DRESSES Fashion Tips layering Personal Style

6 Ways to Wear Dresses Year-Round

A row of clothes hanging on the rack.


How to Make Use of Your Dresses All Year

Dresses make getting dressed easy. You can simply throw one on and go (adding in some footwear first, of course). We love wearing dresses for daytime and we love wearing dresses year-round. Even though they are a little more dressed up than jeans, they can be a really comfortable piece to run around in. We also love encouraging you to regularly utilize ALL of the pieces you have in your closet! By layering and re-styling your easy-to-wear dresses, you create a more versatile wardrobe. It may be that any dresses you have usually end up at the back of the closet until summer. So, to make those dresses seasonally versatile, let’s look at ways to add warmth and coverage to your legs and arms.

Dress + Topper:

Cardigans are simple pieces that can be added or removed easily in unpredictable weather. They are an obvious choice to quickly cover arms against a chill. Add a belt over the cardigan or under it to draw attention to your waist. A thin-knit cardigan will fit well under another type of topper for more serious layering. What about pairing a thin-knit drapey cardigan with your dress and topping the outfit with a tough-looking motorcycle jacket?

There are alternatives to the ubiquitous cardigan-over-dress look. A blazer that is fitted or even over-sized can make it so you wear more of your dresses year round. It may not be your first thought for layering with a dress, but a blazer can give a shoulder-baring dress some office clout. Alternatively, denim jackets are practically made to go with dresses. Utility jackets will add a little military influence to temper the sweetness of a dress for any season.

A woman sitting on top of a chair in front of a wall.
photo credit
 A woman in a white jacket and floral dress.Jessica Kane
A woman standing on the side of a building.
photo credit

A woman in a dress and boots holding onto some luggage

Merrick of merricksart.com
A woman standing on the side of a road.Tanesha Awasthi 

Dress + Tights:

Tights can keep legs warm by providing extra coverage on a windy or frigid day. Reversible tights (such as tights that are black on one side, brown on the other) and fleece-lined tights are extra-thick. Cable-knit or ribbed tights can also keep the chill at bay and bring a textural element to your ensemble.

A woman wearing tights and boots with a floral dress.Tonya of themoptop.com
 A woman in black jacket and white dress.photo credit

Dress + Layer Underneath:

As another way to wear your dresses year-round, consider adding layers underneath. A long-sleeved T-shirt can add an extra dose of colour to your outfit. A button-up shirt is a great layering piece and its collar will add detail to the neck of your dress. Thin-knit turtlenecks look fresh and modern under a dress with straps thin or wide, sleeves short or long.

A woman in floral dress and vest standing next to wall.merricksart.com
A woman with long hair wearing sunglasses and a necklace.
Brennan Mari of chicstreetstyle.me

A woman standing on the sidewalk looking at her phone.

photo credit

A woman in black dress standing next to a poster.

Diane Keaton

Dress + Layer On Top

To increase the warmth and wearability of the dress, you can style it as if it were a skirt. Take your long-sleeved button-up shirt (denim, chambray or otherwise), tie its bottom and tuck it under so it stays. Try this without a belt or with as shown below (without sleeves): 

A woman wearing green and floral dress with text.

In addition to a shirt over a dress, you could also pull a sweater on top of a dress to give the impression of a top paired with a skirt.
A woman in black shirt and white skirt holding purse.

Dress Under a Skirt:

That great dress you have may be even more versatile if you use it like a top. Put a skirt over that dress. Try an A-line, pencil or even a full skirt. The bottom of the dress can be hidden with a longer full or A-line skirt that will add an extra layer for warmth. Create a layered look with a tube or stretchy pencil skirt that leaves the dress hem peeking out.

A woman in green and black outfit standing on blue carpet.Diane Kruger

A woman standing in an archway wearing a tan skirt.

photo credit

Dress Over Pants:

Pants under your dress can solve the issue of cold legs when wearing summer dresses year-round. A dress that is straight cut with slits on the side would look right at home with cropped pants. An A-line or swing dress can really come to life with skinny jeans underneath.

A woman walking down the street while looking at her phone.
Christine Reehorst of fash-n-chips.com
 A woman in black dress and white shirt holding purse.photo credit
A woman in jeans and boots standing on the sidewalk.
Holly of hollydollydarling.com

A closet consultation with The Joy Of Style will show you how to use those seasonal dresses year-round. Ready for a closet refresher? Call to book your appointment today! 

A woman standing in front of a wall wearing a dress.

Show us some social media love by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


You Might Also Like

Let's be social!