Wedding season is always fun: You have evenings filled with dancing and dining, and an excuse to dress up a little. Usually, it's pretty easy to find an outfit to celebrate. But if the wedding happens to be in the winter, well, that's another story. Your strapless dress and strappy heels simply won't do in freezing temperatures, and it can be quite stressful to find an outfit that's seasonally appropriate, comfortable and stylish.
But there are ways to look elegant even when it's chilly out. TODAY Style tapped Rent The Runway's style director, Blaire Walsh, to reveal her top tips.
How should I dress for a winter wedding?
It's all about looking stylish while staying warm at the same time. That can be a challenge depending on the time of year and location of the wedding.
"I suggest sticking to styles with thicker fabrics, including velvet, crepe and jersey with long sleeves, three-quarter sleeves or lace details," said Walsh.
How do you stay stylish but also practical in the winter when it comes to dressing for a wedding?
"Dressing practically while stylish for a winter wedding is about comfort and warmth and wearing styles that have a touch of drama," said Walsh.
Look for a festive velvet jumpsuit or ankle-length, plum-colored cocktail dress that's perfect for both a black-tie optional or formal setting. Walsh particularly likes one with a thicker fabric and asymmetric long sleeves, as that makes it both practical and stylish for a winter wedding.
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What's the key to nailing formal attire in the winter?
"The key to nailing formal attire in the winter is to understand the setting and formality of the event," said Walsh.
Ask yourself the following: When is the event? What time of day does it take place? Look up the venue to better understand the setting, as this will help you choose the perfect — and most practical — look.
"Afternoon into night events tend to be on the dressier side," she added. "It's best to opt for a tea-length or floor-length dress or pant option. My motto is always to be overdressed rather than underdressed if you're unsure of the event's formality."
Can you wear black to a winter wedding?
"The color black is one of the most common colors worn to a wedding at any time of year because it's versatile and can be dressed up or down in any shape or form, dependent on the formality of the occasion," said Walsh.
What do you wear over an evening gown in the winter?
Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it's best to try and plan for these conditions when attending a wedding.
"Always bring layers along," said Walsh. "Think a festive sweater, bolero or a faux fur jacket option. Your layering garment must be aligned with the formality of your dress or suit."
Can you wear boots to a wedding?
"In my opinion, this is a no-go unless you're attending a particular type of wedding like a country ranch destination where a certain attire is required or suggested," said Walsh. "It's best to always stick with heels or a pointed-toe flat."
But, if you have to deal with snow for a wedding, Walsh suggests embracing snow boots to avoid a wipeout — and keep those party shoes nearby to change into before hitting the dance floor.