Those of us who are committed dress wearers blossom like flowers during the summer: wake up each morning, throw on a frock and some sandals, and spend the whole day feeling easy, breezy beautiful. Winter is tougher; there are layers, and coats, and wind chill. But that doesn't mean you need to spend the next four months in long underwear and corduroy pants (although I promise not to judge you if you use cold weather as an excuse not to shave your legs for months at a time). Winter dresses are here to save you from dumpiness and seasonal affective disorder!
Victoria's Secret can always be counted on to add sex appeal to even the most modest-seeming dresses. This Stretch cotton rib henley sweaterdress, $48, ensures that your curves don't get lost in the coziness. I like the combination of two winter classics-- the henley neckline and ribbed fabric--with the hints of skin through the three-quarter sleeves and open neckline. You could even probably wear this into spring, especially in the ivory and navy colors.
The plunging V-back sweater dress, $55, just about guarantees a successful seduction in two out of three cases. You have a perfectly chaste front-- people might think you're a Mennonite or a librarian. But turn around, and the wide expanse of exposed back will convince everyone that you are a force to be reckoned with.
A more appropriate dress for a young college student would be this Kalare Sweater Dress, $59.99. The cardigan could be worn open over a tank dress, or on its own, buttoned up with tights. I love the white piping (very Ivy League chic) and the two sets of pockets. It's also part wool, which is a huge plus for any winter dress.
The next piece from Urban Outfitters, the Hooded Sweater Dress, $54.99, is perfect for the hipster who wants to look good on the L train but doesn't want to freeze her artfully disheveled scarf off. I think this dress if best for waif-y girls, due to its straight cut and high neck-- it might look too baggy on Joan Holloway types, plus, waif-y girls need the extra warmth.
I could see Joan rocking this BDG Turtleneck Dress, $58, with a cone bra pointy enough to put an eye out. The babydoll waist makes this more flattering than normal turtleneck dresses, and the mini length gives it a youthful vibe. I also am obsessed with this deep red color; it could not be more perfect for Christmas. Old Navy also has a nice version for $34.50.
The real reason I like this BDG Flannel Dress, $48, is that it reminds me of Angela Chase reinterpreted for the next generation. The style hints at your boyfriend's oversized button-down that you slipped on the morning after, but the self-tie belt and tailored bust keep it from being overly masculine. Also, flannel: totally cozy in the winter!
I love this Velvet Currant Mora Long Sleeve dress, $124, but I am obsessed with the styling on the model. Killer boots, simple black tights, and check out the close-up of her hair and makeup. The smoky eye makeup and across the head French braid? Totally killer. I want to buy this dress just to recreate the entire look-- and the deep purple color and subtle pleating at the waist don't hurt.
Off the shoulder dresses are so appropriate for holiday ski vacations; they really are best worn by the fire while it softly snows outside. This wool jersey version from C&C California, $148, looks nice and thick, and I want to go to Aspen and bring it with me. I also love how the pink color is called "lush" and the purple color is called "prince."
Along with wool, cashmere is the ultimate fabric for a winter dress. From Banana Republic, this Cashmere T-shirt dress, $175, is simple, refined, and timeless. Perfect for dressing up with oversized accessories like a chunky belt or long necklace.
I would be remiss if I didn't include a dress from J.Crew. The Dream Silvie dress, $138, is made of a sophisticated blend of wool, cashmere, and nylon. Under the belt (unfortunately not included) is a binding at the empire waist, which prevents bagginess and nicely creates an hourglass silhouette. I like the small scoop neck, at all.
Now go throw on some tights, boots, cardigan and a dress, and don't let the weather bring you down.