You and your favorite pair of sweatpants have been through it over the last year: Zoom meetings, grocery runs, virtual birthday parties, extended couch sessions buried beneath a weighted blanket, maybe curled up in the fetal position. Your time together has endured, but like many relationships, the “needing space” phase hits at one point or another. Does this mean you’re breaking up? Not in the slightest. You’re simply giving other articles of clothing a chance and taking the strain off the hard-working comfies. Likely with a piece that feels more suited to spring weather, such as a sweatshirt dress, the trend that will supersede the sweatsuit craze for spring and summer.
Sweatshirt dresses are cut from the same comfy fabrics as your favorite oversize or tie-dye sets, feeling infinitely cozy but with a skosh more polish. Bringing a flash of leg to the table via a slit or shortened hem, they’re a more feminine take on leisurewear with an effortlessness akin to the most artfully assembled half-dressed outfit. The vibe? Just polished enough, without too much effort. “As we ease back into post-pandemic dressing, the sweatshirt dress is the perfect bridge to getting dressed again,” says Intermix chief merchant Divya Mathur. But don’t fall into the trap of assuming this dress style lacks sophistication or should be worn exclusively for casual moments. “This season’s sweatshirt dress is for so much more than just lounging around the house,” Mathur explains. “Once you pick the right style, you can dress it up or down with different shoes and accessories.”
Echoing Mathur, Caroline Maguire, Shopbop’s fashion director, tells TZR, “Sweatshirt dresses are a no-brainer for the spring months ahead — I love that they’re equal parts comfortable and chic. I style mine with leggings underneath and platform sandals on a warm day or my favorite pair of high-tops when I’m on the go.” Recommending styles ranging from versatile black to boldly printed and designer versions with whimsical logos, Maguire points out the vast range available for every taste and budget. Keep reading for six styles you’ll repeatedly wear over the next several months, and shop the edit for those that catch your eye. Don’t forget to remind your sweatpants and sets that this separation is temporary.
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Neutral Sweatshirt Dresses
Having a sweatshirt dress in your preferred neutral shade — be it grey, camel, ivory, or olive — is the equivalent to your most-worn hoodie or pair of sweatpants. In other words, you’ll reach for it a ton at home with socks, for errands with sneakers, for a low-key chic dinner with heels, and beyond.
Feeling tripped up by the notion of an “occasion” sweatshirt dress or one you can wear for casual and dressed-up moments? No need. Marissa Webb and Intermix teamed up to make a stellar version. “This off-the-shoulder style in a gorgeous camel goes with everything from sneakers, to sandals, to boots,” Mathur tells TZR. “It’s on heavy rotation in our closets.”
Retrofête’s turtleneck mini is another great day-to-night iteration, featuring a criss-cross hem and voluminous sleeves. “We love this sweatshirt dress — you can always count on them to add some sexiness to even the most casual look,” Mathur adds.
Colorful Sweatshirt Dresses
Cue the color! Between work-from-home outfit fatigue and the joyous feeling that spring’s warmer weather brings, it’s time to embrace a jaunty hue or two, be it bubble gum pink, periwinkle, or lemony yellow. Toned-down shades like burgundy and sandstone work just as well — all of which exude freshness with a sleek pair of sneakers or minimal sandals.
Printed Sweatshirt Dresses
Like color, spring and summer inspire more audacity in the print department, with fresh iterations of florals and tie-dye ruling the season this year. For something more unexpected, how about an abstract art-pop motif in black and white?
Black Sweatshirt Dresses
The little black dress, but cozier. From loose-fitting crewnecks to above-the-knee hoodies that can be worn solo or layered as a tunic, this is easily your most versatile sweatshirt dress. To showcase your eye for details, versions with unique cut-outs, a cinched waist, or two-tone drawstrings will subtly stand out.
Long Sweatshirt Dresses
Maxi dresses are synonymous with warm weather, and the long sweatshirt dress is hardly an exception. Look to light and pastel hues, swirly tie-dye prints, and slitted silhouettes for a seasonally appropriate vibe. As for the ultimate shoe to pair? A minimalist sneaker or slip-on slides.
Designer Sweatshirt Dresses
Whether you're a luxury die-hard or covet the occasional spendy purchase, designer labels deliver on stylish sweatshirt dresses for spring, often with whimsical takes on brand insignia or modern accents. See Off-White's floral-arrow motif, Gucci's metallic mini, and Balenciaga's asymmetric black wrap.