Plus-Size Sweater Dresses

It has been a year since an international magazine first contacted me in the hopes of contributing a monthly column on plus-size fashion. This was the spark I needed to begin sharing plus-size fashion advice on my blog, which I very much enjoy doing. 


Feeling good and looking good go hand and hand with self-care, and this is an aspect that is very personal to me. I have shared some of my journey towards body acceptance and healing from an eating disorder. I hope you find this information valuable. 



Below is an update to my November 2020 post on sweater dresses with new options to check out. You can read my other fashion-related blog posts here


Dr. MC in an Eloquii dress from Nordstrom with plaid scarfphoto credit Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed.

After years of struggling with my body image and only feeling “good” when I was at my thinnest, I finally learned to embrace my body regardless of its size. I accept that every BODY is different, and a small body is not necessarily better or healthier than a larger one. Overall health and wellness are far more complex than your body weight. Regardless of size, I have always received compliments on my ability to accessorize and coordinate an outfit. A skill that I mistakenly thought was directly correlated to my weight. In other words, I thought I could only look good if I were thin. After being in recovery for disordered eating and exercise bulimia, I have come to realize that it is not true, and there are ways to express myself and my creativity still while celebrating my body size.

Staying warm and looking good can go together. In the colder months, I rely on sweater dresses to remain stylish, professional, and warm. When you live in a larger body, you don’t have to shy away from colorful choices and patterns. I pair my sweater dresses with plain black cotton leggings. My preferred brand is Just My Size that I purchase on Amazon for about $10. These leggings are a nice weight and quality. They are not super thick, so it is more of a heavy pair of tights. In my opinion, they are not thick enough to wear with just a top, but for longer tunics and dresses, they are perfect. 


Dr. MC in a Jessica Howard dress with plaid accents – photo credit Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed

Don’t feel like your only options are “slimming” black or something otherwise frumpy. My latest great find is the pictured dress from Macy’s by Jessica Howard. This dress has a patterned cowl-neck, loose flared sleeves with decorative cuffs, and a shift silhouette. The length is nice, they do not ride up in the back, and it creates a flattering line. There are other versions of this dress, where the design is also along the bottom edge. Something like that, especially on a larger body, has the potential to make you appear shorter and wider. I purchased this dress in all three available patterns, houndstooth, leopard print, and plaid. I also love that the sleeves are ¾ as it allows me to show off some bangle bracelets to complete the look. If you choose, the neckline falls in a way that a string of pearls would be the perfect accompaniment.


Jessica Howard has some new options of sweater dresses for Macy’s this season that I love too! Like this one with an adorable red/black pattern for the accents. 


When shopping for plus size sweater dresses, you want to keep your body shape and height in mind. I look for options that are looser around the front stomach area while still showing off the curves of my hips. This may seem contradictory, but when you find the right fit, you will know. A-line, shift, or even a swing style can do the trick. Dresses with wraparound accents or ruching can be flattering to different body sizes too. 


Dr. MC in an Eloquii dress from Nordstrom with leopard scarves – photo credit Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed.

Another great option to beat the winter blues is a turtleneck dress like this Eloquii one from Nordstrom. The solid chocolate color pairs well with a leopard print scarf or even plaid as pictured above. This dress is well made, and the fit is lovely. This is my first purchase of an Eloquii item, but I have a feeling it will not be my last. I am wearing a pair of Dansko’s Cadee Oxford Wedge shoes in the photos, a great and comfortable look for the winter. Please note that the thicker black grosgrain ribbon laces pictured were purchased on Etsy and not how the shoe is sold. 


I recently purchased a super cute mock turtleneck sweater dress in black by City Chic. Hands down City Chic is my FAVE plus-size clothing brand. You should check them out. 


Additionally, I have been rocking Dr. Martens since my youth, and lucky for me, they always seem to be in style. My winter favorites are a pair of fur-lined docs that I wear folded-over exposing a cuff of fur, but a pair of heeled boots would look great as well.


For something fancier, Macy’s offers this Calvin Klein option The length and fit appear to be similar to the Jessica Howard dress previously mentioned. I would not wear a necklace with this dress, but rather some statement rhinestone earrings or even a classic pearl drop to complete this look. 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up to date information on self-care! And if you have not listened to the Dr. MC Self-Care Cabaret podcast yet, you are missing out! 


Stay fabulous, 

Dr. MC 

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