How to wear a dress in winter? That’s a question I get asked quite a bit, because I wear dresses even when we’re dealing with subzero temperatures. The trick? A good pair of thermal tights (check the Primark ones!), warm cardigans or blazers for layering and just the guts to do it. I actually find I keep warmer when wearing a dress, especially if it’s knee length, than when I am wearing pants. You can always layer another pair of tights underneath your thermals if need be. Here’s how I style some of my favorite winter dresses.
I said in my intro to wear thick tights, but as you can see my tights aren’t that thick in these pictures. That was because all my truly thick ones were in the wash. I also tried changing it up and put in a look using no black. I do find that one key to styling up a dress is to make sure your shoes somehow match your outfit. Make sure the color matches your tights if it doesn’t make the entire look too dark and dreary: it will make you look taller and it slims your legs. I will give more tips on how to stay warm below.
1.) Tapestry print
Black lace cardigan (H&M)
Tapestry print dress (River Island via Asos)
Black heels (Van Haren)
Ring (inherited from my grandma)
This first outfit features one of my most special dresses. Unfortunately my camera didn’t pick up on it, but this dress is infused with gold metallic thread throughout. It’s a tad short perhaps for most people, but you can easily layer a tights skirt or shorts over your tights for an extra layer. The black tights and black heel combo make my legs look longer than they are and the dress hits me at just the rights spot where it’s not too short and still work appropriate. To warm this up even further you can switch out the cardigan for a much thicker one. I kept the accessories simple because of the metallic thread in the dress.
2.) A pop of color
White blazer (H&M)
Indigo & daisy print dress (New Look)
White earrings (Six)
Black pumps with white rims (Manfield)
Who says you can’t wear color in winter? Or daisy print for that matter… Well I say you can. I love adding a bit of brightness to those darker winter days. This dress is very thin and flimsy so to keep it from sticking to my legs and making it warm enough I have layered a tanktop and a tight black skirt underneath. I always get hot when wearing blazers so they’re an ultimate piece for me to stay warm. Again, accessories are just a pair of massive (and massively heavy) white flower earrings. A necklace would just not coordinate with the busy print. I wore these black pumps with a white rim to maintain the freshness of the overall look.
3.) Green & grey
Grey cardigan (H&M)
Green 60s dress (Mango)
Grey tights (HEMA)
Grey heels (Tube)
Statement necklace (Primark)
Unfortunately this dress no longer made the cut when I cleaned out my closet last week. However, it is a dress I still truly love, which is why I kept the outfit. The reason why I’m chucking it is because the hem of the extra layer keeps being lower than the rest of the dress, which just looks awkward. I also think the dress suited me better when I was weighed a little bit more, which is when I bought this dress. It no longer hugs me in all the right places, like it used to. This dress is made of a very thick material. It has that 60s shape which I love, but is always challenging to find the right dress in. I paired the green with grey basics, just to stray from the black from the minute.
4.) All black
Black velvet skater dress (New Look)
Black biker booties with fringe and studs (Sacha)
Chain necklace (Forever 21)
An all black outfit had to be part of this post as it is a winter staple I find. This dress is made of a brushed velvet material, which is super thick and thus very warm. I actually wear this dress without any cardigans or blazers over it, because I would melt if I didn’t. Of course you can always add that extra layer if need be. However, since the fabric of the dress is already quite thick and is that type of material that everything clings to, you have to make sure it’s a blazer with some type of lining to prevent your outfit from falling apart. To play up the tougher vibe of the dress I went with a pair of fringed and studded ankle boots and a chain necklace.
Burgundy cardigan (Urban Outfitters)
Black lace dress (Primark)
Studded belt (Pieces)
Burgundy brogues (Bronx)Twist & coil necklace (H&M)
The final outfit features one of my favorite fall/ winter colors: burgundy. This lace dress is very short (and definitely NOT work appropriate) but this way I can show you how I would wear a little black dress in the middle of winter. I simply layer up underneath and make sure to wear a thick cardigan over that is longer than the dress. Of course this is a more casual take, which is amplified by the flat brogues. I added a belt to maintain the illusion of a waist underneath all that thick knitted fabric.
I hope that these outfit can inspire you to wear more dresses during winter. To sum up my tips for staying warm while wearing dresses, they are: look for dresses made from thicker fabrics, layer up underneath (2 pairs of thermal tights if need be) and on top (cardigans & blazers). Finally it’s important to match your shoes and tights to keep you from looking frumpy.
How do you style up dresses for winter?