What to Wear Over a Formal Dress When Cold for a Chic Look

By: Emily Whitehill.

Published on

- 5 min read

Have you ever been all dressed up for a fancy event, only to realize that you’re absolutely freezing? Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s not always easy to find the perfect balance between looking fabulous in your formal dress and staying warm in the cold. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back! In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite outerwear options that will keep you cozy without compromising your style. Let’s explore these fashionable solutions together!

Faux Fur Coat

Faux Fur Coat

There’s nothing quite like the luxurious feel of a faux fur coat to amp up your formal attire. Not only does it keep you incredibly warm, but it also adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outfit. I once wore a faux fur coat to a winter wedding, and not only did it keep me cozy, but I received compliments all night long!

Choose a faux fur coat in a neutral color like black or beige to ensure it complements your dress. For a more adventurous look, opt for a bold color or pattern that makes a statement. (Think Cruella de Vil, minus the puppy drama.)

Faux Fur Shawl

If a full-on faux fur coat feels too heavy, consider a faux fur shawl instead. This versatile option can be draped over your shoulders, wrapped around your arms, or even belted at the waist for a more structured look. I love the versatility of a shawl and how it adds a touch of glamour without overwhelming the outfit.

Choose a shawl that matches or contrasts with your dress color for added visual interest. And the best part? You can use it to keep warm at the event and then store it in your purse once you hit the dance floor. (Hot tip: don’t forget to practice your shawl twirls!)

Black Short Jacket

A black short jacket is a classic choice for formal events, as it goes with virtually any dress color and style. Whether you’re wearing a floor-length gown or a cocktail dress, a black short jacket provides the perfect amount of coverage without sacrificing style. I’ve worn mine to countless events and have always been grateful for the warmth and chic look it provides.

For a more tailored look, opt for a cropped, fitted jacket with minimal embellishments. If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, choose a looser, oversized jacket that can be easily draped over your shoulders or worn as outerwear. (Either way, you’ll be looking fabulous and staying warm.)

Nude Coat

When you want your dress to take center stage, a nude coat is the way to go. This understated option won’t compete with the colors or patterns of your formal attire, allowing your dress to truly shine. I once wore a nude coat over a vibrant, patterned gown and it created the perfect balance.

Opt for a nude coat in a long, tailored silhouette for a sleek, streamlined look. A belted waist can also add a touch of sophistication and highlight your figure. (Just make sure you don’t accidentally leave your coat behind at the end of the night!)


Who says you can’t wear a sweater over a formal dress? With the right styling, a sweater can add warmth and a touch of casual chic to your outfit. I once paired an oversized cashmere sweater with a floor-length silk gown for a winter event, and it was a surprising hit!

Choose a sweater in a complementary color or pattern and experiment with different ways to wear it – draped over your shoulders, knotted at the waist, or even worn as a scarf. (Just remember, the key to pulling off this look is confidence and a bit of creativity.)

Black Coat

A timeless black coat is a must-have in any wardrobe, especially when it comes to formal events. It’s a versatile choice that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. I’ve worn my black coat to everything from black-tie galas to intimate dinner parties, and it never fails to make me feel polished and put together.

Look for a coat with a flattering cut that complements your dress silhouette. A longer coat works well with floor-length gowns, while a shorter coat can be a great match for cocktail dresses. (Bonus points if your black coat has pockets for stashing your essentials!)

Plaid Coat

For a more unconventional outerwear choice, consider a plaid coat. This bold option can add a touch of whimsy and personality to your formal attire. I once wore a plaid coat to a winter gala, and it was the perfect conversation starter.

Select a plaid pattern that complements your dress color and style, and don’t be afraid to go for a bolder print if it suits your personality. Remember, the key to pulling off this look is to have fun with it and let your unique style shine. (And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a little plaid flair?)

Warm and Stylish: A Winning Combination

There you have it – a variety of chic, functional options to keep you warm and stylish at your next formal event. From faux fur coats to plaid wonders, there’s an outerwear choice for every style and occasion. So, the next time you find yourself shivering in your formal attire, don’t worry. Just remember these fabulous ideas and prepare to turn heads while staying warm and cozy. (Now, go forth and conquer the cold, my fashionable friends!)