How to Make a Dress Warmer in the Winter

How to Make Dresses Warmer in the Winter

Dresses are not most people’s garment of choice during the winter, and for totally understandable reasons.  Gloomy skies, chilly weather, rain, and snow don’t exactly make you scream, “YAY, I want to wear a dress today!”  Unless you’re able to stock your closet full of cozy sweater dresses, dresses are usually not the warmest options.  But you know, sometimes you’ve got a meeting or an event to go to where you need to wear a dress, or sometimes you just want to fight the winter blahs and shake things up by wearing a dress.  So today we’re talking tips to make wearing a dress a liiiitle more tolerable in the winter!

Green Dress + Black Tights and Moto Jacket for Winter

1. Wear a camisole and additional long sleeve layer underneath.
I mentioned these in my post How I Stay Warm in the Winter While Trying to Look Cute. I wear a camisole to keep my core warmer and add a long sleeve HEATTECH from Uniqlo. Those things are super thin but add some warmth to shirts and dresses in colder months. They have slightly shorter sleeves for the purpose of staying hidden under clothes, and I get the scoop neck versions rather than crew necks for the same reason. I wear these in size M which are fitted without squeezing me.  See the HEATTECH HERE.

Shop for the Look:
Dress: ModCloth (exact–wearing size M)
Jacket: c/o Shein (similarsimilar, similar)
Tights: Bare Necessities (similar, similar, similar)
Necklace: Francesca’s (exact)


Printed Swing Dress + Cognac Moto Jacket + Black Tights

2. Wear leggings or fleece lined tights instead of regular tights.
Did you know fleece lined tights are a thing? My sister told me about them when I was in high school, but I’ve discovered that not everyone knows about them. You need to know about them!! Fleece lined tights are thicker than regular tights and, well, lined with fleece. (Duh.) They aren’t as warm as wearing pants, but if you’ve gotta wear a dress, fleece lined tights are the way to go. I wear a pair from Bare Necessities that I bought years ago and can’t find in many places online anymore. They were an expensive (IMO) $30, but considering I’ve had them for years, have washed them, and never had to replace them, I’d say that was worth it.

Good news for you, there are several options for pairs now and much cheaper for $15 or less, all with good reviews:

  • Option 1 – come in black or grey
  • Option 2 – come in black or grey
  • Option 3 – come in black, brown, grey, and navy

I need to get some grey and brown fleece lined tights!  I currently only have black, so whenever I wear dresses in the winter I only do black tights, black boots, and black completer pieces.  (That’s why almost all of my pictures in this post with tights and dresses use black tights and my black moto jacket!)  Glad to have found more colors for fleece-lined tights now!

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Old Navy (exact in similar print–wearing size M)
Jacket: c/o Shein (similar, similar)
Tights: Bare Necessities (similar, similar, similar)
Booties: Nordstrom (exact–expensive but waterproof, similar and cheaper)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)


Maroon Dress + Black Statement Necklace + Black Moto Jacket + Black Tights

3. Wear a slip to prevent the dress from sticking to your tights.
Certain types of dresses, like the soft Old Navy “pajama dresses” that I talk about all the time and am wearing for most of the outfits in this post, tend to cling to tights. It’s kind of a messy look to have your dress clinging to you, but a slip should fix that. Plus, it’ll be an extra layer to keep you a bit warmer. Every little bit helps, I’m telling ya!

My favorite slips are from Target and not available anymore because they’ve been replaced by THESE.  I haven’t tried these personally but they look identical to the ones I have.  I really like the lace waistband as opposed to a thin elastic band because whereas elastic bands tend to cut into your stomach, feel uncomfortable, and maybe create bulging rolls, the lace lays flat on my stomach.

Shop the Outfit:
Dress: Old Navy (exact–wearing size M)
Jacket: c/o Shein (similarsimilar, similar)
Tights: Bare Necessities (similar, similar, similar)
Booties: Nordstrom (exact–expensive but waterproof, similar and cheaper)
Necklace: (similar)
Leopard clutch: Nordstrom (exact)


Navy Dress + Mustard Cardigan + Tan Accessories

4. Wear taller boots rather than ankle boots.
Taller boots keep your legs much warmer, so if it’s really cold, go for those whenever you can as opposed to ankle boots, oxfords, or anything else.  You can also add boot socks to tall boots for even more warmth.  Imagine fleece lined tights + boot socks + tall boots?  Starting to sound decently warm, right?



Navy Dress + Black Tights and Moto Jacket + Herringbone Printed Scarf

5. Layer scarves, completer pieces, and coats on top.
This should go without saying, but thought I’d mention it anyway.  Adding all these things on top of your dress will not only pull together your outfit, but they’ll keep you much warmer.

I wore the outfit above with the navy dress + herringbone scarf when it was 30 degrees one evening.  I had a coat over it to walk about half a mile in the cold.  I did all the things I mentioned above, with a camisole, HEATTECH, fleece lined tights, etc. except for ankle boots instead of taller boots.  I was surprised that I wasn’t freezing!

Hopefully this helps you get some use out of your dresses this winter!


The dresses below are all under $50 with current sales, but most are under $30!  The first row (plus Option 9) are all soft dresses that should feel like pajamas.  For the rest, I included some options that should work for an office.  Options 5 and 6 also come in other colors and prints.

How to Make a Dress Warmer in the Winter

Links to Shop:
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five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight
nine  |  ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

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