What Should I Wear to a Wedding When It’s Freezing Outside?

Here's how to look fancy and not freeze.

Wedding marquee

Inspiration. | Images via Moda Operandi, The Outnet and Net-a-Porter.

If you have a wedding to go to in the next few weeks and know exactly what you’re going to wear and aren’t at all afraid of freezing your bum off, I salute you. Figuring out what to wear to a wedding is complicated (is champagne too close to white? Does black look too morose? Are wild prints too attention-grabby?). Factor in winter’s tricky curveballs – freezing temps, snow, slush, slippery sidewalks, this weird in-between snow-rain thing that’s been happening this week – and the whole thing becomes even stickier.

So, for those of you with fridges plastered with wedding invites and not a clue as to what to wear, let’s dig into our options. I’ve rounded up easy pairings (why yes, you can wear that sweater with that fancy skirt!) and smart fashion buys (run and get yourself an evening jacket, stat) to get you through the rest of winter wedding season. Mazel! 

The Mullet Effect

Sweater with skirt

Natasha Goldenberg/Pinterest; Song of Style.

Business on top, party on the bottom. Pair a sweater with a skirt (tulle! Ostrich feathers! Shine!) for a cool twist on cocktail-party dressing. Even if you go bare-legged, at least half of you will be warm. And that’s better than nothing, right? Right.

The Evening Coat


From left: Etro jacket at Net-a-Porter; Alice + Olivia mosaic sequined coat at Alice + Olivia; Lanvin sequin jacket at Net-a-Porter.

An evening jacket might seem passé and a tad impractical, but pairing a basic pea coat with a cocktail dress is sort of like putting a Picasso in a Pottery Barn frame. Invest in a jacket that’s either silk, sequined, beaded, embroidered or otherwise embellished. You’ll feel like a million bucks (and maybe even a bit like Blanche Devereaux!). Post-fete, wear it with jeans. A tip: Scour vintage shops for spangled jackets from the eighties, remove the shoulder pads and voilá! Insta-sparkle that won’t break the bank.

The Glory of Fancy Pants

Pants copy

Tibi sequin pantsHaider Ackermann silk pants, Maiyet velvet pants, J.Crew Collection sequin jumpsuit, Maticevski wrap pants.

Pants feel less try-hard than skimpy cocktail dresses, and you don’t have to worry about revealing your pasty ghost legs. (Haven’t shaved in two months? No one will be the wiser!)  This also means you won’t have to grapple with the perpetual nude hosiery dilemma. (Are they cool or only okay when worn by prim duchesses? I still can’t decide, though I veer towards the latter.) Make things even easier by opting for a jumpsuit. Preferably one made of grape-colored sequins. Yum.