What Can I Wear Over My Dress If It's Cold?

Try These Five Ideas for Keeping Warm in Your Party Frock This Winter

It seems simple, but sometimes knowing what you can wear over a dress when it's cold is a bit tricky. Wearing a coat or jacket to a dressy or formal event doesn't always feel appropriate, and not all dress silhouettes look great under all types of outerwear.

Here are five easy options that will look great all winter long.

A Belted Robe Coat

Credit: Net-a-Porter / Toteme

Some things never go out of style, and a belted robe coat is one of them—and for good reason. This long coat (often falling just inches above the ankle) has a belted waist and is great for dressier and A-line cuts because it will go along with the shape of the dress.

If you get this coat in a subtle traditional color such as beige, grey or black, this is a great option for winter parties, from fancy to casual. Because of its classic line, it's also a great winter basic to wear to the office. I have to confess that I actually own two belted robe coats; one in black for evenings out, and one in classic camel to wear to work.

Get The Look: Mackage wool coat

A Cocoon Coat

Credit: J. Crew

If like me, you were a fan of HBO's smash hit Madmen, this is the coat for you. When it comes to mini dresses, a cocoon coat is a very stylish way to make your outfit look totally streamlined. Whether you decide to go with tights and heels or opt for above-the-knee boots, a cocoon coat has a hipster Madmen, slightly-retro appeal that will flatter your outfit, light your spirits, and add a pop of color.

Get The Look: Vince Comuto wool-blend coat

A (Faux) Fur Stole or Fur Coat

For a formal affair or wedding, a fur stole or wrap is the most glamorous cover-up you could choose. If you don't have your grandmothers stole stuffed in the back of your closet, try searching for one on Etsy, at your local vintage shop, or thrift store outlet. Or, if the occasion is a cocktail party or hipster event with a party atmosphere, a faux fur coat will do the trick quite nicely. I never inherited a fur stole but I did troll Etsy and visited several resale shops in my area before finding a stunning faux fox stole I never tire of wearing.

A Cape-Style Coat

Credit: Net-a-Porter / Saint Laurent

Why not go trendy and give the modern cape coat a try? Especially if you want to show off the sleeves of your dress, this is an excellent option. A variation on outerwear worn in virtually every era, the modern cape-style coat buttons like a coat but leaves plenty of room to move around. This is also an excellent choice if you have a full sleeve or you're wearing a dress that has a lot of volume. This style looks especially fashionable when worn over a mini dress and tights—worn with boots or high heels.

A Classic Topcoat

Credit: Net-a-Porter / J. Crew

If you're looking for a coat that you can wear over a dress—and anything else for that matter—a menswear-inspired classic topcoat is always a good bet. A double-breasted style will shield you from the chilly winter winds, and there are many different options to choose from (i.e., colors, patterns, length) if you go this route

Here's a tip that is simple, easy, fun, and will literally change the look of your coat in minutes. Just purchase buttons in brass, leather, or lucite and you can magically transform the look of your topcoat for the cost of a large pizza.

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