How to have a warm, lady-like winter!

The thought of icy crystals swirling in the air and frigid winds conjure up ideas of hot toddies, blankets, stove parties, and striking up a conversation with your oldschool radiator. But what of going out? What’s a lady supposed to don in the chilliest months, outside of heavy, wide-leg wool pants and plenty of socks?

There are few dresses that will meet the needs of the beautiful winter lass, but the few that do definitely get the job done. They are:

  • Sweater-style
  • Long-sleeved
  • Wool

Surely long-sleeved wool dresses exist, as do long-sleeved sweater dresses made from a wool blend… But as long as you have at least one of these characteristics going for you, you’re winning.

One worry, though… “Wool”, “sweater”… Good lord “cashmere“?!?!?! This could get expensive, right? All these thickly woven frocks – we’ll never get out alive! …right?

Wrong. You can get yourself a nice little collection of winter dresses for less than $100 per garment!

However… There are a couple of additional pieces that you almost must have when donning winter dresses. They’re limited, but necessary:

  • Sweater tights/thick, opaque, knit tights (these will double your warmth!)
  • Knee high boots (either camel, dark brown, or black)
  • A delicious trench (preferably wool, as well)

The sweater tights and knee high boots will be the best things you’ve ever acquainted your southern-most appendages with, and the trench won’t hurt either (stay tuned to B&B for more on trenches).

These tights cost between $6.99 (very inexpensive) to $22 which, if you’re not shopping at Ross, TJ Maxx, or Marshall’s, is about the going rate for decent quality hoisery – especially of the knitted nature.

The boots should be of good quality, and tall enough to at least be near the bottom of your kneecap. Depending on your style and needs, the heel can definitely vary, but when wearing a boot with thicker fabrics such as cashmere or knit tights, i suggest (heavily) a thicker heel – something a bit more substantial. You want the boots to look like they go with your outfit… Not like “they were the only pair you had”, you know?

UNIONBAY Women's Claremont BootNot Rated Women's Tipsy Boot

Both pairs of boots above are below $65. The one on the right also comes in a bunch of different colors. Black boots are a dime-a-dozen, so I didn’t even bother. Tee-hee!

The final ingredient for this cozy, feminine recipe is the actual dresses. I think that the most flattering hemlines hit at, or just above the knee, while the sleeves look best at either 1/2 or 3/4 length. This isn’t to say that all of your sleeveless dresses ought to be lit aflame for warmth or banned to the back of your closet… Just remember how easy it is to transform your spring/summer wardrobes for super cheap!

All the dresses below are under $100! I tried my absolute best to find some good wool dresses, but they’re a touch more expensive, so most of these are jersey blends (which are warm, too, as long as you get close with those sweater tights!), but a few are wool blends! I did my job, I swear!

Design History shadow jersey faux wrap belted dress
Design History brown chevron pointelle elbow sleeve dress BCBGMAXAZRIA black jersey split sleeve dress
A.B.S. peacock jersey colorblock shift dress
A.B.S. ivory metallic stripe jersey shirt dress Stephen Burrows currant jersey v-neck colorblock dress
Fashionista brown jersey belted 'Sandy' turtleneck dress

All above products are from Bluefly.

If you’re looking for something a little more lux, a little softer, and a little more serious that doesn’t break the bank… I’ve got some 100% cashmere dresses for absolutely steal-worthy prices.

All below are under $170 from Bluefly.

Qi charcoal cashmere knit keyhole back dress
Design History black cashmere turtleneck sweater dress
Qi porcelain cashmere angel belted tunic dress Design History plum cashmere drawstring sleeve dress

Just looking at these makes my shoulders and neck feel fuzzy and warm and cozy and sweet. Plus – under $170? For that much cashmere? I’m looking at my moving-fund and reallllly testing my self-control…


Kruder & Dorfmeister – The K&D Sessions

Probably watching Netflix.

9 thoughts on “How to have a warm, lady-like winter!

  • November 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    On thing I’ve always wondered about sweater dresses – do they behave themselves when paired with thick tights? a lot of dresses I have ride up my stockinged legs while I walk, I’d imagine sweater dresses would do this much more! would you need a slip or something?

    Ali-bell´s last blog post was I’ve developed a strange new habit…!

    • November 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm

      A slip would be a GREAT idea! Adding even more insulation for the cold. Good idea!

  • November 10, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I used to hate sweater dresses because the idea of being warm and cold at the same time annoyed me, but I’m starting to like them more and more. I actually love that turquoise dress in the first batch of dresses!

    Chelsea Rae´s last blog post was The T-Shirt Effect!

  • November 10, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Perfect timing. I’ve been lamenting the fact that my wonderful dresses are being neglected now that the cold has set in … time to breathe new life into them!

    Sal´s last blog post was Style Icon: Stevie Nicks!

  • November 11, 2008 at 10:50 am

    those are some great finds from bluefly. i figure a cashmere sweater at old navy is $60 so what’s a little more for a designer dress? at least that’s the logic i’ll be using when i buy one of these bad boys :)

    Budget Babe´s last blog post was First Look: Thakoon for Target!

  • November 12, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    i love dresses layered with leggings in the winter.

    savvymode sg´s last blog post was Angie in Black and Beige!

  • November 13, 2008 at 11:46 am

    That was basically my uniform last winter: sweater dress, thick wool tights and high leather boots. I stayed warm and I looked fabulous! This is a look that can get a little too warm, so if you plan on staying indoors most of the day, try for a thinner tight. Those thick ones can get itchy!

    Grace´s last blog post was Recessionistas, Unite!!

Comments are closed.