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, scarves and coats, right?
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. Shopbop, Matches Fashion, Farfetch and ASOS 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.
Raey Gathered-Neck Velvet Maxi Dress, $767 at Matches Fashion
Nothing says winter like floor-length velvet.
Ann Demeulemeester Pleated Charmeuse Dress, $762 at Matches Fashion
Your favorite shirtdress just got a winter-appropriate makeover.
Colorblock Knit Dress, $69.90 at Zara
A sweater dress that promises to keep your entire body—your arms, your legs, your ankles—warm.
Y.A.S. Flocked Floral Asymmetric Midaxi Dress, $127 at ASOS
Not quite a maxi, but so cute—and winter-appropriate—that I couldn’t resist including it.
Lee Mathews Diana Satin Dress, $650 at Shopbop
The sleekest, most fashion-forward take on this trend imaginable.
Solace London Colorblock Maxi Dress, $258 at Farfetch
Your go-to ugly Christmas sweater got the maxi dress treatment.
Button-Through Floral Maxi Dress, $60 at ASOS
Fit for spring, summer, fall or winter, this versatile dress is practically begging to be added to your closet.
La DoubleJ Trapezio Dress, $895 at Farfetch
Because shift dresses don’t have to be short.
Ultimate T-Shirt Maxi Dress, $29 at ASOS
OK, you’ll definitely have to layer a cardigan (or something) over this one. But the cut and color feel so winter-appropriate I couldn’t help but include it.
Bordo de Nor Teodora Floral Print Maxi Dress, $299 at Farfetch
Florals rendered in black practically scream winter.
DVF Diane Von Furstenberg Striped Shirtdress, $299 at Farfetch
As if winter maxi dresses weren’t shocking enough already, this little number combines sports and stripes for next-level statement-making style.
La DoubleJ Maxi Shirtdress, $790 at Farfetch
I would live in this head-turner if I could.
Essentiel Antwerp Floral Maxi Dress, $441 at ASOS
Imagine all the likes you get if you uploaded a photo of yourself wearing this stunning white maxi in the snow.
The Vampire’s Wife Belle Padded Shoulder Maxi Dress, $777 at Farfetch
Work-appropriate, wedding-appropriate, party-appropriate—is there anything this dress can’t do?
Attico Checked Tie-Waist Shirtdress, $928 at Matches Fashion
Winter’s favorite print met summer’s favorite silhouette—and then they fell in love and produced this truly stunning shirtdress.
RIXO Lucy Dress, $420 at Shopbop
A turtleneck peasant dress is the ultimate encapsulation of the winter maxi dress trend.
Solace London Celina Ribbed Knit Dress, $238 at Farfetch
You’ve probably never wished for a floor-length, hot pink sweater dress. But now that it’s here, you want it, right?
Stine Goya Maxi Dress, $249 at Farfetch
So stunning I can’t stop staring at it.
Needle & Thread Painted Rose Gown, $469 at Shopbop
This is the stuff bohemian Instagram dreams are made of.
Nili Lotan Genevieve Dress, $450 at Shopbop
If my deep appreciation for velvet (and honestly, turtlenecks) wasn’t already obvious, I’m sure it is now.
Lost Ink Maxi Dress, $95 at ASOS
I honestly want to buy this just in case I get invited to a fancy event sometime soon. Because how badass would it be to show up in a floor-length animal print dress, paired with a really cool statement necklace (or something)? (And the best part? I could wear this to the office without attracting too many strange looks. This dress is that versatile.)
MSGM Chevron Maxi Dress, $422 at Farfetch
The stuff of statement-making sweater dress dreams. (I’m in love.)
Silk Jacquard Maxi Dress, $620 at Ganni
Sleek, understated and very winter in tone.
Free People Cozy Up Cardigan Dress, $117.50 at ASOS
So cozy you’ll probably want to wear it to sleep.
Lydia Floral Mesh Maxi Dress, $89 at Urban Outfitters
The floral maxi dress / chunky combat boot juxtaposition is just too much for my fashion-loving heart to handle.
Printed Georgette Wrap Dress, $270 at Ganni
Winter-facing in color and texture, this stunningly seasonal piece wants in on your closet now.
PushButton Floral Velvet Dress, $244 at Farfetch
Like I said, nothing says winter like floor-length velvet.