What to wear to a winter wedding to ensure you're the best dressed guest

Discover what to wear to a winter wedding with our comprehensive style guide

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding
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Not sure what to wear to a winter wedding? We get it. Dressing for nuptials in cooler months throws up significant sartorial challenges. With trickier weather to navigate - hello all seasons in one day, finding the perfect ensemble can mean some clever layering. 

Forecast aside, there’s also the fact that when it comes to what to wear to a winter wedding, the brief can vary quite drastically. It could be that the wedding you’re invited to is a cosy, Christmas-themed celebration, or a glamorous black-tie event complete with a dress code that requires a full-length gown. Either way, it's not just your dress, jumpsuit or combination of separates into account, but also any outerwear and weather-hardy shoes. Forget stilettos – you’re only going to end up sinking into the mud while you wait for the photographer to snap the group shot. 

To avoid any potential faux pas, the most important thing to consider is the dress code stated on the invitation. The couple may have requested a particular type of outfit, or even that guests wear a certain shade. After that, the normal rules for what to wear to a wedding apply. These include not wearing white (unless specifically requested by the bridal party), and ideally not wearing the same colour as the bridesmaids. However other rules around colours, such as wearing black wedding guest dresses or wearing red to a wedding have somewhat relaxed in recent years – especially for winter weddings where darker hues are favoured. 

What to wear to a winter wedding for an appropriate and stylish outfit

Thanks to the impending festive season, finding winter wedding outfits should be a breeze, with plenty of sparkles – hello sequin skirts, the best dresses, and party-ready co-ords aplenty hitting the shops. In fact, this is actually an ideal time of year to purchase occasionwear in general. 

Unlike the summer, which is all about pretty pastel hues and bold floral-inspired tones, winter relies on a richer and darker palette, with jewel tones and metallic being particularly popular. Seek out fabrics with sparkle, lustre and embellishment to not only add joy to the wedding but to give a nod to the time of year too. 

"Dressing for a winter wedding is easier than you might think. The stores are full to bursting with outfits for the holiday season and many of these can be spun easily into winter wedding looks. Opt for sparkle and high-shine fabrics to embrace the mood of the season and occasion," says Rivkie Baum, woman&home fashion editor.

1. Printed midi dress

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding midi dress

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For winter weddings, you can’t really go wrong with one of the best midi dresses in a new season print. Instead of big, bold blooms, look instead to smaller, and more intricate floral designs in slightly darker tones - one of the major autumn/winter dress trends for 2023

Swap pastels for shades like deep purples, rich greens, and earthy reds. If florals aren’t your thing full-stop, then animal print is always chic and is also a key autumn/winter 2023 fashion trend. Or, dress to match the mood with a kitsch love-heart print. As for shape, a wrap dress will flatter all body types with ease and allow you the option of adjusting the waist tie based on your preferred fit. 

A styling tip… If you’re opting for a V-neckline, add a necklace for extra interest. 

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2. Co-ords

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding coord

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If you’re struggling to justify the expense of investing in a new outfit for a winter wedding, a co-ord is a great way to max out your cost-per-wear after the event by wearing the ensemble on repeat as separates. While summer’s co-ords were patterned and crafted from natural fabrics like cotton and linen, winter’s iterations come in a variety of block colours and seriously luxe fabrications. Think pleated lurex, head-to-toe boucle, and high-shine satins for a statement two-piece that will ensure you stand out from the crowd. A great alternative to the best wedding guest dresses. A set with sleeves will negate the need for a jacket, but if you’re braving an asymmetric or camisole top then a blazer slung over your shoulders is the perfect finishing touch. 

A styling tip… If you've opted for a blazer co-ord, go for a contrasting top or blouse underneath to break up the look. 

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3. Jumpsuit

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding jumpsuit

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For maximum impact for what to wear to a winter wedding but with minimum effort, a flattering jumpsuit is your one-and-done sartorial safety net. The beauty of a jumpsuit is it does the heavy lifting for your outfit in one swoop, so all you really need to worry about is accessories. If you’re opting for a sleeveless design, square and high-necks remain popular for the season ahead. For styles with sleeves, look to wrap and sweetheart necklines for the ultimate flattering fit. Or, keep things interesting with an asymmetric jumpsuit. A block colour is easier to style and less likely to date, but prints do have the advantage of not showing creases quite as clearly. 

A styling tip… The length and the placement of the waist are trickier to get right if you’re tall or petite. Belts can help to ensure your figure isn't lost and add proportion and shape to your outfit. Look to dedicated ranges for just the right fit. 

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4. Skirt and blouse

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding skirt and blouse

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A skirt and blouse combination might require slightly more thought than a throw-on-and-go dress when it comes to what to wear to a winter wedding, but it does give the opportunity to play a little more with texture and print. Balance out a luxurious satin, sequin, or chiffon skirt by teaming with your best shirt in crisp cotton. This is one of the scenarios in which white is completely appropriate, as it will be offset by the colour in the bottom half of your outfit. A midi that hits mid-calf is the ideal length to keep you warm, while a mini will give you the opportunity to show off your legs. Add a closed shoe with a pointed toe or strappy sandal to elongate your frame. 

A styling tip… Take proportions into account. If your skirt is fit-and-flare, you’ll need a form-fitting top, while a pencil skirt means you can take more volume on the top half. 

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5. Colourful dress

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding colourful dress

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Winter wedding styling stereotypically means a shift towards darker colours, so opting for a bright, colour-pop dress will ensure you stand out. Wondering what colour suits me? Use your own wardrobe as a starting point and see what hues you naturally gravitate towards. Pick out the shades that always make you feel good, the ones you can rely on to perk up your complexion when you’re tired or to take the edge off a bad hair day. Alternatively, take your hair colour into account. As a rough starting point, brunettes look great in reds, blondes suit pinks, redheads are beautiful in green and grey hair is striking with blue. 

A styling tip… For a real matchy-matchy look, double down with accessories in the same colour as your dress. 

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6. Tuxedo

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding tuxedo

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Don’t feel like wearing a cocktail dress? Borrow from the boys instead with a luxe tux. Starting from the shoulders, it’s the cut that separates a good suit from the best tuxedos for women. Padded shoulders will make a real statement, and are an easy way to balance out your hips, creating the illusion of a narrower waistline in the process. Double-breasted styles are great for making smaller busts appear fuller, while single-breasted jackets are flattering on larger busts and also elongate your frame with ease. Aim for a jacket that hits just below your hips, any longer and you risk distorting your frame, especially if you’re petite. Both wide-leg and tapered trousers are popular at the moment, so you can choose the level of drama that works for you.

A styling tip… If you're planning on wearing your jacket done up for the entire event, you can potentially forgo wearing anything underneath, although we recommend filling the neckline with a statement necklace. If you think you might want to slip your jacket off or wear undone, then layer over a silky camisole for the perfect way to style a blazer at a winter wedding.

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7. Best cover-ups for a winter wedding

street style influencers showing what to wear to a winter wedding coats and cover ups

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The best part of dressing for a winter wedding? The opportunity for a really gorgeous statement coat. If the dress code requires a floor-sweeping gown, then faux fur, one of the big coat trends for 2023 is our first choice to amp up the glamour. Keep it classic with browns and creams or inject a little colour with a more striking shade. Cropped, waist-skimming styles are perfect for petites and will stop your coat from swamping your shape. For structured midi dresses, co-ords, and suits, a tailored wool coat will finish the look perfectly. If it’s not too cold, or you’re getting a cab or driving to and from the venue, a blazer should be enough to keep you warm. Opt for a classic black blazer or push the boat out with a sequin or velvet upgrade for the ultimate party-ready feel. 

A styling tip… You don’t actually have to wear your coat or jacket. Robing (wearing it slung over your shoulders) will keep you warm while looking effortless. 

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