How to Make a Dress Warmer in the Winter

How to Make Dresses Warmer in the Winter

How to Make Dresses Warmer in the Winter

Dresses are not most people’s garment of choice during the winter, and for totally understandable reasons.  Gloomy skies, chilly weather, rain, and snow don’t exactly make you scream, “YAY, I want to wear a dress today!”  Unless you’re able to stock your closet full of cozy sweater dresses, dresses are usually not the warmest options.  But you know, sometimes you’ve got a meeting or an event to go to where you need to wear a dress, or sometimes you just want to fight the winter blahs and shake things up by wearing a dress.  So today we’re talking tips to make wearing a dress a liiiitle more tolerable in the winter!

Green Dress + Black Tights and Moto Jacket for Winter

1. Wear a camisole and additional long sleeve layer underneath.
I mentioned these in my post How I Stay Warm in the Winter While Trying to Look Cute. I wear a camisole to keep my core warmer and add a long sleeve HEATTECH from Uniqlo. Those things are super thin but add some warmth to shirts and dresses in colder months. They have slightly shorter sleeves for the purpose of staying hidden under clothes, and I get the scoop neck versions rather than crew necks for the same reason. I wear these in size M which are fitted without squeezing me.  See the HEATTECH HERE.

Shop for the Look:
Dress: ModCloth (exact–wearing size M)
Jacket: c/o Shein (similarsimilar, similar)
Tights: Bare Necessities (similar, similar, similar)
Necklace: Francesca’s (exact)


Printed Swing Dress + Cognac Moto Jacket + Black Tights

2. Wear leggings or fleece lined tights instead of regular tights.
Did you know fleece lined tights are a thing? My sister told me about them when I was in high school, but I’ve discovered that not everyone knows about them. You need to know about them!! Fleece lined tights are thicker than regular tights and, well, lined with fleece. (Duh.) They aren’t as warm as wearing pants, but if you’ve gotta wear a dress, fleece lined tights are the way to go. I wear a pair from Bare Necessities that I bought years ago and can’t find in many places online anymore. They were an expensive (IMO) $30, but considering I’ve had them for years, have washed them, and never had to replace them, I’d say that was worth it.

Good news for you, there are several options for pairs now and much cheaper for $15 or less, all with good reviews:

  • Option 1 – come in black or grey
  • Option 2 – come in black or grey
  • Option 3 – come in black, brown, grey, and navy

I need to get some grey and brown fleece lined tights!  I currently only have black, so whenever I wear dresses in the winter I only do black tights, black boots, and black completer pieces.  (That’s why almost all of my pictures in this post with tights and dresses use black tights and my black moto jacket!)  Glad to have found more colors for fleece-lined tights now!

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Old Navy (exact in similar print–wearing size M)
Jacket: c/o Shein (similar, similar)
Tights: Bare Necessities (similar, similar, similar)
Booties: Nordstrom (exact–expensive but waterproof, similar and cheaper)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)


Maroon Dress + Black Statement Necklace + Black Moto Jacket + Black Tights

3. Wear a slip to prevent the dress from sticking to your tights.
Certain types of dresses, like the soft Old Navy “pajama dresses” that I talk about all the time and am wearing for most of the outfits in this post, tend to cling to tights. It’s kind of a messy look to have your dress clinging to you, but a slip should fix that. Plus, it’ll be an extra layer to keep you a bit warmer. Every little bit helps, I’m telling ya!

My favorite slips are from Target and not available anymore because they’ve been replaced by THESE.  I haven’t tried these personally but they look identical to the ones I have.  I really like the lace waistband as opposed to a thin elastic band because whereas elastic bands tend to cut into your stomach, feel uncomfortable, and maybe create bulging rolls, the lace lays flat on my stomach.

Shop the Outfit:
Dress: Old Navy (exact–wearing size M)
Jacket: c/o Shein (similarsimilar, similar)
Tights: Bare Necessities (similar, similar, similar)
Booties: Nordstrom (exact–expensive but waterproof, similar and cheaper)
Necklace: (similar)
Leopard clutch: Nordstrom (exact)


Navy Dress + Mustard Cardigan + Tan Accessories

4. Wear taller boots rather than ankle boots.
Taller boots keep your legs much warmer, so if it’s really cold, go for those whenever you can as opposed to ankle boots, oxfords, or anything else.  You can also add boot socks to tall boots for even more warmth.  Imagine fleece lined tights + boot socks + tall boots?  Starting to sound decently warm, right?



Navy Dress + Black Tights and Moto Jacket + Herringbone Printed Scarf

5. Layer scarves, completer pieces, and coats on top.
This should go without saying, but thought I’d mention it anyway.  Adding all these things on top of your dress will not only pull together your outfit, but they’ll keep you much warmer.

I wore the outfit above with the navy dress + herringbone scarf when it was 30 degrees one evening.  I had a coat over it to walk about half a mile in the cold.  I did all the things I mentioned above, with a camisole, HEATTECH, fleece lined tights, etc. except for ankle boots instead of taller boots.  I was surprised that I wasn’t freezing!

Hopefully this helps you get some use out of your dresses this winter!


The dresses below are all under $50 with current sales, but most are under $30!  The first row (plus Option 9) are all soft dresses that should feel like pajamas.  For the rest, I included some options that should work for an office.  Options 5 and 6 also come in other colors and prints.

How to Make a Dress Warmer in the Winter

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight
nine  |  ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Savvy Southern Chic
    January 3, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Great tips! I love wearing dresses in the winter with boots as much as I love wearing dresses in the summer.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Do you ever find that the fleece-lined tights get “linty”? Do you then just shave them?

  • Reply
    Diana @ Bumps Along the Way
    January 3, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I have fleece lined leggings (wearing them right now under my other pants!) but I am very curious about the fleece lined tights! I don’t wear many dresses in the winter for the reasons you said (we woke up to a -28° windchill yesterday) but if I can get those tights maybe I would (just on days closer to freezing! Not -20!)

    • Reply
      Audrey @ Putting Me Together
      January 7, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      I just feel like people shouldn’t even be outdoors doing anything when it’s -20! Like, doesn’t your saliva freeze? 😛

      • Reply
        Diana @ Bumps Along the Way
        January 8, 2018 at 6:21 am

        Hahaha, it’s pretty much dashing between cars and buildings and only when COMPLETELY necessary.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    I can tell by your post you live in warmer climate 🙂 I live in cold temperatures (our winters go as low as -30C) and I wear dresses and skirts 90% of the time. 100% wool sweater dresses paired with fleece lined tights + snow boots + parka + mittens + scarf.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    These are good tips! Even here in Brisbane winters (Which don’t get that cold) I love my fleece-lined tights. I don’t have many pants to wear to the office so it’s skirts and dresses, and fleece lined tights and usually a huge blanket scarf and a moto jacket, layers I can peel off as soon as I get to the office! 🙂

    Happy new year! Hope that 2018 is going well for you!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Reply
    Carrie Hines
    January 4, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Great suggestions, but you forgot the all-important “don’t shave your legs all winter” approach! 😃

  • Reply
    January 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Over new years eve in like 15 degree weather in Washington, DC, I wore sporty (so kind of thick) leggings with fleece-lined tights on top. Some of my friends were wearing two pairs of fleece lined tights! Worked wonders

  • Reply
    Christina Bryant
    January 7, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I am sitting here drinking coffee and trying to figure out what to wear to church this morning. I thought, what would Audrey wear? So here I am at your blog and right there in the last post, I found an outfit that I have almost the same clothes for. Thanks 🙂 I love that I have you for a fashion resource.

  • Reply
    Jess Kearsey
    January 7, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Where has this blog been all my life?!? I just bought most if your winter tops collection, love the tips for actually getting dressed properly

  • Reply
    Joy Nicholas
    January 8, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Funny, I’ve been working on a similar post after realizing how many of my friends didn’t know about fleece-lined tights and leggings! I think I didn’t know about them till last year, which seems crazy to me now, but I as living in Hawaii for three years before that, and had zero need for them. I live in Korea at the moment, and it gets COLD here, but I kind of prefer wearing dresses even in winter. I do everything you recommend, and I feel like it’s a lot more comfortable than trying to squeeze layers under my jeans (which really aren’t warm) — though I still do that too! 😏

  • Leave a Reply

    Shopping cart

    Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.