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Nicole Kliest is a freelance fashion and travel writer based in New York City. Her work has appeared on sites including Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle.
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Winter is a distinctly unique time of year to say ‘I do.’ Unlike spring or summer when temperatures are high and the sun is out, winter’s icy months are punctuated by a cozy sensibility that feels equal parts romantic and dramatic. While you’ve likely attended a wedding during the warmer months of the year, if this is your first time going to a winter ceremony, rest assured there are plenty of options to choose from.
Alexandra O’Neill, the founder of Markarian, points toward seasonal design details when choosing a cold-weather wedding guest dress. “Heavier fabrics in rich, deep-hued prints or brocades and velvets are always perfect for winter weddings,” O’Neill says. And while the designer suggests investing in pieces with longevity, there’s a small handful of pieces she recommends saving for later. “Summer florals and wispy, lightweight chiffon dresses are better left to the warmer months,” she notes.
Read on for the best winter wedding guest dresses you’ll wear now and well into the future.
Courtesy of Fame & Partners
Fame & Partners is a great choice if you tend to get your dresses altered; the brand custom makes each piece based on your measurements and preferred length, style, fabric, and color. This deep shade of blue and silky texture combo gives this minimalist dress the perfect dose of formal. The sleek asymmetrical neckline doesn’t hurt, either.
Courtest of Khaite
Add an element of Victorian-inspired fashion to your winter wedding guest look with a ruched, puff-sleeve dress by New York-based label Khaite—your look will be the talk of the town. Baroque pearl earrings would team well with this statement piece.
Courtesy of Staud
We’re not sure what we love most about this dress from Staud. The mint green color is a unique take on winter hues, the puff sleeves are exquisitely cute, and the subtle cutouts at the waistline give it a modern edge.
Courtesy of GlamCorner
This mock-neck asymmetrical hemline dress from Rixo is perfectly suited for a winter wedding. The yellow florals look especially charming set against a noir backdrop. Rixo is famous for its bold floral prints, so check out the label's other designs if you're wanting a different palette.
Courtesy of Markarian
Brocade is one of those design details that always makes a piece feel more refined, and this elegant number by Markarian is what dreams are made of. Test out this fabric for your next winter wedding attendance.
Courtesy of Galvan
A timeless burgundy hue simply can’t be beaten, and it doesn't get more sleek and classic than Galvan. Don't mind the price tag—you'll have this number in your wardrobe forever. Accessorize with a bijoux-encrusted clutch for the perfect finish.
Courtesy of Self Portrait Studio
The dramatic ruching details on this ankle-length dress from Self-Portrait take the aesthetic to a new level. It's a perfectly romantic complement to a frosty wedding setting. Try a pair of velvet heels to cement the look as wonderfully wintry.
Courtesy of Reformation
There’s a reason why Reformation dresses are the unofficial wedding guest staple. And florals aren’t just for spring and summer, as illustrated by this bold gown from the brand. Swap out your straw bag for a silky pouch to make it work for cold weather.
Courtesy of Mie
Just when we thought we had seen all the takes on the off-the-shoulder trend, this ruffled masterpiece enters our orbit. Crafted from mid-weight linen, it's the epitome of comfort—just add some thermal shorts underneath for added warmth. Behold the most perfect winter wedding guest dress.
Courtesy of Ganni
If you live for a bold fashion moment, this tie-dye number ought to do the trick. Made from satiny stretchy silk, it will easily move with you from dinner to the dance floor. Wear it with printed heels to seal the deal.
Courtesy of 11 Honoree
You can’t go wrong with a thigh-slit dress in an icy blue hue. The bra-friendly wide straps, reinforced zip closure, and slightly stretchy polyester material ensure support through the day and into the evening. Complement this chic dress with silver jewelry and lace-up heels.
Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
There are few things we love more than a floral ruffle dress and this asymmetric dress from Ulla Johnson takes the cake. Wear with knee-high boots if you’re feeling especially daring.
Courtesy of Sachin & Babi
Lace is often associated with spring, but if it’s crafted in a cold-weather color, like olive green, it works perfectly for a winter wedding. Accessorize with wooden earrings and keep warm by layering with a faux fur shawl.
Courtesy of Autumn Adeigbo
If your personal style is the opposite of minimalism, embrace your taste and wear this splashy floral dress for a winter wedding. Pair with bright lipstick and statement earrings. The best thing? You can easily re-wear and restyle for a spring wedding, too.
Courtesy of Whimsy + Row
Flutter sleeves and an open-back are, in fact, a perfect combination when it comes to wedding guest dresses. We’re smitten with this olive green number from Whimsy + Row, which is sustainably made from Tencel and Cupro.
A simple, floor-length LBD—like this one by Norma Kamali—is rendered instantly elegant with this open-back detail. Finish the look with a swipe of plum-colored lipstick and strappy sandals.
Since winter’s months are the coldest, you’ll want to ensure your outfit reflects the season. Go for details like long sleeves and fabrics such as velvet and silk that will help keep you warm.
Embrace a warm palette of cold-weather colors such as olive green, midnight blue, or burgundy for a seasonally appropriate outfit. But don’t feel limited to traditionally winter hues, either! A minty green or dark floral pattern can also work well for a ceremony held in the colder months of the year, too.
If you’re baring your shoulders, you can look into a wrap or cool boxy blazer to complement your look if the ceremony is cold. Also, jewelry, bags, and shoes are all great ways to infuse your outfit with a splash of personality so don’t be shy when it comes to accessories.
Nicole Kleist is a freelance fashion writer with more than nine years of experience in the digital publishing industry. Her work has appeared in Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, and more.
Meet the Expert
Markarian Founder Alexandra O’Neill has combined her love of celestial romanticism with timeless design and modern grace to create styles we love.
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