As a feminine fashion fanatic, winter is the most challenging time of the year for me in terms of styling myself. I adore wearing dresses but living in England means that it is impractical to wear anything but layers upon layers of clothing. This takes away the vibe I adore creating each morning and has had me humming and harring at my wardrobe every year.
Although I am not quite the expert I would love to be, come winter fashion, I have found myself picking up a few tips and tricks and applying certain methods which have resulted in a weather-appropriate outfit without losing my personal style. As a dress lover through and through, I refuse to give this up for a whole season each year. Thankfully, through my experimentation, I’ve found that wearing a dress in Winter is entirely do-able but it does require some sacrifice if you are a ladylike lover such as myself. After all, it’s important to stay realistic.
Here are my top tips on wearing dresses in winter and stay warm…
Invest in a chic winter jacket
A winter coat is totally obvious right? Except it’s not and I constantly see so many women walking around the streets shivering because they don’t own the appropriate outerwear.
As a child, I was the ultimate 101 Dalmatian’s obsessor. Even though I agreed that Cruella De Vil’s name was entirely fitting, I still had a faux fur, Dalmatian printed, coat that I lived in. However, as I grew up I slowly begun to to hate faux fur with every fibre of my being. I thought that it looked tacky and demanded the wrong sort of attention. It didn’t fit in with the timeless chic vibes I wanted to exude. Then, someone came along and shown me another way to wear it, and I rekindled my love with faux fur. This came with a realisation that we love certain fashion because it mirrors an image we have in our heads and a certain perception we have formed relating to something we have previously seen. For instance, I have adored trench coats for a long time but I’m quite certain that my love truly formed after seeing so many icons, whom I admired, wearing trenches.
My perception on faux fur has dramatically changed and I think that is an investment any woman, living in a cold climate, should consider. Chosen carefully and styled correctly, a faux fur coat can remain infinitely chic.
Personally, I perceive long colourful fur as tacky. Particularly if they look polyester shiny as this mirrors that of a cheap wig. Short fur looks more elegant as it is clean cut and tidy whilst longer fur tends to look messy and can knot easily. Take note that quality faux fur retains its shape and keeps the dye in place despite how often you clean it. It is also smooth to the touch and uniform in colour, unless it’s a speckled or mottled fur by design. Fibers of different lengths look more authentic than that of the exact same length.
In terms of length, a cropped faux fur coat will offer a fun flare to your look whilst a longer length will give a dramatic statement. Through my research I have found that choosing a midi faux fur coat achieves the desired balance of classiness. A capelet is also a great choice -though not recommended for long outings in the cold!- for a touch of glamour. I think they can look beautiful for an evening black tie event.
Colour can make or break any clothing item and instantly revamps the mood and vibe you are going for. As we are aiming for a timeless and ladylike approach to our look, a white coat is ‘the one’ to go for. Of course, the only downfall here is ensuring you don’t get your baby dirty because she’s going to be a challenge to clean! However, as white is soft, light and a neutral, you’ve essentially bagged a piece that achieves both feminine and timeless chic.
Wise up to your base layers
When I refer to base layers, I’m talking about the first layer you put on in the morning- underwear. It’s something that we often look over in the winter yet we really can’t afford to. That first layer can make such a difference in how warm you’ll feel, so it’s important to choose correctly. On a superficial note, as it will be under your beautiful summer dress, adding this layer of warmth isn’t going to ruin your delicate look.
Instead of opting for the classic bra and knickers, perhaps consider a bodysuit. If you choose one with good craftsmanship, then I can assure you, you’ll be in comfort heaven. Unless it’s blazing hot outside, it’s likely that I’ll be wearing a body. Not only do they make me feel beautiful and liberated, but they add to the insulation of your outfit and keep you a fair amount warmer. Throw a thermal cami on top and you’ll have people wondering how you are wearing a dress in winter and not suffering from frost bite.
Lace up boots
Almost all other shoes are a no-go apart from a pair of lace up boots when it hits winter time. However, if you are like myself, big boots don’t hit that soft sweet spot of femininity. I finally found that I’d simply have to grin and bear it (anyone else thinking of Ella Enchanted right now?) because not wearing big boots in the freezing cold is rather stupid.
I found that I actually really liked the iconic timberlands but unfortunately they’re not vegan friendly. This resulted in scouring the internet and finding some cruelty free dupes that are a fraction of the price! In desperate attempts to bring some femininity back, I chose a pair of crisp white ones with rose gold eyelets. I was so impressed with the quality and I think they look pretty lovely with this dress and with a more casual look too.
Accessorising can not only finish off your outfit but make a huge difference in keeping you warm. I’m sure you already know how important it is to wear a winter hat and pair of gloves when leaving the house but what about a pair of slipper socks hiding in plain sight? One of my favourite tricks is wearing a pair of thermal socks underneath my tights and then some fluffy slippers over the top. Tuck the tops inside the shoes and no one will be able to tell. Moreover, those three layers will ensure your blood circulation is working efficiently and it will be very difficult to feel the cold when your toes are wonderfully warm.
A thick pair of tights
Do I even need to say it? Tights, tights always wear a pair of tights. I’m not talking pretty patterns and lace detailing- that’s saved for the transitional seasons- I’m talking about 100 denier, plain black tights. Definition: the thickest pair of tights you can get to save you from the chilblains. Seriously, don’t even think about not wearing a pair of tights with your dress and if it’s still not working for you, double up!
If you adore dresses and elevating your outfits to Über romanticism, then don’t cut your losses and live in jeans for the winter. Just because it’s -3°C outside, doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a dress. You simply have to be wise about everything else you wear with your pretty garment.
Due to the distraction fast fashion is causing to our planet, my style guides are always with conscious consumerism in mind. I believe that is important to get as much out of your fashion investments as possible. This style guide is only one way to style a dress for the colder months. There are plenty of other ways to style them! Hopefully it alters your perception on how you can transition your summer wardrobe into a winter one. For more style advice on making the most out of your wardrobe, have a peak at my style secrets.
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Do you have any tips to wearing a dress for winter? Or are you thinking that I’m Loco Crazy?