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Wondering what to wear in spring or autumn when the weather’s still cold but occasionally sunny? Dresses are a great option for this time of year. Take a look at the merino wool dress that almost made me overpack for Paris – I love it! I also share some other ideas for dresses that could make it into your cold-weather wardrobe!
Dresses can easily be layered with tights, scarves, and jackets for cold days and worn alone when warm. Find out more here.
Merino Wool Dress
What I Packed:
- 1 Jeans
- 2 Dresses
- 4 Tops
Additional, non-capsule pieces included: 2 outerwear, 1 pair of Ibex thermals, and 1 sleepwear set.
This doesn’t seem like much, does it? I even packed it all into my 30L daypack for a total of 4kg (9 lbs).
So how did I manage to overpack?
Keep reading to find out what wonderful item pleasantly turned my minimalist packing list into an overpacking experience!
The answer: THE MANSFIELD MERINO WOOL DRESS BY IBEX
Here is a similar dress from Wool&
When I first saw the dress, I liked the idea of it. It had long sleeves, a classic shape, it was available in black, and it had a round neckline that covered me where I wanted to be covered without choking me.
In addition to being a basic travel wardrobe piece, my biggest selling point was that it is 100% Merino wool. This makes it ideal for travel in cold weather, plus it has the ability to be worn repeatedly without washing.
But I never expected to fall in love with it so much that I would wear it four times in one week! And in London AND Paris!
Originally I HAD planned to wear it twice: on my travel day to London and on my travel day back from Paris. This would have allowed me to pack only three tops and one more dress for the other five days.
When I first tried it on, it seemed to drown me in my 5’2″ stature, so I had it hemmed to 3 inches above my knee. This made a much more flattering and wearable fit.
Find out the best fabric alternatives to merino wool and why they are so great!
I paired it with black tights, black motorcycle boots, a black scarf, and a maroon leather jacket. As I walked from the train to the Tube and through London I couldn’t help but notice a certain bounce in my step. Was it the fact that I was wearing my favorite ten-year-old boots? A snug, rocking leather jacket? That I packed super light for my one week trip?
And then I realized it: No. It was the dress. It just made me feel good. It was comfortable, classic, and with the new hem–even sexy; modest, paired with tights, of course.
I can’t explain it, but I found myself seated in Heathrow waiting for my friend to arrive and falling more in love with the dress. At that moment I envisioned myself wearing it for our free New Europe city tour in Paris and maybe even to the Eiffel Tower two days later.
Whether you’re looking for something in autumn, spring, or a mix-weather trip – a merino wool dress like this one is a great choice!
A merino dress not only became my favorite during that trip but many readers have been also asking for more “dress me weather” ideas since this type of item allows you to still wear a dress without feeling super cold.
On that note, check out more popular picks for the best merino wool travel dress below!
Best Merino Wool Dresses for Winter and Fall
Shop Sizes XXS-XXL: Nordstrom
Nordstrom Rib Long Sleeve Wool Dresses
Though this is a wool and cashmere blend, this Nordstrom wool long sleeve dress is soft, shapes the body well, and has a lovely ribbed texture. Pair it well with loafers, ankle boots, or knee-high boots.
One review says it all, “Once you put it on, you don’t want to take it off! It feels so nice to the skin. The quality is really on par with more expensive dresses. It’s mid-weight, shows off your curves but doesn’t show imperfections, hangs beautifully on your body.”
Shop Sizes XS-1X: WoolX
WoolX Long Wool Dress
A classic black wool dress is a solid go-to and this merino wool blend dress from WoolX is a super versatile choice. With a flouncy bottom and short sleeves, it is flowy, flirty, and fun! Made with merino wool, this dress will provide you with odor-destroying and temperature-regulating properties.
This style also comes equipped with two side pockets for any of your essential needs! If there is one piece that you need to get you through the summer heat… this dress MUST be at the top of your list.
Try other accessories with it like a belt, moto jacket, and a stylish (but warm) hat!
Find out what’s the best merino wool clothing for travel!
Shop Sizes XS-L: Icebreaker
Icebreaker Merino Rye Granary Dress
This Icebreaker piece has a cute t-shirt dress style and is described as super soft and ideal for anyone who likes a looser fit. You can layer with cardigans, turtlenecks, jackets, and of course, you can add tights underneath.
One user raves about this, saying, “Perfect modern twist on a classic black dress! I love the quality, comfort, and feel. It’s soft, breathable, and light. You can easily dress this look up or down with accessories!”
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Unbound Merino
Unbound Merino Sleeveless Merino Wool Dress
For a bit of versatility, this Merino Travel dress can create many a merino wool outfit! Add a blouse or tee underneath, layer a jacket or blazer, or add accessories like a belt or dangly necklace. At mid-knee length, it’s a classic, yet simple piece that’ll last season after season!
A wearer shares the features of this dress, saying, “Love how pretty this dress is! So comfortable and easy to dress up or down.” Other one says, “I purchased this little black dress for a winter trip to Iceland. High black boots and a cashmere sweater and it was the perfect travel outfit. Very comfortable for an all night flight (for those of us that refuse to travel in sweat pants!) Can’t wait to use for a summer destination next.”
Made with breathable, odor-resistant and quick-drying merino fabric it also has a lining so you have full coverage. You can also wear this in the summer!
These are the best merino wool sweaters, according to our readers!
Shop Sizes XXS-XL: Nordstrom
Eileen Fisher T Shirt Dress Wool
If you’re looking for relaxed shirt wool dresses, take a spin in this Eileen Fisher crewneck t shirt dress with 100% wool. This breezy T-shirt dress cut in a classic crewneck silhouette and knit from luxuriously soft wool yarns and above the knee-length give it classic details. A versatile basic that you can dress up or down!
Shop Sizes XS-2X: Wool&
Wool& Rowena Merino Wool Swing Dress
A major reader-favorite, this Wool& Rowena wool dresses with long sleeves is neutral yet full of function. It has a minimalist design that means you can style it up in endless ways, but you could totally keep it simple with sneakers for a chic and pared-down look — and it’s super flattering either way! It has a high neck, slim sleeves, and a flowy skirt, with side pockets to store your mini essentials.
One wearer shares, “I love the Rowena Swing dress! It’s so comfortable and flowy. It’s great on cooler days as well as layering with my winter sweaters when it’s really cold. I also wear it during the summer! It feels feminine yet still allows me to have comfort while being active outdoors.”
Shop Sizes S-XL: Amazon
Liny Xin Merino Wool Tunics Dresses
Described as “the softest cashmere,” the Liny Xin cowl neck sweater dress is 100% merino wool, soft and inviting beset with cozy pockets. Would look fab with long boots, leggings, and ankle boots, or on its own (but don’t sacrifice warmth when you don’t have to!).
One reviewer explains her total adoration of this dress, saying, “This is a beautiful woolen sweater-dress. The merino wool is thick and looks heavy, but it is actually fairly light-weight and this sweater feels very cozy and warm. I like the pockets — they are generously sized and well-positioned, too!”
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Backcountry
Smartwool Diamond Peak Quilted Dress
This Smartwool raglan-style dress is cozy and could be your “right one”! Made from a merino-polyester blend, It features a quilted front and back with long sleeves which keep you warm and front pockets that are great for storing your small essentials.
This is described as, “A great Casual dress for travel or out and about.” It’s also perfect to wear when you’re sightseeing. Just throw on some comfortable boots of your choice and you’re good to go! Comes in sizes XS-XL.
Madewell Merino Wool Winter Dress
Super stylish, the Madewell sweater dress is cozy due to the soft ribbed texture that allows for movement, yet has a nice-looking column cut. The above the knee length allows your legs some breathing room, too.
A gorgeous winter must-have!
Learn more about how to pack for cold weather!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Quince
Quince Turtleneck Merino Wool Sweater Dress
Made from 100% Australian merino wool, this Quince wool sweater dress is an adorable turtleneck style with a relaxed fit with drop shoulders.
One happy user says, “This dress will be perfect for the fall/winter. Super comfortable and very cute!” Another one adds, “Love love love. I’m a little wide in the hips, and this is still a flattering sweater dress. The quality is INCREDIBLE! I can’t believe the price, and am so grateful it didn’t blow my budget. Did I mention how PRETTY AND SOFT and comfy it is? And THANK YOU THANK YOU for making it knee length—which is so hard to find. I’m between and M and a L typically, and the M fit me perfectl”
Tip: you may not want a full dress, so maybe consider merino woolen maxi skirts, their length covers up the legs when chilly and a skirt allows you to revolve tops and create a “new” wool skirt outfit every time!
Merino Wool Dress Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Nordstrom Rib Long Sleeve Wool Dresses||“Once you put it on, you don’t want to take it off! It feels so nice to the skin. The quality is really on par with more expensive dresses. It’s mid-weight, shows off your curves but doesn’t show imperfections, hangs beautifully on your body.”||Check Price|
|WoolX Long Wool Dress||Loved this when I travelled to Israel recently. I just wore bicycle shorts underneath and was comfortable in the heat and got to cool off my legs more than others in the group wearing pants all day. I could wear it more than once too.||Check Price|
|Icebreaker Merino Rye Granary Dress||“Perfect modern twist on a classic black dress! I love the quality, comfort, and feel. It’s soft, breathable, and light. You can easily dress this look up or down with accessories!”||Check Price|
|Unbound Merino Sleeveless Merino Wool Dress||“Love how pretty this dress is! So comfortable and easy to dress up or down.”||Check Price|
|Eileen Fisher T Shirt Dress Wool||This breezy T-shirt dress cut in a classic crewneck silhouette and knit from luxuriously soft wool yarns and above the knee-length give it classic details.||Check Price|
|Wool& Rowena Merino Wool Swing Dress||“I love the Rowena Swing dress! It's so comfortable and flowy. It’s great on cooler days as well as layering with my winter sweaters when it's really cold. I also wear it during the summer! It feels feminine yet still allows me to have comfort while being active outdoors.”||Check Price|
|Liny Xin Merino Wool Tunics Dresses||“This is a beautiful woolen sweater-dress. The merino wool is thick and looks heavy, but it is actually fairly light-weight and this sweater feels very cozy and warm. I like the pockets -- they are generously sized and well-positioned, too!”||Check Price|
|Smartwool Diamond Peak Quilted Dress||“A great Casual dress for travel or out and about.”||Check Price|
|Madewell Merino Wool Winter Dress||Knit from a cozy-warm—but not too—wool blend, this sweater-dress is ready for pumpkin-spice season in an appropriately autumnal hue.||Check Price|
|Quince Turtleneck Merino Wool Sweater Dress||“This dress will be perfect for the fall/winter. Super comfortable and very cute!”||Check Price|
Have you ever traveled with a merino wool dress? Please comment below!
For more travel dresses, please read:
- Midi Dresses for Women That Are Versatile and Stylish
- Best Winter Dresses for Women
- Best Dresses With Pockets for Work, Play, or Travel
- We Found the Perfect Little Black Travel Dress
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*Ibex sent me a complimentary dress and I genuinely loved it!