Winter Outfit Ideas: Hot Party Looks for Cold Nights (+8 Outfit Ideas)

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Woman on a winter night

There’s a little winter issue that I’m sure all of you have encountered before — I’ve come to know it as the Hot Inside, Cold Outside (HICO) dilemma.

The HICO Dilemma:

We’ve all been there — it’s your BFF’s birthday, you’re going to grab a drink with that cutie from your accounting class, or maybe you’re just ready to blow off some steam after an exam. You’re ready for a fun night out, and you want to turn heads. So you put together a killer outfit. The problem? Most popular college hangout places (bars, fraternity houses, etc.) rarely provide a safe place to stow your coat.

At this point, you’re forced to choose between two major inconveniences — “ditch and dashing”, or stowing your coat in your car (or at home) while you sprint into the party, or carrying your winter coat around all night. Both of these scenarios are annoying — waiting for a cab ride home is miserable without outerwear, and, well, it’s difficult to dance while holding a balled-up peacoat in your arms.What’s a girl to do?

Well ladies, CF has got you covered. Below, I’ve put together eight awesome outfits that will help you solve this HICO dilemma. Be sure to visit CF again next week for even more ideas. Check out the first installation below!

Note: We know that these outfits still might not be warm enough to wear without a coat if you live in a really cold part of the world. Be sure to leave us a comment if you’re one of those girls and tell us how you manage to stay warm and look chic on nights out!

Tip#1: Pair liquid leggings and a boyfriend sweater with edgy accessories.

Winter night out look 1

Leggings, Sweater, Shoes, Earrings, Clutch

I have a huge collection of knit sweaters that I like to pair with jeans and boots for an easy and casual outfit on the go. However, they look a little too lax for a big night on the town when just paired with jeans.

An easy way to dress up a big knit sweater is by pairing it with dressier pieces, making it go from class-appropriate to trendy enough to wear to a bar or party. Liquid leggings are just fancy enough to accomplish this. I especially like this pair above, embossed with crocodile print. Be sure to wear heels with this look, and finish with a clutch and cool earrings.

You can modify this tip by pairing knit sweaters with coated denim or patterned leggings. Leggings are also a clever way to make a short dress more seasonal!

Tip #2: Make your jacket an essential part of your outfit.

Winter night out look 2

Skirt, Top, Jacket, Earrings, Shoes

Another way to combat cold weather and still look cool is to combine pieces that you wouldn’t normally think to wear together. The results will be an interesting match of casual and dressy, which has been all the rage lately on street style blogs.

Start with a chic hi-lo skirt and pair it with a top — I like this cropped bra top because it creates an edgy aesthetic when paired with a high-waisted skirt, but almost any blouse could work in this situation. A utility coat, worn on top, gives you coverage, while also keeping you warm and creating contrast against the girly, flowing skirt. Finish with earrings and ankle boots.

This tip can also apply to cardigans, motorcycle jackets, military jackets, blazers, and more!

Tip #3: Layer with a dressy vest.

Winter night out look 3

Shirt, Vest, Shoes, Jeans, Ring

An easy way to tweak a fall wardrobe for chilly temperatures is by adding a jacket, vest, or scarf to simple outfits. A silky black blouse like this one is incredibly versatile, and will look amazing under a faux fur vest and a trusty pair of jeans. You’d be surprised at how warm these vests keep you — and they’ll work great with long sleeved shirts, thin sweaters, turtlenecks, and even long sleeved dresses! Keep this looking night-appropriate by adding a pair of platform booties and a sparkly cocktail ring.

This tip will also work great with military, knit, Sherpa, and motorcycle-style vests. The possibilities are endless!

Tip #4: Add tights and a leather jacket to a dress.

Winter night out look 4

Dress, Jacket, Boots, Tights, Necklace

Probably the easiest way to winterize a party dress is to add your trusty leather motorcycle jacket. It will add an edgy element that will make even the most flowery pastel dress look amazing during the coldest months. Balance out the top by wearing tights and boots with the look. Finish with girly accessories, like this cameo necklace.

Don’t limit yourself to just dresses, though — leather moto jackets work wonders on sequined party tops and silky blouses as well. If moto jackets aren’t your style, you can substitute a black blazer for a trendy look perfect for a night on the town.

Tip #5: Add warm accessories to a simple outfit.

Cold weather party outfit 1

Shirt, Jeans, Boot Socks, Scarf, Clutch

This is a super simple trick that it’s important to master during the winter. The key here is to strike the right balance with accessories – you want pieces that are dressy enough for where you’re going, but not so dressy in that they’ll clash with a basic and comfortable long-sleeved shirt and jeans.

There are several ways to make this outfit go from casual-chic to party-chic. First, wear a fitted long sleeved shirt that shows off your figure. Next, look for wool or cashmere-like fabrics for your scarf. (Those thick pashminas sold by street vendors in New York City are great for this!) Another way to dress up this look is by wearing high heeled boots. Lastly, statement jewelry and/or an edgy clutch will help complete your transition.

Tip #6: Try shorts with tights, heels, and a blazer.

Cold weather party outfit 2

Blazer, Shirt, Shorts, Heels, Tights, Lipstick

It may be cold outside, but don’t put away your shorts just yet! Dark colored, leopard print, and even denim shorts look awesome during the winter with a pair of thick tights worn underneath. I especially love these sequined hot pants paired with tights and a sexy pair of heels.

Stay warm by adding an awesome jacket (remember our tip from last week on making the jacket part of your outfit?) – military parkas, fur shrugs, and geometric-print coats all would look great, but I particularly love the look of this tuxedo jacket. The crisp jacket-and-shorts combo kind of reminds me of those trendy short suits we saw this summer. Finish the look with a bold red lip.

Tip #7: Embrace your inner snow bunny.

Cold weather party outfit 3

Pants, Shoes, Sweater, Hat

While this look might not work at a dance club or super trendy bar, it’s perfect for a fraternity party or a house party. Guys will think you look adorable and cozy, but you won’t be weighed down with tons of layers – win, win.

I really love colorful corduroy pants for fall. They’re just unexpected enough to look unique and classic at the same time. They will pair nicely with a sweater — any sweater will do, but I like this reindeer design for this time of year. (Size up for a looser, cozier fit!) Finish with some cool boots (or a sweet pair of duck boots if you’re feeling bold) and a trapper hat or beanie.

Tip #8: Wear a long-sleeved dress with over-the-knee boots.

Cold weather party outfit 4

Dress, Boots, Tights, Earrings

There’s something soooo incredibly chic, feminine, and almost balletic about long-sleeved mini dresses. They’re just so flattering and simple! A basic black style is a no-brainer, but I actually own a maroon velvet one almost identical to the dress above — and I’m always shocked at how many compliments I get when I wear it out.

To keep your legs warm, throw on your trusty opaque black tights and pull on some sexy over-the-knee boots. These babies will look so stylish for winter, and will help balance out a short dress. Finish the look with some cute jewelry.

What do you think?

Now we want to hear from you. What tricks have you learned to combat the HICO dilemma? Do many of the bars or hangouts in your college town have coat check rooms? Are you ever nervous about leaving your nice winter coats around at house parties? Leave a comment and help your fellow CF girls out!

9 thoughts on “Winter Outfit Ideas: Hot Party Looks for Cold Nights (+8 Outfit Ideas)”

  1. I love that you have outfits that fit most every personality out there. I like the simple but cute outfits to go out. I stumbled accross your blogg because in my Eng class we are creating blogs discussing the impact that technology has on us. My URL is posted in the website text! 🙂

  2. Looking adorable yet cosy is my go-to-way-of-being this winter. Big jumpers ahoy!

    Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but the link isn’t working for the clutch in the first outfit.


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