I feel weird about using that title, because as with everything style related, the proper answer is; however you damn well please. Wear it with literally whatever you want (although obviously, some things will be better than others for the whole not freezing thing). Still, ‘one way that I like to wear this particular midi dress that I own when it’s cold’ didn’t have quite the same ring to it, so I went for the old ‘how to’ trick instead.
I love midi dresses. They make me feel great and I find them really comfortable, but in the past I’ve steered away from them in the colder months, because a mini and tights seems more the thing to do if you want to wear a skirt during the day at this time of year.
Clearly a midi in the evening during winter is completely different, especially when – hello – something metallic and pleated is in the mix for party season. This year though, I’m taking my favourite dress length right through winter daytimes with me too with the help of a few styling choices to keep me cosy.
I previously featured this particular midi dress in this post in September, and I wore it a solid once a week throughout the autumn because it’s just so easy to throw on. Reluctant to be parted from one of the mainstays of my wardrobe, I made a point of dragging it into deepest darkest winter with me too, and this is how.
Dress – New Look | Jumper – Primark | Blazer – Topshop | Coat – Primark | Bag – Zara | Boots – New Look | Sunglasses – Primark
Start with the dress; choose wisely. This one looks floaty, but the lining is actually quite heavy, which gives a surprising amount of warmth. I mean it’s not properly toasty like a pair of fleece pyjamas with a hot water bottle stuffed up the top, but it’s probably the warmest dress I’ve owned (I look extremely terrible in jumper dresses, so those don’t count in my world, sorry). What I’m saying is; heavyish fabric and sleeves are winners.
Next up: add something knitted. Since a midi of this shape has a fair amount of volume around the skirt, I nearly always go with a more close fit top half, so for my knit I went with a black high necked jumper to maintain the fitted shape of that section of the dress. I actually love the oversized jumper and midi skirt look, but I look like a sack of potatoes if I try it. Not like a ‘lol, I’m saying I look like a sack but actually just really cool because I’m a magical fash-un person’ but like an actual bag of spuds, which is a shame. If this dress didn’t have sleeves, I’ve pop the knit on underneath for major layering points.
Talking of layering…keep doing that. Shirts or blazers are always great for this, so I’ve gone for a grey textured blazer and really like how it breaks up the black. And, obviously, pop on a coat – you could drape it over yourself in this totally impractical blogger way I did in some of the shots or you could just, you know, wear it in the normal way with your arms through the arm holes, as is traditional.
Toasty toes: I never would have thought about wearing OTKs or even anything higher than an ankle boot with a midi dress, but it’s something I see Julia Engel (of Gal Meets Glam, aka the very first blog I ever read) do a lot so I thought I’d give it a go. And okay, I don’t quite look the same level of elegance, but I was surprised by how much I liked it. The great thing about this is, of course, that having actual boots going all the way up your leg is really warm – no chilly knees for me – plus you can add tights and socks without anyone being any the wiser. If OTKs aren’t your jam, I think biker boots with opaque tights and a thick pair of socks would look seriously cool with a midi and keep your toes from freezing.
The finishing touches. Need some extra warmth? Here’s where you add the gloves, scarf and hat. And, of course, I just had to add a pop of colour with my new Zara ring detail bag. It was £20 and wont be leaving my arm much over the next few months, not only because I love it but because I’m rubbish at rotating bags.
So there we have it – the winter midi dress outfit that actually keeps me warm. The day we shot these it was seriously chilly, but the only thing that was cold was my hands – clearly, I ignored the final point and forgot the gloves. Granted, it might not be quite practical in heavy snow (although omg how nice would it look in snow photos?!) and I’m not sure these boots would be ideal for navigating icy pavements on my way to work, but for your average winter day I know I can stick to my new formula and still swish around in a midi.
What are your favourite winter outfits?
Photos: Rob Poor