our everyday life

Styling a Strapless Dress for the Winter

by Jennifer Blair, studioD

A strapless dress is a sexy, stylish option when the weather is warm. But just because the dress exposes your shoulders doesn't mean you can't wear it when the temperature starts to drop. It takes a little creativity to style a strapless dress for winter, but with the right pieces, you can make your favorite dress cold-weather ready and still look chic enough for any occasion.

Throw on a Jacket

The easiest way to make a strapless dress cold-weather ready is to layer a jacket over it. For the office, pair a simple strapless column dress with a black or charcoal blazer to give it a polished look for winter. If you’re headed for an evening out with the girls, layer a black leather jacket over a strapless skater dress for a sexy, edgy look. During the day, wear a strapless cotton A-line dress with a chunky knit cardigan for a casual winter look.

Make It a Skirt

You definitely don’t want your bare shoulders exposed in the winter, so consider using your strapless dress as skirt in the winter by layering a warm top over it. Pair a strapless dress that features a pencil skirt with a V-neck sweater for a chic office look. If you’re going out for the evening, button a denim or chambray shirt over a strapless dress with a flowy skirt, and knot it at the waist. You can also wear a fitted button-down blouse over your strapless dress or pair it with a V-neck sweater. Even a tunic or boyfriend sweater can work with your strapless dress – just add a belt to help define your waist.

Layer It Over

If you’re a fan unexpected looks, forget about layering tops over your strapless dress and try wearing a top under it to keep warm in the winter instead. The key to this look is choosing a fitted top that hugs your body so it won’t bunch or bulge under the dress. For the office, slip on a tailored button-down blouse and layer a strapless column dress over it. For a low-key daytime look, layer your strapless dress over a long-sleeve T-shirt. If you want a sleek, modern outfit, wear the dress over a turtleneck.

Accessorize for the Cold

Styling a strapless dress in winter can be especially challenging because of all the exposed skin, but when you’re transitioning any summer dress for winter, you also need to make other concessions. Tights are obviously a must when you’re wearing a strapless dress in winter, but if you need a little more coverage, you can also pair it with leggings for extra warmth. Instead of wedges or pumps, wear your strapless dress with boots. Knee-high or mid-calf styles can help keep your legs warm, but ankle booties can also work. Whether you’re layering a jacket over your dress or wearing it over a long-sleeved T-shirt, you can also add a boldly colored or patterned scarf around your neck to stay warm.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images