With the holiday gift-giving season behind us, I can now share with you a commerce-centric journey that, as it turned out, was destined to end in failure: my quest to find a wool-free sweater dress. Not for me. For Katie. She’s mentioned before how much she’s wanted one and how hard it is to find anything other than the most basic and, more often than not, somewhat crap looking acrylic numbers. Nonetheless, I made it my mission to find one that was up to snuff and searched both the vastness of the interweb and the legion stores of Brooklyn and Manhattan. But, I came away from the whole experience with little good to say about the fashion sense of those few who choose to make winter-ready, easy-on-the-eye sweater dresses out of anything but wool. It’s a rough scene out there, man. And, as hinted at above, my search ended with me throwing up my hands and moving on to back-up, non-sweater-dressy gift ideas. Hope you liked the gift toothpaste set, by the way, Katie. That said, I did come away with a few finds for anyone in the market for warm winter dresses sans animal products and thought it might be worth sharing.

My first significant hit online came with the wares of a little-known boutique called “Victoria’s Secret”…needless to say, I was skeptical, but they really seem to have cornered the mainstream market on affordable acrylic-cotton blend winter dresses. But, once I realized none of them were carried in-store, I realized that, just relying on the online images, I might end up with a Housewives of Orange County number. But who knows. They might be lovely in person. – Victoria’s Secret Cowlneck Sweater Dress

Next up I checked out Bloomingdale’s as I heard that they, along with every other major retailer in New York, were having crazy sales. I didn’t find much, especially much that was affordable, but I did come across a few quasi-sweaterdresses from the, again, somewhat O.C. Nicole Miller. But I wasn’t really wowed and, though the construction was nice on them all, the materials didn’t seem worth the price.

Keeping on with the high-end theme for those of you who feel especially financially stable right now…I thought the Button Down Sweater Dress by See by ChloĆ© was pretty great, as was this Jumper Dress by the ultra-cool London designer collective Beyond the Valley. Their site’s definitely worth checking out. Very cool design.

But, in the end, and now after the journey that was Vegan Sweater Dress, it looks like etsy wins out. I know there’s added danger of whatever you get there TOTALLY not fitting or looking much different in person, but it’s such a great site for finding really unique, designer-made and -sold products, that we have to strongly endorse it. Our favorite, the Blue Houndstooth Sweater Dress by Replicca, seems to have sold out since we found it, but you can see it to the right there and the designer has posted a very cool brown version. Other etsy finds:
– a sweater dress with a shawl collar by Lirola in Israel
– a made-to-order knit cotton sweater dress by poshpau in Hawaii
– a fashiony hoodie from wearflock in portland

So it seems like the moral of the story is handmade = awesome-made. Or something more catchy. Hm.

We encourage you to find other great vegan options for the winter months and post them here.

Oh, right. And if you’ve gotten all the way through and are like, “Wait. Why is wool so bad?” check out Save the Sheep or PETA’s Guide to Compassionate Clothing. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the days of animal-loving, small-scale farming lately.