PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 March, 2009, 12:00am

It's rare to find an item that is both comfortable and stylish but, personally, a sweater dress scores highly on both counts. Its greatest virtue has to be its versatility.

I recently spotted actress Blake Lively (of TV drama Gossip Girl) wearing a Alexander Wang striped sweater dress with charcoal grey tights and lace ankle boots for daytime, and again with a green minidress under a leopard print coat for a rocking look in the evening.

Sweater dresses are ideal for layering and can be dressed up with the right accessories.

Jean (far right) stands out thanks to her Yves Klein blue dress. Underneath it she's wearing a lace tank top, while a short fitted blazer tones down the unusually bright colour. A pair of flat riding boots with dark tights makes this the perfect outfit for a day at the office.

What I like most about Jean's look, though, is that it can easily translate into the evening: just take off the blazer and add a few chain necklaces for some drama.

Louder colours work well after dark and Jean will immediately stand out on Hong Kong's busy streets.

Sandy (right), on the other hand, has picked a draped piece with a more modern silhouette.

The dress is flattering and accentuates her curves, while the length makes her legs look long and slim.

Instead of going for the obvious black tights, she's using navy blue to add depth to her outfit. The camel-coloured bag lightens the look and works surprisingly well with the darker accessories.

Take tips from both girls and go for sweater dresses in different colours instead of the usual black. If you can't break away from black, create your own style with brightly coloured leggings or tights. I once saw Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a black minidress with neon pink leggings and patent leather booties for a punk edge.

Match more feminine cuts with masculine items, such as riding or biker boots. If you do opt for a loose style, wear a slim belt to accentuate your waistline without looking too bulky.

Get Jean's sweater dress at H&M, where you can find other colours. I've also seen a lavender/violet tunic-style sweater dress in Mango (Shop 1053, IFC Mall, tel: 2295 3262) and an orange style with a ruffle-front at bread n butter (71 Granville Road, TST, tel: 3106 2391).