Some of us simply are not pants-girls. We love the breeziness and easiness of dresses for any occasion, day or night. But what are we supposed to do when the weather gets cold and a dress simply won’t cut it!? Our poor bare knees and shivering arms would look totally inappropriate for cold weather — not to mention the frost bite! But not to worry — genius style stars and fashion bloggers have been finding sneaky ways to incorporate dresses into their winter wardrobes for years. It’s like Christmas came early! Here are our favorite ways to wear dresses in the winter.
1. Over a Long-Sleeve Turtleneck
Turtlenecks are so chic and classic on their own, so pairing a turtleneck with a shift dress? Cold-weather-appropriate perfection. Pair with crisp and clean accessories like booties and a structured bag.
2. With Black Tights
While this might be the most obvious trick you’ve likely known since your mother would match your dress to your tights in Kindergarten, the right styling tips can take the look from basic to trend-settingly stylish. Make sure the hem of the dress is either a mini-dress or midi-dress; any length in between will look bulky and awkward. The easiest way to look great in tights is to go with all black, for a classic look. But if you want to stray from black, make sure the colors are still winter colors (aka no brights or neons) and that there’s some black in the top half to match the tights (like the black lining in Olivia’s jacket). Make sure the jacket and dress are similar colors and lengths to avoid too much busyness.
3. Under a Sweater
You don’t have to pack up up your favorite slip dresses or floaty maxis when summer ends; throw an oversized sweater on top, pair with boots, and you have the perfect winter outfit for coffee with friends or Christmas shopping.
4. Pair a Midi Sweater Dress with a Long Coat
The best part about a midi sweater dress is that you’re literally wrapped in wool from top to bottom; it’s like leaving the house in your coziest blanket! A long coat or jacket on top adds another layer of warmth, and pairing with heeled booties elevates the whole outfit.
5. Over Black Pants
Haven’t you heard? Black pants are the new tights — only they’re warmer and more comfortable. Wearing a long tunic in a warm material like knit makes the outfit winter appropriate. Make sure the black pants are fitted in a sturdy material like denim or leather. Add sneakers for comfort (and to be able to walk through snow without getting your shoes ruined!).
6. With Over-the-Knee Boots
Your favorite cold weather shoes are also a secret to being able to extend your dress wearing into winter. Wear a dress that hits just above the top of the boot, and top with a jacket or coat that’s similar length (and color!) of the dress for extra sleekness.
7. A Maxi Dress with a Color-Coordinated Coat
Channel your inner Mary Kate and Ashley with a look thats just as boho-chic as it is warm. Your favorite black maxi can also be brought into winter by topping with a leather jacket or cropped peacoat if a leather jacket isn’t warm enough. Try not to add a bulky or long jacket to keep the outfit from appearing unflattering. Wear with your favorite flats or sneakers (And notice Leandra Medine’s sneaky use of a turtleneck underneath the dress — See #1).
8. With Faux Fur Accents
There’s something about (faux) fur that can make any look feel wintry and cozy. Wear your favorite minidress with a fur jacket or vest to stay both warm and stylish. Pair with boots or tights to keep your bottom half warm, and pick up your morning hot cocoa at Starbucks feeling cozy, warm, and extra trendy.