What Do You Wear to a Winter Formal? Evening Dress Tips

Jovani ruched long sleeve evening gown

Attending a Winter Formal is a great way to add some cheer to those gloomy cold days! Winter formals are often thrown by schools or other institutions that want to host a fun-filled formal event during the colder winter months. Much like prom, the dress code usually calls for a long formal dress.

The night might include dinner, a dance, and more special features such as awards or speeches.  You’ll want to make sure you look dressy and ready for the formal occasion.

You’ll need to find an elegant long evening dress that suits the event and may also be a practical fit if you’re from a place that gets very cold over the winter.

A Winter Formal or any type of Winter Dance may also have a theme (such as a holiday or snow theme), so double-check this information first. That way you can make sure your dress is a great match for any theme or color palette that’s likely to be a part of the night.

Once you have some idea of the type of dress that suits the event, it’s time to start shopping. One of the best places to look is at your nearest Jovani retailer. You can find a wide selection of new season styles in stores as early as the Fall. This gives you immediate access to a full range of choices.

As is true for any dress, you’ll want a design that best flatters your figure and natural shape. Pick a gown that makes you feel comfortable and is a great reflection of your own taste and style, all while sticking to the dress code too, of course.

To help you with your Winter formal dress quest, we’ve put together some of the best tips for preparing your outfit and choosing the perfect option.


How to Choose a Dress for a Winter Formal

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  • Consider the weather. If you live in a place where it’s likely to be freezing cold, you need to consider how that will impact your outfit. Even if the venue is heated, you’ll still want to wear a dress that is more layered and weather appropriate. You should also plan what type of shoes work if you need to walk through snowy or icy conditions, and also make sure you have a coat or jacket that matches your dress or can at least keep you warm before you arrive at the event.
  • Meet the dress code. Some winter dances may be more casual than others and might only need you to opt for a shorter dress or jumpsuit. Make sure you figure out the right length and style you’ll need to wear before you go shopping.
  • Pick the perfect color. Winter can be a dark season, and light summery colors don’t often work. To subtly brighten the mood, opt for rich seasonal shades that best reflect the time of year – burgundy, royal blue, emerald, metallic tones like silver and gold are also great choices.
  • Embrace long sleeves. It’s your winter formal, so enjoy wearing a sophisticated long sleeve design! Not only do sleeves add warmth but they’re also modest and stylish. You can find long sleeve evening dresses that are sheer or have embellishment to make this a statement feature of your look.
  • Pick the right silhouette. Your evening dress should ultimately be in a style that best suits you. You need to select the type of silhouette that flatters your shape beautifully, regardless of your size. Petite and plus size women can all find their ultimate fit by visiting their nearest Jovani retailer. The staff can help you choose a design that flatters you and balances out your shape beautifully.
  • Add daring textures. Feathers, faux fur and more all look great at formal Winter events. They add that rustic texture that is perfect for an event during this season. Sequins and velvet are also great choices and are ideal when approaching the holiday season or Christmas themed events in particular.


Your Winter Formal Questions – Answered!

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Is Winter Formal like prom?

When a school hosts a winter formal, it is often very much like a prom. It can also be called a Winter Dance, Winter Ball, Winterfest, Christmas Ball, etc. These types of events all usually have a similar theme and style, with a formal dress code to match.

Do you wear long dresses for a winter formal?

It all depends on the style of the event. If it’s a formal as the name suggests, then a long evening dress is usually required. That means a black-tie dress code and men also should wear a formal style suit to the event.

How do you wear an evening gown in the winter?

Wearing an evening gown in the winter can be a minefield. You need to be careful not to drag the train or bottom of the dress if you walk around outside. Carefully pick up the end of your dress to make sure it stays clean and protected when outdoors.

How do you wear a dress in the winter and stay warm?

Layer your dress up to stay warm in the winter. You can wear bodywear/shapewear under the dress to add an extra layer or a nude slip dress. You can also add tights or sheer nude stockings just to keep you warm. Make sure they work with your chosen shoes and aren’t too obviously on display. You can also bring a shawl, matching coat or jacket to complete your outfit if you will be outside or in the cold.