What to Wear Over a Formal Dress When It’s Cold

As the temperature drops, it’s crucial to find the right outerwear to pair with your formal dress.

While staying warm is essential, you also want to look fashionable. Here are some elegant options to consider when choosing what to wear over a formal dress when it’s cold:

Elegant Outerwear Options

As the temperatures drop, it’s time to start thinking about how to stay warm without sacrificing style.

Luckily, there are plenty of elegant outerwear options that can elevate any outfit. Here are some ideas to consider:

Stylish Coats and Jackets

A coat or jacket is a classic choice that never goes out of style.

A tailored wool or cashmere coat not only adds warmth but also sophistication to any outfit. You can also consider a structured blazer or leather jacket for a modern twist. These options are perfect for a day at the office or a night out on the town.

If you’re looking for something more unique, try a statement coat with bold patterns or textures. A faux fur or shearling accent can add a touch of glamour to your ensemble.

Just be sure to balance the volume of your coat with a sleeker dress silhouette. A statement coat is perfect for a winter wedding or a holiday party.

Luxurious Wraps and Shawls

A wrap or shawl can add elegance and warmth to your outfit without hiding the dress underneath. A cashmere or silk scarf works well for a lighter touch, while a draped shawl in a plush fabric like velvet or faux fur adds a touch of luxury. These options are perfect for a formal event or a night out with friends.

If you’re wearing a strapless or sleeveless dress, consider a bolero jacket or shrug to keep your shoulders warm. This type of outerwear is also a great option for showcasing a statement necklace. A bolero jacket in a bold color or pattern can add a pop of color to any outfit.

Chic Capes and Ponchos

If you’re looking to make a statement, consider a cape or poncho. These outerwear choices add drama and flair to your ensemble while keeping you warm.

A wool or cashmere cape in a bold plaid or check is perfect for a winter wedding or formal event. A poncho with fringe or tassel accents can add a bohemian touch and is perfect for a casual night out.

No matter what outerwear option you choose, make sure it complements your outfit and makes you feel confident.

With so many options available, you’re sure to find something that fits your personal style and keeps you warm all season long.

Accessorizing for Warmth and Style

Winter fashion doesn’t have to be all about bulky coats and shapeless layers. With the right accessories, you can keep warm while still looking stylish. Here are some tips for accessorizing for warmth and style.

Gloves and Muffs

A pair of gloves adds not only warmth but also a finishing touch to your outfit. Opt for elegant leather or suede gloves for a classic look.

If you’re looking for something more trendy, try a pair of fingerless gloves in a bold color or pattern. For a vintage vibe, consider a fur-lined muff with a wrist strap.

A muff not only keeps your hands warm but also gives you a place to stash your phone or lipstick between dances.

Scarves and Neck Warmers

A scarf or neck warmer is essential for keeping your neck and chest warm. Try a chunky knit wool or cashmere scarf in a neutral color for a cozy and classic look.

For something more refined, a silk or satin scarf adds a touch of sophistication. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a patterned scarf or a brightly colored neck warmer to add some personality to your outfit.

Hats and Headpieces

A hat not only keeps you warm but also adds a touch of personality to your outfit. Opt for a classic fedora or beret in wool or felt. For a more formal touch, try a fascinator or headband embellished with feathers or jewels.

If you’re feeling daring, try a beanie with a pom-pom or a slouchy knit cap for a more relaxed look.

Remember, the key to accessorizing for warmth and style is to choose pieces that not only keep you warm but also reflect your personal style.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures, colors, and patterns to create a unique and eye-catching look.

Choosing the Right Fabrics

Insulating Materials

When selecting outerwear, look for fabrics that provide insulation and warmth. Wool and cashmere are both excellent choices for coats and jackets. Faux fur or shearling adds a luxurious touch while also keeping you cozy.

For a lighter touch, consider a down vest or quilted jacket for added warmth.

Weather-Resistant Fabrics

If you’re facing rain or snow, opt for outerwear made from weather-resistant fabrics like GORE-TEX or nylon. These fabrics are designed to keep you dry and protected from the elements.

Breathable and Comfortable Choices

If you’re going to be dancing or moving around a lot, look for outerwear that’s both breathable and comfortable.

A lightweight wool or cashmere wrap is ideal for this, providing warmth without weighing you down.

Similarly, a pashmina shawl is a versatile choice that can be draped or wrapped around your shoulders as needed.

Layering Techniques for Formal Attire

When it comes to dressing up for a formal occasion, layering can be a lifesaver. Not only does it add warmth, but it also adds dimension and interest to your outfit.

Here are some layering techniques to consider for your next formal event:

Undergarments for Extra Warmth

Don’t underestimate the power of undergarments when it comes to layering. Tights or leggings can be worn underneath a dress for extra warmth, especially during the colder months.

You can also layer a silk or cotton camisole under your dress for added insulation. Not only will this keep you warm, but it will also create a smooth and seamless silhouette.

Dressing Over Various Dress Styles

Different dress styles demand distinct types of outerwear for an appealing look.

For instance, if you’re wearing a simple everyday dress, considering options on what to wear over a dress could give you numerous combinations for varying weathers.

Similarly, if you’re donning a spaghetti strap dress, layering suggestions tailored for such styles can come handy, making you look poised while you remain toasty.

Incorporating Accessories with Hats

While we talked about accessorizing with scarves and gloves, hats remain a significant part of winter fashion.

They not only keep you warm but can serve as a statement piece, especially if you’re pondering how to stylishly wear a fedora hat.

Elevating Sleeveless Outfits

Dressing in colder months can be tricky, especially if you’ve chosen a sleeveless jumpsuit or dress for the occasion. However, with the right layering pieces and jackets, you can elevate your look.

Find out how to stylishly layer over a sleeveless jumpsuit or similar outfits, ensuring that you’re comfortable and chic.

Incorporating Tights and Leggings

Tights and leggings are a great way to add warmth and texture to your outfit. They also give a dress a more casual vibe, which can be perfect for a semi-formal event.

Pair your dress with wool tights in a coordinating color for a classic look. Or mix things up with patterned tights or leggings that add interest to your outfit.

Just be sure to choose a pattern that complements your dress and doesn’t clash with it.

Layering Dresses and Skirts

If you want to add fullness and dimension to your outfit, consider layering a dress with a skirt. A sheer or tulle skirt over a dress can add volume and texture, while also providing extra warmth.

Similarly, a midi skirt can be worn over a tea-length dress for an unexpected twist. This layering technique works especially well if the colors and textures of the dress and skirt complement each other.

With these layering techniques, you can create a unique and stylish outfit that will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different textures, colors, and patterns to find the perfect combination for your formal attire.


When selecting outerwear for a formal event, the key is to find a balance between warmth and style. Coats, wraps, and capes are all elegant options to consider.

Accessories like gloves, scarves, and hats add both warmth and personality to your outfit. When layering, don’t forget about undergarments, tights, and skirts.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to look and feel your best while staying warm and comfortable throughout the evening.

💃✨ Thanks for reading. If you want to dive deeper into the world of fashion and unlock the secrets of stellar styling, then check out some of our other articles below ✨👠

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Katie Sophia

Hey there! I'm Katie Sophia - your go-to gal for all things style at WhatKatieWore.com. With a love for fashion and a knack for picking the perfect outfit, I'm here to make dressing for any event a breeze. I believe in looking fabulous without the fuss. Join me as we conquer the fashion world one outfit at a time!

5 thoughts on “What to Wear Over a Formal Dress When It’s Cold”

  1. Nicely explained the characteristics of a perfect dress. The same attributes are taken into consideration while crating Bazzaz’s wedding dresses . These dresses are made to make you look beautiful as well as making you comfortable on your wedding day


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