Styling A Maxi Dress For Winter

When you think of maxi dresses, your mind probably drifts to cotton ensembles worn to summer events. The maxi dress made its debut as a flirty variation you could wear to the backyard barbeque or neighborhood block party. However, maxi dresses make an equally if not greater statement during the chilly months. Now of course you wouldn’t want to slip back into a summery cotton maxi and roll up shivering to a holiday party. But if you know what styles to look for, a maxi dress can upgrade your winter wardrobe from predictable to glamorous. Let me, let me, let me, upgraaaade ya, grade ya. Beyoncé style.

I bought this lacey rust medley at Zimmerman, and I really felt that the rich color mixed with the length was seasonally appropriate…and excessively fun to twirl in. This maxi dress has a slip underneath and an eyelet overlay that falls past the ankles. It’s perfect for holiday events whether you’re hosting, attending, making a cameo, etc. I paired it with some metallic Steve Madden ankle boots to add some height and balance the length (similar here). Here are some of my tips for wintering up the maxi dress look.

Tips for Styling Maxi Dresses for Winter

Choose deep colors

Berry, rust, eggplant, forest green, gold, and navy are some of my favorites

Look for romantic fabrics

Spring for silk, lace, chiffon, satin, any of the dreamy textures.

Pair with a cropped jacket

A leather moto in a neutral color or a faux fur coat hit at the waist to emphasize the dramatic length.

Select shoes based on length

If the dress hits above your ankle, pair socks with some ankle strap heels for an eclectic look. For longer hems, choose a heeled bootie in a color that balances your dress.

Accessorize artfully

I like to abide by the rule of two. Pair a clutch with chandelier earrings or an armful of bangles with a shoulder bag. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing your whole closet, but some subtle eye-catching details are a win.

Layer it up

You can still wear a sleeveless maxi in the winter. Pair a spaghetti strap slip dress with a turtleneck underneath. Or layer an oversized sweater over your dress to turn the dress into a skirt and sweater combo.


Stay warm, stay chic, and don’t forget to make an entrance.



Photography by George Elder


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