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15 Stylish (and Warm) Dresses to Wear to a Winter Wedding

The only thing you'll need to worry about are shoes.

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Design by Morgan McMullen

So you have to tear yourself away from a weekend of Netflix, eat, and repeat long enough to attend a friend's wedding? And worse, it's happening in the...winter? Shudder-inducing. Unlike spring and summer fetes, to which you can wear the bare minimum, winter weddings call for dresses in thick fabrics, like velvet, and with sleeves, if possible. Well, we've got you covered (literally). The options ahead are nice enough to wear more than once—i.e. the holy grail of wedding attire.

Best Halter Neck
Pleated Striped Crêpe Maxi Dress
MICHAEL Michael Kors net-a-porter.com
$195.00

This dress is made for the person who's always first to the dance floor. The pleated skirt shows off the dress' real magic—the black and white stripes underneath, which are revealed with each twirl and step you take. The halter neck style is made with lightweight crêpe, though, so you do need a long warm coat as you enter and exit the wedding venue.

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Best Little Black Dress
Framed Rib Banded Midi Dress
The Range fwrd.com
$295.00

This effortless ribbed dress is for the minimalist who simply wants to be warm and comfortable at the ceremony and reception. Wear with a colorful furry jacket or bright accessories to make a statement. Then, add a touch of red lipstick.

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Best Velvet Dress
Brooke Belted Velvet Maxi Dress
ARoss Girl x Soler net-a-porter.com
$810.00

If you have to be outdoors for any reason whatsoever, go with a velvet dress. The thick fabric provides a slight barrier from the elements—you'll feel more covered than if you were to wear a flimsy chiffon gown, promise. Wear with a long wool coat. If you drove to the wedding, keep a pair of boots in the trunk to switch into for any wedding after-parties.

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Best Cutout Dress
Cutout Maxi Dress
ALI & JAY nordstrom.com
$138.00

Plunging necklines that go down to your belly button may be excessive for a wedding, but you do still want to show some skin. The solution? This floor-skimming maxi dress that features side cutouts. It shows off the right amount of skin while appearing sweet too thanks to the short sleeves and tulip skirt. 

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Best Destination Dress
Lonnie Dress in Tangerine
Caroline Constas revolve.com
$840.00

What if the winter wedding you're attending is actually taking place somewhere tropical? Pack this tangy orange Caroline Constas dress with you to stand out in the lush green surroundings. The silky material gives this piece a luxurious look while the ruched ruffled fabric detail on front draws people's eyes straight to your legs. Style with silver sandals.

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Best Mother of the Bride Dress
Cape-Effect Beaded Wool-Crepe and Silk-Chiffon Gown
Givenchy net-a-porter.com
$8,340.00

The mother of the bride's ensemble is almost as important as your daughter's. While you don't want to upstage her (a.k.a. do not wear a white gown, unless she says it's okay), you do want to stand out. This Givenchy cape gown is your one-way ticket to a show-stopping moment. It's made from wool-crêpe and has floaty silk-chiffon sleeves that cascade to the floor. Beads and sequins around the neckline mean you can skip on heavily accessorizing. This cape dress packs a punch all on its own.

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Best Dress Alternative
Cape Sleeve Jumpsuit
Eliza J nordstrom.com
$138.00

I know I promised you dresses, but I will sneak a jumpsuit in here anyways because I love them. For most weddings, a one-piece is just as acceptable as a nice dress, especially if they look like this. What makes this jumpsuit chicer than your average LBD is the deep v-neckline, slightly flared hems, and back-draped cape sleeves. Add to cart, please.

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Most Sparkly
Embellished Tulle Gown
Carolina Herrera net-a-porter.com
$8,990.00

Sparkle and shine in this pre-fall 2019 dress from Carolina Herrera. It's perfect for more lavish weddings where being a little over the top is acceptable. This gown would also make a stunning maid of honor or bridesmaid look, if your crew has the budget to spare.  Worth it? I vote yes.

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Best Floral Dress
The Meryl Floral Long Sleeve Wrap Gown
WAYF nordstrom.com
$148.00

When I think of "fall florals," this dress comes to mind: The colors are muted and dark, but the print is light and soft. Sheer sleeves show off your arm just a little while the hiked-up hemline reveals your fabulous heels. This dress is sure to be a piece you wear time and time again.

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Best for Wearing Again and Again
Zena Gloss One Shoulder Midi Gown
Nanushka modaoperandi.com
$595.00

This pistachio green hue is surprisingly easy on the eyes, although the dress also comes in two more versatile hues if this isn't your vibe. Nanushka fans will appreciate the effortless one-shoulder design and asymmetric hemline. This is a dress you can 100 percent rewear on vacation with sandals or to dinner with sneakers.

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Best Detailing
Mina Satin-Trimmed Velvet Midi Dress
Cult Gaia net-a-porter.com
$718.00

One of the coolest details on this dress is the two tortoiseshell acrylic chain straps that draws the eyes to your shoulder and arms. Once their attention is hooked, turn to the side to show off your cutouts. The gold velvet also catches the light as you walk, so you'll look luminous from every angle. 

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Best Slip Dress
Polka Dot Slip Dress
Zara zara.com
$49.90

For weddings that lean more towards casual than black tie, you can get away with wearing a printed slip dress like this one. The cowl neckline offers modest coverage compared to a plunging v-neck and can easily be worn under a blazer or sweater for a Monday work outfit. 

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Best Mermaid Gown
Stella Dress in Midnight
Saloni revolve.com
$495.00

The dress Ariel should have worn to have dinner with Prince Eric. This navy silk number is elegant and sexy, especially when you turn around to see the low back. Tie your hair into a low bun or pull it back into a half up-half down style, so everyone can see the full mermaid look.

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Best for Black Tie
Nude Bonded Scuba Pleated One Shoulder Fishtail Maxi Dress
Pretty Little Thing prettylittlething.us
$55.00

This dramatic one-shoulder dress is the ideal choice for a black tie wedding. It's long, body-hugging, and special (a result of the pleats and mermaid tail). Accessorize with a pair of emerald earrings or pearl accessories for that under-the-sea touch.

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Best Two-Tone Dress
Floral Mix Print Dress
Rebecca Taylor saksfifthavenue.com
$417.00

There are two ways to wear this dress: One is with a fancy heel for weddings; the other is with boots or sneakers for a more casual weekend date night. Though conservative, the piece is appropriate for formal events, too, thanks to the print and ruched sleeves. Style with kitten heels like this.

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