How to Wear a Maxi Dress in Winter (Tips & Tricks)

Maxi dresses are perfect for the winter season — here are our favorite ways to wear them.

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Think maxi dresses can only be worn during the warmer months of the year? Think again! With a little creative styling, these glam dresses can work for winter, too.

Below, we’ll share some tips and tricks for wearing a maxi dress in the midst of winter, as well as several chic outfit ideas to try:

4 Tips & Tricks to Make Maxi Dresses Work for Winter

  • Think practically. Although we love this look, we do have to admit that it may not be practical for every wintertime locale. After all, you don’t want to drag a long skirt though two feet of snow, right? But if there’s a light dusting of snow (or if you’ll be staying mostly indoors) we say go for it!
  • Layer up. This is the best way to winterize a maxi dress. Start by adding a sweater or cardigan, then pull on a jacket or coat. Throw on some winter accessorizes, like hats, scarves, and gloves, to stay extra warm.
  • Don’t forget your legs! After all the coats and sweaters are layered on, do the same for your stems. Even though the long skirt provides coverage, it can still be well, breezy under there, so add an extra layer or two. Thick opaque tights or leggings work wonderfully for this purpose.
  • Feet first. Probably the most important element of this look has to do with what footwear you choose, and we believe that boots are the way to go. Whether they’re ankle length or knee-high, flat or heeled, boots are a practical and fashionable choice to pair with your maxi dress in the winter.

Maxi Dress in Winter Outfit Ideas

Need some fashion inspiration before you pull out your maxi dress? Below are three chic ways to wear maxi dresses during winter:

Outfit 1: Cozy As Can Be

Outfit set for how to wear a maxi dress in winter -- features a long knit maxi dress, bucket bag, small boots and a fur coat.

Products: Dress – Zara, Bag – Urban Outfitters, Coat – ASOS, Boots – Madewell, Earrings – J.Crew, Tights – J.Crew

For a cute, colorful, and cozy maxi dress in winter outfit, try out the ensemble above.

This wool dress from Zara is going to keep you comfortable and warm no matter what. The belt on the dress pulls in your waist accentuating your curves. So even when wearing a heavier coat on top, you can leave it open to show off your shape.

A faux fur teddy coat brings some extra coziness to the look, as do some tights for layering. The black bucket bag matches the shoes, and the boots give you a little height but are still majorly comfortable.

Finish the look with simple earrings – we love huggie hoops for the season and these embellished ones are so glam!

Also read: How to Dress for a Winter Work Party

Outfit 2: Tough It Out

Outfit set with maxi dress, leather jacket, sneakers and black backpack.

Products: Bag – Urban Outfitters, Dress – Zara, Jacket – Steele Official, Sneakers – Madewell

For this edgy, casual way to wear a maxi dress in winter, start by pairing this beautiful balloon sleeved maxi dress with this vegan leather jacket. The sleeves on the dress will be hidden by the jacket, yes, but when you step indoors and slide it off, everyone will say “wow!”

To complete this edgy look, add all-white sneakers and a black mini backpack. We’re loving this one from Urban Outfitters because you can pull the straps through and wear it as a crossbody.

Outfit 3: For the Holidays

Maxi dress in winter outfit set with a sequin dress, plaid long coat, black heels and a black bag.

Products: Dress – ASOS, Coat – Revolve, Bag – H&M, Heels – Zara, Lipstick – MAC, Earrings – ASOS

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I had to include at least one holiday party outfit in this guide!

{RELATED POST: What to Wear to a Holiday Party}

This beautiful sequin dress is perfect for any special occasion you have to attend. Since the dress is all sequin, I decided to go with a plaid coat — this one adds interest without taking the look over the top.

Accessory-wise, these black heels go with the small black bag to pull together the black in the coat. This leaves the blue in the dress to pop. Gold earrings and a swipe of lipstick finish this holiday-perfect ensemble.

Your thoughts?

Would you wear a maxi dress in winter? What do you think of these looks? Which one is your favorite? How would you wear a maxi dress during the winter? Remember to tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2013; it was completely updated and revamped in 2019 with new photos and information.

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4 thoughts on “How to Wear a Maxi Dress in Winter (Tips & Tricks)”

  1. I like the idea of colorful tights and a tall boots. Also, I like lightweight long coats that you can belt and add other accessories to keep you warm. I love the fat that clothes can now be three or even four seasons! Our clothes are such an investment!

  2. If it’s really cold, you could wear thermal leggings/tights underneath. I like the first two outfits headlining the post, but the third one, not as much because of the straw hat. But wearing a maxi dress in winter can be tricky business. I’m from Southern California, though, so it’s only ever cold enough to wear the “tough it out” outfit at night.

  3. I like tights, but sometimes they can feel restricting, fragile, and not warm enough. I have three pairs of the thigh high socks from American Apparel and they are SUPER warm, comfy, and they don’t put your holiday belly in a vise grip.


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