what to wear to a winter wedding guest dressing

What to wear to a winter wedding: The essential guest dressing guide for women

13 Nov 2023 | Updated on: 10 Nov 2023 |By Hitanshi Kamdar

Don’t let the cold tamp down your style with these chic winter weddings looks ideal for any weather

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Winter weddings are truly magical, romantic occasions. But for wedding guests, they can be shudder-inducing. Dragging yourself out of a warm bed is difficult enough in the colder months, but combine that with the thought of spending all day in a draughty church or echoey ballroom while wearing a slinky cocktail dress and the chills literally take over. So what to wear to a winter wedding? Fret not; with our edit of chic cold weather-ready pieces you can still cherish those romantic ‘I dos’ while looking your best.

Whether you’re looking for the best wedding guest dresses, a coat worthy of the occasion, or comfortable separates that will also look great at your work Christmas party, our curated edit will make sure your style doesn’t get low just because the temperature is.

Velvet dresses

For a stunning winter look, you really can’t go wrong with velvet. Warm and sensual, this heavier fabric makes for great winter wedding guest dresses as the lustrous fabric drapes elegantly around the body. A classic floor-length option, like Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s cowl neck iteration, is perfect for a black-tie reception. Etro’s paisley printed maxi, meanwhile, is made for rustic country house weddings.

If you prefer to stand out from the crowd (while not overshadowing the bride, of course) opt for the striking blue Alaïa off-shoulder velvet dress. You can also be smart about showing some skin by opting for Self Portrait’s sleek black dress – its cut-out detailing is sexy without being over the top.

Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini cowl neck velvet dress

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Etro paisley-printed velvet maxi dress

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Alaïa off-shoulder velvet dress

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Self Portrait gathered cut-out velvet dress

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Knit dresses

Knitted dresses are a safe bet for those who are perennially cold. Forgo bulky coats and wrap yourself in a toasty cashmere or wool knit so you can dance the night away with ease. To add a dramatic flair to your twirls, go with Saint Laurent’s floor-length cashmere dress finished with a flared hem.

Lean into a wintery palette with Rick Owen’s amethyst-hued one-shoulder gown or blend into the festivities with Missoni’s crochet dress embellished with multicolour sequinned stripes. Proenza Schouler’s cowl neck dress, meanwhile, envelops the body in what feels like a literal hug – perfect for weddings where you’re missing your plus one.

Saint Laurent cashmere sweater dress

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Rick Owens one-shoulder wool maxi dress

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Missoni striped crochet maxi dress

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Proenza Schouler cowl neck dress

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Luxe separates

Who said you have to limit yourself to dresses for a stunning wedding guest look? Matching separates can elevate your style and make you stand out from the gown-wearing masses. Take a page from the men’s occasionwear playbook and try a suit: Chloé’s black wool-crepe suit is trimmed with satin and the blazer is embellished with a bold crystal brooch guaranteed to draw compliments. Pair with classic black pumps for a statement outfit.

For a more traditionally feminine approach, try a skirt suit, like Huishan Zhang’s off-white tweed iteration. The peplum jacket is detailed with a rosette appliqué while the elegant knee-length skirt features a thigh-high slit for a hint of skin. Finish the look with a hat for extra style points.

Chloé crystal-embellished blazer

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Chloé satin-trimmed straight-leg trousers

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Huishan Zhang Agar appliquéd tweed jacket

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Huishan Zhang Alida tweed midi skirt

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Cosy layers

With wardrobes brimming with trench coats and leather jackets, who needs yet another coat? But hear us out. Your trusty black wool coat might be warm, but it’ll just dull the shine of your impeccable winter wedding guest outfit. Investing in a beautiful evening coat will ensure you look your best even when donning endless layers.

Prada’s cape-effect coat is a timeless classic while Yves Salomon’s navy coat with a shearling trim is a lush option you can also wear every day. Wrap Gabriela Hearst’s oversized cashmere scarf over a dress for an understated look or go all out with a shimmery purple cape from The Vampire’s Wife.

Prada single-breasted wool jacket

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Yves Salomon shearling-trimmed wool and cashmere coat

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The Vampire’s Wife The Lady Jane cape

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Gabriela Hearst Lauren cashmere scarf

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Sleek boots

Swap out strappy sandals for sleek boots to keep feet toasty even during the longest vows. Thankfully, this season’s new wave of boots is brimming with sleek high-heeled options perfect for a winter wedding. Choose from classics like Gucci’s black leather ankle boots or Saint Laurent’s creamy brown knee-high boots.

Pair a simple monotone dress with Gen Z favourite Paris Texas’ crystal-embellished boots for a statement look. Or put your most fashionable foot forward in Maison Margiela’s iconic split-toe Tabi boots.

Gucci leather ankle boots

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Paris Texas Holly crystal-embellished boots

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Saint Laurent Hacker knee-high boots

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Maison Margiela Tabi ankle boots

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