Spring and summer weddings are easy. Throw on a floral dress with some sandals and you’re done. A wedding in December though? Not so simple. On top of deciphering the cryptogram that is the wedding dress code, you now have to factor in weather — so trying to navigate what to wear to a winter wedding digs up some deep questions: Will I be too cold in this? Will this look okay with closed-toe shoes? Do I wear tights? A coat? Ugh, coats.
Finding the balance between looking chic and staying warm may seem like mission impossible — especially if the wedding happens to fall on the same day as a winter storm. But nowadays there are virtually no rules when it comes to wedding guest attire (except for don't wear white, that one still holds), so you can feel free to get creative in your sartorial defense against hypothermia.
As you plan your outfits for this winter's wedding circuit, embrace the fashion trademarks of the season: long sleeves, luxe velvet and brocade, jewel tones, cozy fur (faux, of course), maybe a bit of festive sparkle. The options are endless, and, you can argue, even more fun to style than their warm-weather counterparts. Here, 10 fail-proof wedding guest looks that are stylish — and won't leave you shivering through to the bouquet toss.
Sure, you have to actively resist wearing velvet in the summer months — flocked fabrics and 100 percent humidity just don't mix well. But now, as temperatures start to drop, it's the perfect time to go all-in with velvet everything.
Slip Dresses & Fur
A slinky slip dress may not sound like the best option to beat the chill, but add a cozy stole and suddenly it becomes season-appropriate.
When you're looking for a little extra coverage, long sleeves are the obvious choice. Use it as an opportunity to play with proportions and opt for a mini dress with voluminous arms. Or, double down with a long-sleeved floor-length silhouette.
The New Black
If your wardrobe consists of black, ebony, onyx, and ink, you're in luck: Winter soirées were made for the LBD. With so many updated versions and modern takes on the time-tested look, wearing all black is anything but boring.
Replace summer's splashy palette with shades of emerald, ruby, sapphire, royal purple, and goldenrod. Bold, gem-inspired hues have a natural richness and warmth.
The moody cousin to those floaty, garden-print dress you lived in all spring and summer, winter florals ground their roots in darker colors and heavier fabrics to better face a frosty climate.
A fancy jumpsuit is every lazy girl's dream. It combines the elegance of a dress with the ease and comfort of your favorite pajama pants. Honestly, what could be better than that?
Brocade & Jacquard
The heavyweight champions of winter evening-wear, brocade and jacquard textiles are sturdy and thick (read: no wind chill) without sacrificing an ounce of luxury. It's common to have metallic threads woven throughout the fabric, which only adds to the cocktail party appeal.
For an elegant, unfussy ensemble, turn to tailored separates. You can add intrigue with elements of fringe, lace, velvet or jacquard, but just be sure to focus on fit first and foremost. An ill-fitting suit can take you from sophisticated to uncomfortable, which is no way to spend such a joyous event.
Sparkle & Shine
Winter wedding season is also holiday party season. That means it's time to get festive. Don't be afraid to embrace a little glitz and glamour. Tip: If you're nervous about going overboard, stick to shimmery metallic fabrics and beaded embellishments instead of fully sequined dresses.