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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, oversized scarves and warm AF coats, right? (You might want to think again, actually.)
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. Zara, Anthropologie, Eloquii, Free People—and more—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.
This beautiful purple hue is perfect for winter.
Pair this slip dress with a moto jacket for a sexy and sleek nighttime look.
Ready to cozy up in this sweater dress all winter long.
Polka dots are always a good choice.
The huge tulle sleeves on this dress are a maximalist dream.
Velvet is the most luxurious wintertime fabric, hands down.
Slip dresses are perfect for winter when paired with a cute turtleneck underneath.
Sparkle and shine through the winter.
Merino wool will always keep ya warm.
Oof—This color is gorgeous.
This wool dress is sure to keep you both warm and chic through the season.
Get a little wild this winter, baby.
Give me all the crushed velvet.
This animal print dress is perfectly abstract (and perfectly warm).
What a beautiful starry night. Oh, wait—That’s just your dress.
Florals for winter? You better believe it.
Show off that leg while still keeping warm.
Red hot in the coldest months.
More velvet, please.
Imagine yourself wearing this dress, sitting by the fire and sipping some mulled wine. Ah, perfection.
This dress needs to be in my closet ASAP.
Metallics were practically made for winter.
This dress is sure to add a little color to a dreary winter day.
Does this dress look majorly luxe or what?! *Swoon.*
A version of this article was originally published in 2018.
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