for a very formal occasion such as a dinner dance. Instead its easy styling makes it perfect for office wear as you'll look smart but be able to move easily all day.

It's also wonderful for a casual outfit like a day shopping or a weekend away. Lighter knitted dresses, teamed with high-class accessories, can also be worn for semi-formal occasions, such as a job interview or board-room presentation.

Choosing the best knitted dress length

The knitted dress comes in a wide range of hem lengths, so it's important to choose one that accents your best features. If you have a petite frame, then a long hemline can make you look a bit overwhelmed, so a knee-length or mini-length knitted dress will probably suit you better. Statuesque figures can get away with longer dresses, favouring a knee or calf-length hem to avoid making the legs look too long. Shopping for a knitted dress online gives you the opportunity to look at many different dresses before making your final choice.

Choosing the best neckline

One of the most attractive characteristics of the knitted dress is the choice of necklines, including the round, scoop and cowl designs. Again, pay attention to your body shape when thinking about which is the best dress for you. If you have a shorter neck, avoid a heavy cowl or polo neck as it can swamp your neck. If you have a long swan-like neck, make the most of this with a V-neck or cowl. Other options include the boat neck, the heart-shaped neck and the crew neck, so you've got plenty of options to choose from – just take a look at what's available online.

Loose or fitted knitted dress?

There's a knitted dress style to fit every figure, but you need to bear a few points in mind when making your choice.

You need your dress to emphasise your best features and minimise any less flattering aspects, so think carefully about you overall appearance when you choose. If you are tall and willowy, you've got the option to go for a svelte design which hugs every curve or a slouchy sweater look – your frame will let you carry both off with equal aplomb.

Short or very slim figures will look better in a more fitted version, although it may be possible to wear a looser style if you choose you accessories carefully, such as a belt to cinch you waistline and give definition to your silhouette.

Petite women should also avoid very heavy knitted fabrics as they can look rather clumpy on a small figure. Curvy outlines can certainly wear close-fitting style and look amazing, but you may prefer a looser style for greater confidence.

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