LOFT Cowl Neck Swing Dress

Good morning! I hope you had a nice weekend! Mine has been a bit of a whirlwind, and I’m getting off to a late start this morning. I did end up going to the Nordstrom shopping event with a friend last night, and we had a great time, but we didn’t get home till 11PM. That’s well past my bedtime, and it was also the third night in a row that I was out late, so I’m feeling pretty groggy. It’s definitely going to be a three cuppa coffee kinda day.

I’ve been feeling like I need some variety in my 25 Days of Winter Fashion so I ordered a few casual dresses to style. I pretty much struck out, but I went ahead and photographed this look because I thought it would generate some good discussion.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

I don’t really care for the swing dress style on me; it’s generally more flattering on a pear or straight body type, but I didn’t realize how voluminous this cowl neck dress was when I looked at it on the website. When I opened the box and held it up, I knew I wasn’t going to like it, but I tried it on anyway. After all, you never REALLY know until you try it.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.
It’s okay, but it doesn’t really flatter my curves. In the immortal words of Stacy and Clinton, I think I can do better. A structured sheath is more slimming and would make me look more curvy, but this is cute and comfortable for a casual look, and there’s a time and a place for that, I guess.

I liken it to the oversized sweaters that are all the rage right now. There are more flattering styles, but the relaxed cut is cute and comfy and on trend, and it’s nice to have some variety in your wardrobe.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

So let’s discuss what I DO like about this outfit. The dress is a pretty “deep space blue” with a trendy marled effect to the knit. It has hints of black, so you could totally wear this with black tights and black boots. In fact, that’s how I wore it when I took this quick mirror selfie that generated a lot of discussion a few weeks ago.

LOFT Cowl Neck Dress, Size Small

For today’s look, I wore these over-the-knee boots in a trendy mushroom color.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

I LOVE this color because it’s a crossover between grey and tan and goes with almost anything. It’s also close to my skin tone, so it works well with this dress and bare legs because it creates one long, lean leg line. If I wore black boots, I’d wear black tights to create that same long line.


These particular boots are by Franco Sarto, and I like the lower heel. They’re very comfortable and good quality, but I did notice that the shaft is a bit narrower than some OTK boots I own, and they were extremely snug when I tried them over jeans. They’re perfect for skirts, though.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

I also carried a mushroom-colored crossbody. I ordered this expecting it to be lighter — more of a nude as pictured online — but it’s a pretty neutral that coordinates well with these boots and other taupe-colored shoes in my closet. I like how it can go with grey or brown, depending on the outfit. That said, it’s too small to hold much so it’s going back. I only carried it long enough to take these pictures, but I’m on the lookout for something similar in a large size.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

I also wore a long pendant to break up the front of the dress. With a cowl neck, I prefer a really long necklace so it doesn’t compete with the cowl.

Speaking of the cowl neck, that’s another feature I really like about this dress. The neckline should be flattering for most body types, and it’s more interesting than the crewneck that is typical for this style of dress. Also, this dress runs big. I ordered both the medium and the small, and this is the small.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

Overall, I think this outfit is more of a hit than a miss. I still don’t love this style of dress on me, but it’s fun for something different. The material is really nice quality, the color is flattering, and I like the cowl neck.

The over-the-knee boots keep the look modern, but so would booties. You could totally wear ballet flats or riding boots with this, but I like the booties or over-the-knee boots for an edgier vibe. When it gets colder, I’ll pair it with black tights and black boots.

Styling this LOFT cowl neck swing dress with over the knee boots for a casual winter dress outfit.

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 cowl neck dress // OTK boots // mushroom crossbody // similar charm necklace // similar silver hoops // D Yurman link bracelet, cable cuff and link ring // nails: CND Oxblood

Be sure to visit Cyndi and see the winter outfit she’s styling today!

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40 Responses

  1. I like the dress, but you’re right—it’s not the best dress you’ve worn in the last couple months!
    But that’s not to say that your poncho or a long cardigan wouldn’t look great over it??
    I love that you showed it with the tights & booties—it’s nice to know some variety of what to wear with certain items!

      1. You are in no way a plain Jane, Jo-Lynne!!
        Remember, I have many more years on you—that’s all!
        And I tend to be a fixer—I always want to make things better. Even when I cook—if the recipe comes out great, it’s no challenge and I rarely make it again. Silly, huh?

  2. I definitely think this is a hit 😉 . I typically prefer the look of looser and flowy, so I actually really love it. Especially those boots, love them! Do you think something like this would be appropriate for a very casual holiday party? I was planning to throw a few outfits out to the group later for feedback, and this is very similar to one I’m thinking about.

  3. I love this look on you. I’m not just trying to be nice. It truly looks great, especially with those boots!
    I have the same question as Holli. I have a casual Christmas party coming up. Would this look be appropriate? I think it would, but would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

  4. Wow – are you kidding! You look fabulous in this dress! You wear it extremely well and it looks like you’re comfortable in it too!

  5. You look really cute. I love the OTK boots but I am so short they would swallow me up. I am new to your blog and for reference how tall are you? Thanks!

  6. I like the outfit but agree there are more flattering styles. If you want to avoid using the word curvy which can have a lot of definitions saying you’re an hourglass may be more clear?

    1. Yes, thank you! In the Adore Your Wardrobe class, she labeled my body style as curvy, so I keep falling back on that, but you’re right. I think most people would understand what I mean better if I use hourglass.

      1. Love the look with black tights and booties! More flattering. Not a fan of over the knee boots with dresses,looks uncomfortable! That said,you look great in both !! I love your website!

  7. I TOTALLY love it on you!!! I struggle with that style because im “busty” so i end up looking like a football player in most of the straighter styles, but i actually think the “swing” balances it out, so im totally going to try it!!! I think its one of the best looks ive seen on the winter series!!!! A complete “Hit” for me!!!

  8. As a Pear shape, I love the swing dress! Could you belt this dress? I think this looks great on you and super comfortable. I also like the cowl neck, it is like having a built in scarf!

  9. I also think you look fabulous in this dress! I do understand what you mean about a sheath dress being more flattering for your curves. Stacy and Clinton would also say that straight legged jeans are more flattering than skinny and you look awesome in skinny jeans!! I really love how you styled the dress too. Ultimately you have to be comfortable in what you wear but you wouldn’t achieve the same look and style with a sheath dress.

  10. Just wanted to thank you for your posts! I ordered two of your LOFT items–the cowl neck sweater (I think you have it in oatmeal) and a sweater dress in marled teal–and they are both winners! Thanks for your winnowing down of everything out there! I too am curvy with a short waist and larger “girls”, so if it looks good on you, I’m likely to be okay with the items too! Yay!!

  11. Jo-Lynne, I appreciate you letting us see the dress on you, and you sharing what you like and don’t like about it. I really like it with the tights! Because my mid section is a bit thick, I prefer tops that are lose so that the excess doesn’t show in any shape or form.

    Hope your under the weather child feels better soon and you are able to get some relaxation in.

  12. I really think that dress looks amazing on you! I like the OTK look especially, but it looks great styled either way. Probably you should not mind stepping out of your “comfort zone” when something looks that good, but I am not much of a dress person either. Love your style.

  13. But is DOES flatter your curves; just in a different way. As you move, the dress catches or glides over all the right spots. Sometimes it is difficult to wrap our heads around wearing clothes a little bit different. We go from skinny tight jeans/leggings and fitted tops to an outfit with a little more flow; so we think the out fit doesn’t fit or we don’t feel comfortable in it. You did a nice job pulling all the pieces together. How about a vest to tame the swing? It really does look great on you!

  14. I love this dress on you with the OTK boots! I agree with a poster above who said you look better than the online LOFT model in it! You have to keep that dress!

    I bought this dress a few weeks ago but haven’t worn it yet. I ordered the tall size small (for the length- I’m 5’9″) but it was really, really full on me. So I took it to the tailor and had it taken in a little on the sides; it’s perfect now. Slightly more fitted, but still flowy like it’s supposed to be. I’m going to try wearing it with my gray OTK boots. I’ll have to post a picture and share. 😉

  15. I, too, think you look amazing in this. Speaking as a person with a similar body type, I’m willing to give this another “whirl”. As you have pointed out, sometimes we have to see a trend for a bit before we are comfortable. This is the second swirl dress I’ve seen you model and it has me wondering if I should have given away that super-cool-paisley-black and white-summer dress?
    Thanks – your blog is so fun.

  16. I think the dress looks great on you, in both of the ways you styled it. It could also be cute styled more casual with some fun patterned leggings.

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