Winter and early spring doesn’t have to mean pants season. Not when dresses can get us ready to rock in three minutes flat and skim over any extra pounds. Dresses are our wardrobe allies and confidence boosters all year long. But there’s one small problem: Wearing a dress when it’s bone-chilling cold can be a frosty not fabulous experience. Here are the anti-freeze secrets to surviving in style.
1. Start with a winter-worthy dress
It may be boho trendy to wear a silky slip dress with a big chunky cardigan, but no one over 50 does this in real life (unless you’re super trendy and live in L.A.). The best chill-chaser is a cozy, comfy sweater dress with long sleeves, like the Anne Klein Colorblock Turtleneck Sweater Dress in Camel Combo ($119, nordstrom.com) or the & Other Stories Buttoned Rib Knit Dress in Pink ($139, stories.com/en_usd) in a just-below-the-knee to mid-calf/midi length. Don’t like sweater dresses? Any long-sleeve midi dress in a dark print, like the Pure Jill Winter Sky Midi Dress in Navy Blue Large Painted Chevron ($119, jjill.com), is a perfect runner-up.
2. Swap shoes for tall boots
Hold the ballet flats, mules, pumps and sneakers, and pair your dresses with sleek knee-high boots. Whether you choose leather, moc croc, suede or a stretch fabric, taller boots give any dress a dash of attitude (and are also a major trend this winter). For a dressier effect, opt for block or kitten heels instead of flat or lug soles.
3. Make a layer sandwich
Weatherproof your dress by adding a thin silky thermal tee or bodysuit and tights beneath for extra insulation. Seal in the warmth with a top layer — sweater or jacket. Pay attention, though, to what shows at the neckline and hem. You don’t want to wear a moc neck bodysuit under a V-neck dress. Be sure to tone tights to the dress or boots. Black opaque tights may be your usual go-to, but they only work if you’re wearing a black dress or black boots.