Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Lindsey Lanquist
Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing
Photo: Allison Kahler.

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The phrase “winter maxi dresses” seems inherently oxymoronic. Because breezy silhouettes should be reserved for the calendar’s warmest months, right? Because summer is the only season where comfy-cute dressing is a priority, and winter is strictly for bundling up in chunky knits, scarves and coats, right?

Though this logic is commonly held, your favorite retailers have taken to challenging it. They’ve stocked up on maxi dresses en masse—in the middle of winter—leaving winter maxi dresses feeling less oxymoronic than they ever have before. One simple fact has become undeniable: Winter maxi dresses are here, and they promise to leave our winter wardrobes way more dynamic than they found them.

I first encountered a winter maxi dress in the wild in December, when a friend of mine wore one to dinner. The dress was floor-length, and its flowy cut screamed of summer. But its thick, forest-green fabric communicated otherwise; this maxi was strictly intended for cold weather. The piece perplexed—and then delighted—me. I’d never before seen a maxi dress look so at home in a genuinely chilly environment.

I spent the next few days perusing my go-to retailers for similar pieces, and I found them—in spades. Shopbop, Matches Fashion, Farfetch and ASOS had collectively embraced the winter maxi dress trend. I saw floor-length striped gowns, dark floral prints, elongated plaid button-downs and sweater dresses that grazed the ground.

The most astounding part of this discovery wasn’t just that winter maxi dresses existed—it was that they existed in truly diverse varieties. The winter maxi dress selection I came across was far more exciting than the ones I’d seen in the summer. It became clear to me that winter maxi dresses weren’t just redefining what winter fashion looked like—they were reimagining what maxi dresses looked like, too.

Ahead, you’ll find a visual (and shoppable) guide to the winter maxi dress in all its statement-making glory. And the best part of all of this? You can layer all kinds of tights, leggings and pants under most of these winter maxi dresses, so you can probably stay warmer in them than you can in your go-to trousers. Talk about a winter win.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Raey Gathered-Neck Velvet Maxi Dress, $767 at Matches Fashion

Nothing says winter like floor-length velvet.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Ann Demeulemeester Pleated Charmeuse Dress, $762 at Matches Fashion

Your favorite shirtdress just got a winter-appropriate makeover.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Colorblock Knit Dress, $69.90 at Zara

A sweater dress that promises to keep your entire body—your arms, your legs, your ankles—warm.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Y.A.S. Flocked Floral Asymmetric Midaxi Dress, $127 at ASOS

Not quite a maxi, but so cute—and winter-appropriate—that I couldn’t resist including it.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Lee Mathews Diana Satin Dress, $650 at Shopbop

The sleekest, most fashion-forward take on this trend imaginable.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Solace London Colorblock Maxi Dress, $258 at Farfetch

Your go-to ugly Christmas sweater got the maxi dress treatment.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Button-Through Floral Maxi Dress, $60 at ASOS

Fit for spring, summer, fall or winter, this versatile dress is practically begging to be added to your closet.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

La DoubleJ Trapezio Dress, $895 at Farfetch

Because shift dresses don’t have to be short.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Ultimate T-Shirt Maxi Dress, $29 at ASOS

OK, you’ll definitely have to layer a cardigan (or something) over this one. But the cut and color feel so winter-appropriate I couldn’t help but include it.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Bordo de Nor Teodora Floral Print Maxi Dress, $299 at Farfetch

Florals rendered in black practically scream winter.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

DVF Diane Von Furstenberg Striped Shirtdress, $299 at Farfetch

As if winter maxi dresses weren’t shocking enough already, this little number combines sports and stripes for next-level statement-making style.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

La DoubleJ Maxi Shirtdress, $790 at Farfetch

I would live in this head-turner if I could.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Essentiel Antwerp Floral Maxi Dress, $441 at ASOS

Imagine all the likes you get if you uploaded a photo of yourself wearing this stunning white maxi in the snow.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

The Vampire’s Wife Belle Padded Shoulder Maxi Dress, $777 at Farfetch

Work-appropriate, wedding-appropriate, party-appropriate—is there anything this dress can’t do?

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Attico Checked Tie-Waist Shirtdress, $928 at Matches Fashion

Winter’s favorite print met summer’s favorite silhouette—and then they fell in love and produced this truly stunning shirtdress.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

RIXO Lucy Dress, $420 at Shopbop

A turtleneck peasant dress is the ultimate encapsulation of the winter maxi dress trend.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Solace London Celina Ribbed Knit Dress, $238 at Farfetch

You’ve probably never wished for a floor-length, hot pink sweater dress. But now that it’s here, you want it, right?

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Stine Goya Maxi Dress, $249 at Farfetch

So stunning I can’t stop staring at it.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Needle & Thread Painted Rose Gown, $469 at Shopbop

This is the stuff bohemian Instagram dreams are made of.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Nili Lotan Genevieve Dress, $450 at Shopbop

If my deep appreciation for velvet (and honestly, turtlenecks) wasn’t already obvious, I’m sure it is now.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Lost Ink Maxi Dress, $95 at ASOS

I honestly want to buy this just in case I get invited to a fancy event sometime soon. Because how badass would it be to show up in a floor-length animal print dress, paired with a really cool statement necklace (or something)? (And the best part? I could wear this to the office without attracting too many strange looks. This dress is that versatile.)

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

MSGM Chevron Maxi Dress, $422 at Farfetch

The stuff of statement-making sweater dress dreams. (I’m in love.)

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Silk Jacquard Maxi Dress, $620 at Ganni

Sleek, understated and very winter in tone.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Free People Cozy Up Cardigan Dress, $117.50 at ASOS

So cozy you’ll probably want to wear it to sleep.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Lydia Floral Mesh Maxi Dress, $89 at Urban Outfitters

The floral maxi dress / chunky combat boot juxtaposition is just too much for my fashion-loving heart to handle.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

Printed Georgette Wrap Dress, $270 at Ganni

Winter-facing in color and texture, this stunningly seasonal piece wants in on your closet now.

STYLECASTER | Winter Maxi Dresses Are Officially a Thing

PushButton Floral Velvet Dress, $244 at Farfetch

Like I said, nothing says winter like floor-length velvet.

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