If you made a list of everything you would ideally want out of a new purchase, I would hazard a guess that longevity is up there with versatility and design. It certainly is for me, anyway. One of the key considerations for time-tested style is the ability to adapt your clothing to life's shifting demands, and of course the variability of our wonderful British weather. The ultimate aim is to have a wardrobe which is made up of these fashion workhorses, however, in my experience there tend to be certain items that you stumble across that particularly ace their cost-per-wear test.
This winter that item was my knitted dress from Arket. I know, I never would have guessed that a knitted dress could be so versatile, and if I'm honest it took me a while to discover new and original ways to style this popular trend. But then again, there's nothing like a lockdown to force yourself to be more creative with the same selection of clothing.
While I liked the black iterations on-site, I thought Arket's grey roll-neck knit dress would go with more in my wardrobe, and it also wasn't quite as oversize, as some knitted dresses I've seen on the high street. I have to admit, that I was a big fan of the dress-over-trousers trend on last season's runways, and it's a look that has inspired many of my outfits, but I understand that some people won't love the loose, fabric-heavy finish. If so, I would recommend the many belted knitted dresses that are around, such as this & Other Stories number, which will offer a more cinched silhouette.
But if you own a knitted dress like my Arket one and fancy mixing things up this January then scroll down to see the five ways I'm styling it right now.
1. Knitted Dress + Knitted Trousers
Style Notes: I bought these Joseph knitted trousers in a sample sale last year, and thank goodness I did because I've barely taken them off when WFH. I like how their flared fit compliments the line of the knitted dress, creating a sort of tunic effect. I think heeled boots can help to keep the silhouette more elegant, but I do think you could create a similar effect with platform sole combat boots.
2. Knitted Dress + Layered Knit Vest + Chunky Boots
Style Notes: I'm happy to admit that the knitted vest is one of my favourite trends of this winter, mostly because they're such a handy layering tool. I've worn my H&M vest over roll necks, dresses, shirts and jumpsuits, and now my Arket knit dress. I think both pieces need to be quite baggy to create the right finish, but it's super quick to throw on when you've found your perfect pairing.
Style Notes: If in doubt, just layer up the knitwear (it is freezing outside, after all). Hayley Menzies' duster coat provides the ultimate top layer which is both cosy and wonderfully colourful. I've added a belt to create a bit more shape and balanced out the heavy silhouette with my trusty Whistles boots.
Style Notes: Sometimes less is more, and in this case a pair of mum jeans and loafers creates a beautifully minimalist effect with the Arket dress. The slim fit of the jeans mean flats work perfectly, and I can imagine wearing this at the weekend with an oversized trench.
5. Tucked-in Dress + Printed Skirt + Western Boots
Style Notes: I've been trying to work whether I can get away with wearing my Arket knit dress as more of a jumper, and it took a bit of tinkering but I actually love the drapey effect that comes from tucking it in. I've added a pop of colour via this amazing vintage plaid skirt and finished with my favourite secondhand cowboy boots.