It makes no sense to me that the party wear that’s in stores from now until February is so naked. Men can cover up and stay warm while we’re expected to wear flimsy little frocks and freeze our buns off. This works when the weather is warm, or when the heat is turned up really high. But frequently we’re either trying to find ways to cover up, which often ruins the look of the dress, or we grin and bear the cold for the duration of the event. Not so fab. 

The solution is to find a formal outfit option that keeps us warm. I often suggest a dressy suit, brocade or velvet jacket with dressy bottoms, or a “le Smoking” (ladies tuxedo) to my clients as toastier alternatives. A long sleeved dress at a decent length and in a substantial fabrication is another way to go. Add hosiery and dressy pumps for more insulation. 

For toasty formal wear this season, I’m loving the dressy maxi skirt ensemble. As the photos below show, the skirts are paired with dressy and casual pullovers, and the odd leather jacket. I like how these outfits have been broken up with high contrasting colour, tonal colour, texture, colour blocking and pattern. Wearing one colour — from head to toe and wrist to wrist — would not look as good to my eye. Scrunch the sleeves, add in some bling, hose, dressy shoes, a fab clutch, and you are good to go. Cozy, modern, chic, interesting, and comfortable as long as you don’t trip over the skirt. 

The vibe of this outfit is less formal than a cocktail dress or ball gown with all the trimmings because of the knitted and leather additions. With most events being less formal these days, this modern combination probably fits the bill quite well. 

I have all the pieces for this outfit formula so it might be my holiday look this year. Does it grab you too?