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How to Wear Summer Style in Winter

Last update: 2023-11-05

The change of seasons can be a difficult transition when it comes to fashion and style. As the weather gets colder, our summer wardrobes no longer seem fitting. But that doesn't mean we have to pack up our favorite lightweight dresses, skirts, and sandals. With some creative styling and layering techniques, you can take those summer pieces and make them work for winter. Here's how to wear summer style in winter:

Dresses & Skirts

Flirty dresses and skirts are staples of summer style. But just because it's cold out doesn't mean you can't wear them. The key is layering:

Fashionable woman wearing long orange trench coat, hat, zebra print midi skirt, cowboy ankle boots, with green bag, walking in street of European city
  • Wear a long sleeve sweater or thermal underneath your dress. Choose a close-fitting style that won't add bulk.
  • Add opaque tights or leggings under your dress or skirt. Black is classic, but have fun with colors and prints too.
  • Pop a jacket, coat or blazer over your dress. This adds warmth and makes the outfit look more wintery.
  • Try boots instead of sandals - ankle booties or over-the-knee styles pair well with dresses and skirts.
  • Accessorize with scarves, gloves and hats. These add an extra layer while complementing your outfit.

Lightweight Tops

Similar to dresses, your breezy camis and tanks can also work for winter:

  • Layer them under chunky sweaters, cardigans or flannels. Choose contrasting colors and textures for visual interest.
  • Wear them under a leather, denim or corduroy jacket to balance the lightness.
  • Pair with high-waisted jeans or trousers. The extra coverage on bottom helps balance a sleeveless top.
  • Finish the look with booties, loafers or sneakers instead of summer's flip flops.
  • Add a beanie, headband or earmuffs if you need an extra layer up top.


You may not think of shorts as cold weather attire, but don't put them away just yet:

Fashionable confident woman wearing elegant white suit, hat, leather ankle boots, holding brown suede fringed bag, sitting, posing on beige background.
  • Style cotton shorts with sheer tights and ankle boots. The tights add warmth while still highlighting the shorts.
  • Try layering shorts under dresses and skirts - let the hem peek out for a layered look.
  • Pair them with an oversized sweater or sweatshirt and leg warmers. This is a relaxed weekend look.
  • For dressier occasions, wear tailored shorts with a turtleneck and blazer. Finish with heels or tall boots.
  • When temps are milder, wear shorts with knee-high boots. The contrast between bare leg and covered leg is chic.


Sandals seem strictly summer, but you have options here too:

  • Try open-toed booties as a compromise. These cover more of your foot while still showcasing your toes.
  • Look for closed-toe sandal styles that can transition seasons, like ones with ankle straps rather than toe straps.
  • Style your summer sandals with socks - ankle socks create an intentional, on-trend look.
  • Save your flip flops for indoor wear around the house. Pair them with sweatpants or robes for relaxing.
  • For dressy events, wear your heels and save the sandals for warmer days. Strappy heels give a similar sexy vibe.


Focus on fabrics that provide warmth but work for both seasons:

  • Cotton, linen and lightweight denim are warm enough for winter but have a summer feel.
  • Jersey and knit fabrics, like t-shirt material, add comfort and stretch for winter.
  • Satin and slip skirts work year-round when layered properly.
  • Leather, suede and wool blends make fall/winter pieces feel lighter.

Colors & Prints

Bright, vibrant colors and bold prints embody summer spirit. Incorporate them into winter looks:

close-up legs in stylish white boots footwear of young woman in yellow printed dress on sunny autumn day having fun in street wearing fashion trend outfit
  • Pair colorful camis under neutral sweaters
  • Choose a skirt or dress in a floral print
  • Bright tights under dresses
  • Fun beanies and gloves
  • Striped shirts under jackets
  • Playful socks with boots

With creative styling and layers, you don't have to pack away your summer favorites just yet. Use these tips to transition your warm weather pieces into stylish cold weather outfits. The right pairings and fabrics make it easy to wear summer style, even in winter.


Incorporating bright colors and bold prints into your winter wardrobe can help you carry the spirit of summer throughout the year. By pairing summer favorites with the right fabrics and layers, you can create stylish outfits that are both comfortable and functional. So don't pack away your summer clothes just yet! With a little creativity, you can make them work for any season.

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