How to Style a Long Sleeve Dress
When summer rolls into fall, we mourn the end of sundress season and tuck our flowery dresses into the back of our closet. But, there's no reason you can't keep wearing dresses all year — long sleeve dresses are the perfect choice when the weather gets chilly, and with the right accessories, you can wear your favorite long sleeve dress through fall, winter and spring. In this guide, we will show you how to style women's long sleeve dresses for any season and every occasion.
Start With Your Favorite Long Sleeve Dress
Begin by selecting your favorite long sleeve dress to build a stylish look around. Every long sleeve dress style deserves a different set of accessories and a perfect pair of shoes to create the look you want. Consider these features to find the best long sleeve dress for a casual Saturday stroll, a classy dinner date or a day in the office:
With so many long sleeve dress styles, it is easy to find one that feels and looks great. Here are just a few of our favorite silhouettes for a long sleeve dress:
- Fit and flare: A long sleeve dress with a gathered waist and fun, flippy skirt will make you want to twirl all day long. This classic style looks flattering on any figure and can be dressed up or down to meet the occasion.
- Swing dress: With a slightly fitted top and flowing skirt, a long sleeve swing dress is a great way to feature an interesting neckline or statement necklace.
- Shift dress: For even more comfort, a flowing shift dress is another staple that can transition from the office to a fancy evening with ease. Simply swap your blazer and booties for an elegant necklace and heels, and you're ready for cocktail hour.
- Tailored: A tailored long sleeve dress is the perfect choice to wear to work in colder weather. Choose a pleated button-down dress like this sage midi dress for a look that feels powerful and professional.
When choosing the shape for your long sleeve dress, think about the jacket or sweater you may want to wear. A slim and sleek jacket will look great over a flowing dress, while a big cozy sweater works better with a fitted dress.
The neckline of a long sleeve dress has a big impact on which jewelry will look best or how you can layer your dress for cold weather. Here are a few necklines that work well with women's long sleeve dresses:
- Mock neck: Turtlenecks are back in style, and the mock neck is the turtleneck's classier cousin. Mock neck long sleeve dresses are comfortable and can be worn with your favorite necklace or a stylish fur vest.
- Scoop neck: Long sleeve scoop or round neck dresses are perfect for layering with a button-up or turtleneck underneath. They also work well with long necklaces or scarves.
- V-neck: A V-neck long sleeve dress is a great way to balance intrigue and coverage for a formal winter event. Pair a deep V-neck dress with a delicate short necklace or your favorite statement earrings.
- Wrap: Wrap necklines are comfortable and stylish — a great option for both the office and a fancy outing.
The most important thing for the neckline of your dress is that you feel comfortable all day long. If you want to wear a deep v-neck in colder weather, wrap up in a warm scarf when heading outdoors or pull on a fluffy sweater over your dress.
When choosing the best fabric for a long sleeve dress, consider the occasion — a cotton or rayon dress will create a more casual look, while satin is best for an evening on the town. For a casual lunch date or day in the office, a sweater dress is comfortable and classic. If you are looking for the perfect dress for a fall or winter wedding, velvet or wool will keep you feeling cozy for the ceremony and looking classy for the reception. If you plan to layer your dress with a cardigan or jacket, choose a fabric that will be warm enough for the weather without making you feel too warm.
In colder weather, its only natural to reach for cool tones and neutrals, but you can still mix it up with some fun colors that suit the season. Try these shades for a boutique long sleeve dress in fall, winter or spring:
- Plum or burgundy: These rich tones will make you feel royal for a night out with the girls and can also be dressed down for an afternoon coffee date.
- Maroon: A slightly warmer alternative to burgundy, maroon is a great transition color for moving your wardrobe from fall to winter.
- Navy blue: Navy blue is a classic shade that looks great on every skin tone — and looks even better with fun polka dots, stripes or a windowpane print, like this pleated navy dress with girly buttons on the top.
- Mustard yellow: This unique color will make a statement and bring a little sunshine to a cool winter afternoon. If you are rocking a mustard yellow dress, pair it with dark brown, maroon or burnt orange for an outfit bursting in fall hues.
- Lavender: If you are yearning for some feminine shades for your winter look, try lavender for your long sleeve dress. This icy, yet soft tone looks great with other classic cold-weather colors like gray, black or navy blue, and also transitions smoothly into the pinks and purples of spring.
- Floral prints: Yes, you can still wear floral patterns in winter, especially when you are wearing a feminine long sleeve dress. Look for a print that has a black base or uses other cold weather colors, like this winter blossom sweater dress.
- Black: A little black dress is essential for any season, but in cooler weather, you get to pair yours with cozy cardigans, funky boots and warm scarves. A simple black dress like this basic trapeze swing dress makes the perfect base for any look — keep it classic with silver jewelry or go bold with bright colored accents.
- Gray: Gray is another neutral tone that works well against the snowy backdrop of winter or cloudy weather of spring and fall. We also love monotone grays for a sleek and sophisticated cold weather look.
These are just a few popular shades for cool weather, but don't be afraid to choose any long sleeve dress you love, no matter what color. By matching it with the right accessories, you can wear your favorite dress all season long.
Different length dresses will work best with different shoes, socks or tights. If you want to rock a pair of over-the-knee boots, we recommend a shorter dress that falls just an inch or two above the top of the boots. For shorter boots, anything from a maxi to mini dress will work well. Long sleeve midi dresses look great with high heels or heeled booties or can be paired with wedge sandals in the fall or early spring. A maxi or midi dress is also the perfect option to wear on a cool day when you don't want to bring along a jacket.
How to Style a Long Sleeve Dress
Once you have chosen the perfect dress for your occasion, it's time to start pairing it with accessories, jewelry, shoes and outwear. Follow these steps to build the perfect look with your long sleeve dress:
1. Add Your Favorite Jewelry
Whether you are grabbing drinks with the girls or spending the day in the office, the right piece of jewelry can make you feel polished and stylish. Here are a few pieces of jewelry we love to wear with women's boutique long sleeve dresses:
- Long delicate necklace: A subtle necklace on a long chain works well with nearly any neckline and any occasion, but looks especially great with a mock neck or crew neck long sleeve dress. A pendant necklace maintains a minimalist look while adding a little extra flair. For an elegant occasion, choose a minimal gold or silver necklace. For a casual shopping trip, a boho necklace featuring feathers or leaves can be a fun twist.
- Statement necklace: Bold statement necklaces can take a simple black or gray dress to the next level with a pop of color or eye-catching design. A short and chunky statement necklace pairs well with a mock neck or crew neck as well as a v-neck long sleeve dress.
- Simple bangle bracelet: While a bracelet may not be your first thought when wearing a long sleeve dress, a dainty gold bangle bracelet looks great over a long sleeve dress with fitted sleeves. This little pop of sparkle can be used to tie in your earrings or necklace.
- Chunky cuff bracelet: A thick cuff bracelet can also be slipped over a long sleeve dress for an interesting accent. Engraved metal cuff bracelets in gold or silver can be a great conversation starter while keeping your look subtle.
When matching jewelry to the rest of your outfit, choose gold or white gold for warmer tones and silver for cool shades. Gold jewelry also works well with brown shoes and bags, while silver complements gray and black accessories. If you are wearing a black dress and shoes, any color of jewelry will pair nicely.
2. Stay Warm With a Pair of Tights
Black tights are an age-old accessory, but when you wear them right, tights are nothing but boring. Slip on a pair of classic black tights under a long sleeve dress and finish the look with black heeled booties to match. Go for an all-black look or choose a patterned dress with some black in the print. This creates a slim silhouette and look that is classy from head to toe. If you prefer a look with more color, choose a single-colored dress in a wintery tone and add black accents on top to balance the look, like a jacket with black trim or a black purse.
For a more casual and stylish vibe, swap your booties for comfortable sneakers. Chunky white sneakers are all the rage and look great with a black or gray long sleeve dress. By keeping the color palette neutral, you can create a polished but relaxed look. For a brighter outfit, slide into neon sneakers for a casual Sunday walk.
To make your tights look extra stylish, make sure the hemline of your dress is short or midi length. Choose tights that are opaque and warm to stay cozy in cool weather.
3. Choose Your Accessories
Adding accessories to your look can be a fun way to express your unique style. Here are a few accessories to try with your boutique long sleeve dress:
- Scarves: An essential accessory for fall and winter, scarves can be worn to add a fun pop of color or to match your shoes or bag. If you are wearing boots, you can also match your scarf to your socks and let them peek out a little bit above your boots. An infinity scarf is easy to toss on over a scoop neck dress. For a crew neck or mock neck, try adding a long scarf and wearing it open to elongate your look.
- Hats: Big floppy hats are a must for a sunny spring afternoon and look great with a long sleeve dress for a breezy day. A soft brown or black hat pairs nicely with almost any dress, while a straw hat goes great with a classic little black dress. For a more casual look, we love a big comfy beanie with a flowy knit dress.
- Bags: Another practical addition, bags can also be the final touch to tie a look together. For a long sleeve dress with a long hemline, we recommend a slim over the shoulder bag. Pair a chunky bag with a shorter dress and make sure it matches your shoes and jacket.
When wearing a simple dress, accessories are your opportunity to really make a statement. Don't be afraid to be bold with a colorful bag or funky scarf.
4. Slip on the Right Pair of Shoes
Depending on the season, you can pair your long sleeve dress with anything from strappy sandals to cozy boots. Here are a few ways to wear your favorite shoes with a long sleeve dress:
- Over-the-knee boots: Fashionable and fun, over-the-knee boots are perfect for an evening out. Pair them with a shorter dress that falls just above the top of your boots. You'll still stay warm while feeling extra flirty.
- Boots and booties: Boots of any height are great to layer with warm socks in fall or winter. Match your socks to your dress or scarf, or use them as a fun accent color.
- Chunky sneakers: White sneakers are comfortable and fashion-forward for a day spent running errands. Sneakers are also an easy way to dress down a more formal long sleeve dress.
- Wedge sandals: If you’re wearing your long sleeve dress in spring, pair it with heeled sandals. White sandals look great with a solid colored dress. With a patterned dress, choose a color from the print and match your sandals to that for a cohesive look and bright pop.
For a coordinated look, match your shoes to your jacket or bag. Your shoes can also be a pop of color for an otherwise monochromatic look or express your style with a bold patterned shoe.
4. Finish Your Look With Outerwear
The perfect season to wear a long sleeve dress is in the snowy winter months or cool days of fall, so you may need to complete your look with a jacket, sweater or coat. Here are a few tips for choosing the best outwear for a long sleeve dress in any season:
- Cardigan: On a chilly fall day you can swap your jacket for a lighter cardigan. Choose a long cardigan over a short dress to create interesting lines or a cropped cardigan for a more traditional look.
- Sweater: By pulling a comfortable sweater or long sleeve shirt on top, your dress can double as a skirt for a whole new look. If you get too warm during the day, you can take it off and still have an equally fashionable look underneath.
- Vest: Trendy and wintry, a fur vest is a fun way to finish your look. Vests are a perfect choice for a moderately cool day that is still too warm for a jacket.
- Jacket: In winter or fall, try a classic black leather jacket over a long sleeve dress. In spring, trade darker colors for a light jean jacket or trench coat. When pairing your long sleeve dress with a jacket, opt for contrasting shapes — choose a slim fitting jacket over a flowing dress or a looser jacket over a form-fitting dress.
- Long coat: On a cold day, wrap up in a long warm coat. We love a classic wool peacoat in light brown or black or a fuzzy faux fur coat.
- Blazer: If you want to wear a casual dress into the office, dress it up with a blazer and heels. Pair a boxy blazer over a slim dress or a tailored blazer over your favorite fit and flare look.
With the right outerwear, you can wear your favorite long sleeve dress all year long.
Find Your New Favorite Long Sleeve Dress at My Sister's Closet
Versatile and fashionable, boutique long sleeve dresses can be dressed down or styled up for any occasion. By choosing the right jewelry, accessories and shoes, you can wear a long sleeve dress in any weather and create a look that is truly unique to your style.
If you are still searching for the long sleeve dress of your dreams, My Sister's Closet offers everything from comfy and casual knit dresses to formal dresses for a winter wedding or fancy date night. Our women's long sleeve dresses are designed for a comfortable fit and priced for your budget. Explore the wide selection of women's boutique long sleeve dresses at My Sister's Closet for a great deal on beautiful and stylish dresses you'll love.