I’m a huge fan of sweater dresses for their style and convenience. Although they are not (yet) as established to have a formal history, the evolution of sweaters is quite interesting.

The earliest hand-knitted shirts were worn as underclothing in the 17th century. Later in the mid-19th century, they became the “gansey” and “jersey”, worn by sailors and fishermen in the British Isles and Scandinavia. At the end of the 19th century, sweaters (named for its tight fit to absorb sweat from exercise) were worn by men in sports.

Sweaters entered the domain of women’s fashion in the 1920s, when Coco Chanel popularized the men’s sweaters by pushing up the sleeves and wearing belt as decoration. By the 1940s, the glamorous “sweater girls” image by Hollywood became synonymous with pin-up girls. In current day, machine-made sweaters are widely available to the public as one of the staple fashion items for winter.

Source: Fashion History, Vintage Dancer