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How to winterise a summer dress

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It’s cold but not freezing. Before you pack away your summer wardrobe here's five easy ways to get a little extra mileage out your favourite floaty dress.

1. Tights

The fastest way to warm up a summer dress is with a pair of opaque tights. Black opaques look great against most soft prints and floral but you can try chocolate or burgundy as well. The key to getting this look right is making sure the stocking is a decent thickness – at least 80 denier. Sheer tights not only defeat the purpose of helping you stay warm but they can look very 1985 with a floaty frock. If you must wear sheer channel The Duchess of Cambridge and choose a flesh-toned style.

2. Roll-Necks


Slip on a neutral - black, white, beige, grey marle - roll-neck underneath your dress. Yes underneath. This extender trick works best with strapless and cap sleeve styles - forget about it on anything with a halter or spaghetti strap neckline. To avoid bulkiness opt for a light weight sweater with skinny shoulders and a fine weave.

3. Knee High Boots

You’ve heard your Mum say it a million times: “If your feet are warm then your whole body will be too”. For those sunny autumn days when you can still bare your arms try teaming summer dresses with a pair of knee-high boots. It looks best when the hem of the boot meets the hem of the dress (this also contains the wind chill) but if you prefer a more mid-calf style boot then slip on a pair of opaque tights or fake tan to keep the leg line lean.


If your favourite frock is too short for winter temperatures consider turning it into a tunic top and wear over leather tights, pants or jeans. Slip a blazer over the top or a scarf around your neck and you’ll instantly winterise the look. Just be mindful of the hem length – mid-thigh is best - any longer and it can make you look shorter and wider.

5. Coats

This is obvious, easy and flattering. Nothing looks chicer or sleeker than a long line coat over a summer dress. It was Jackie Kennedy's fall-back look and every bit as fabulous and relevant in 2012. The styles for this look are lighter weight - so a trenchcoat is perfect and you can make it modern by trying a bright colour - forest green, ruby and cobalt blue for this season.