What to Wear To A Winter Wedding? Oufits for Women Over 40, 50

Spring and Summer are the most popular times of year to tie the knot, but there’s something magical about a winter wedding.

What do you wear when you are invited to a wedding that takes place at the coldest time of the year, and there might even be snow? Here are a few cozy, elegant ideas for winter wedding guest attire.

winter wedding - green velvet midi


1. Wear Deep, Rich Colors

Pink, peach, and light blue are natural choices in spring/summer, but dark, rich hues are more appropriate during the winter months. Jewel tones like ruby red, emerald green, royal purple, sapphire blue, and Fuschia look fabulous in the winter, especially leading up to Christmas.

Wedding Guest Dress - Navy Lace Sleeve


Navy is also a trendy choice and is the perfect transitional color when the wedding is at the very start of winter or the very end of it leading into spring.

Prints are popular for weddings too. If you want to wear a floral in winter, choose a dress with florals set against a dark background such as black or navy, purple or burgundy. Keep your accessories dark to ground your dress and make the pattern pop.winter wedding guest dress - black one shoulder

An all-black dress is acceptable for semi-formal and formal weddings, so long as it does not look funereal. Add a dash of color or gold or silver accents and some jewelry, so your black dress looks celebratory. Think elegant. Winter Wedding Guest Attire- BLue Ruched Velvet Dress


2. Wear Rich, Heavier Fabrics

It’s winter, after all, so go ahead and dive into some sumptuous fabrics. Velvets look wonderful when temperatures drop.  Jacquards are lovely, so are heavy brocades and satin. Lace is perfect, too, for a winter wedding guest attire (so long as it isn’t white).

As for sparkle and shine, some is fine during this festive season, particularly around Christmas time. Just be sure to keep it subtle so you don’t detract from the bride.

3.  Sleeves are a Good Idea

When it’s cold outside, a sleeveless dress can leave you feeling chilly all night. Long, opaque sleeves can look heavy, so other options include long, sheer sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves, or short sleeves. Of course, a pretty wrap with a sleeveless dress can also be elegant too.

4. Pay Attention to your Shoes

Strappy Sandals are totally acceptable year-round,  although they’re not the best shoe to wear up North in January and February.  Closed-toe pumps or peep-toe pumps are the more logical choice. Even a pair of fine, elegant evening booties can work in some cases.

5. Don’t Forget A Dressy Coat

Here’s something that can get you in trouble if you don’t plan it out ahead of time. What do you wear over your dress on the way to the church and later when you step into the reception hall? If you think you can get away with your everyday puffy parka or casual car coat, think again. A cocktail dress calls for a classy coat, a cape, or at least some kind of elegant winter wrap.


Wondering what to wear to a spring or summer wedding? Here are some ideas.


Join the Conversation

29 thoughts on “What to Wear To A Winter Wedding? Oufits for Women Over 40, 50

  1. What hosiery should a woman over 70 be wearing for dressier ocassions. I see the bare leg look everywhere this year and don’t think I can get by with it anymore. On the other hand, wearing hose says I am really old.

    1. Hi Judith, If your legs need hose wear hose. I saw one woman in her 70’s who tried to go without to look cool and it was not pretty. There’s nothing wrong with hose so long as they are ultra sheer and as close to your skin color as you can find. I like Donna Karan Nudes Collection of hoisery and find they look very natural. Why don’t you give them a go? They are available at most major department stores.

  2. I’m attending a wedding in New Hampshire next week end, Nov 10th. It’s being held at a barn venue, Allrose Farm in Greenfield, NH. I have slim gray pants and an over sized gray and cream sweater but also have a black knit dress of heavy material that I can layer with a bright jacket. What type of hoses do you wear? The idea of going with nothing on my legs in NH in Nov makes me cold just thinking about it.
    Thanks for your help.
    Cheryl S.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I don’t blame you for not wanting to go bare leg. It’s cold and doesn’t look right in November at all.
      This wedding sounds like it is a little more on the casual side, and if so, a pretty knit sweaterdress would be nice. The weight of the dress needs to in balance with the weight of the dress so if it is a heavy knit you need a heavy opaque hose and it if it light fine knit you can get away with a sheer dark hose (dark if the dress is dark). Inbetween, go with a semi-opaque hose. Have a great time!

  3. Hi Deb! I will be attending my nephew’s Christmas wedding in New Hampshire and love the green dress with the soft ruffle and accessories you have posted under What to Wear to a Winter Wedding.

    1. Hi Linda, All the links are under the Outfit collage where it says SHOP THE POST. You can just click and buy! If you don’t see them, you may have your ad blocker on. Let me know. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessie, This is a church occasion so what about a pretty lace dress or floral dress. I think that is ladylike and would look lovely. A classic sheath dress would be nice.

  4. I love the real dress but my shop now feature is not working . Please tell me what brand it it, where I can find it as well as the accessories. Thank you so much!

  5. Great ideas, thanks. But what to wear on legs for these dresses? Sheer stockings or bare legs? That’s my dilemma.

    1. Hi Deborah, It’s going to depend on the climate and how you feel about your legs. There’s nothing wrong with super sheer nude hose. Just make sure they match your skin tone, are not shiny and don’t wear them with open toe sandals. I recommend Donna Karan Nudes. They are very light and sheer but you can get them with tummy control. Cheers, Deborah

  6. I love the Navy dress with sleeves and ruching.My daughters wedding is coming up n would love to wear this!!

  7. Lovely styles but none of these colors look good with my skin tone. I was an autumn and even with silver hair, I still have my skin tone and brown eyes, and I look better in greens than royal/navy blue. Not a lot of options out there for people like me. I am also 5’7 1/2″ and slim, and finding clothes that fit is a real problem. And yes, I do have a MOB wedding coming up, and there is no MOG with whom I will have to coordinate outfits.

  8. Hi Deborah & Glam Gals! All of these dresses are elegant and just beautiful. The best fashion advice I received was from my best friend’s daugher-in-law, who was a professional model 10 years ago. She said “Look at yourself in a full length mirror from all angles (be honest with yourself) and determine if the outfit is both flattering and comfortable.

  9. Great outfits. I’m thin, and even though I’m short, I’d look good in all of them. Problem: I can’t wear decent shoes, so I can’t wear any of these dresses. My shoes would totally ruin the outfit. So I go for long skirts for dressy affairs. It’s a real problem!

  10. What suggestions do you have for a “pear-apple” shaped body for a wedding. I am a guest to a “beachy” style wedding at the end of August, when it can still be quite hot. I have fair brunette hair and Scottish skin (pink and freckled!) and prefer creams and greys. I do not have fabulous arms.


    1. If it’s at the beach Kirstin, then why not a maxi ? They are very popular and work well for this type of wedding. As for your arms, you could try and find a 3/4 length sleeve which is very flattering or just bring a pretty wrap to cover your arms. I think this looks very pretty and it makes more sense if it is going to be hot outside. Cheers Deborah

  11. I always thought a little bit of ruching helped people who are a bit overweight, to hide the extra “rolls” we may have. Am I wrong?

  12. My friend who was a Miss America contestant way back told me that the best fashion advice she received for women over 40 was given to her dance teacher. It was, “Always wear sleeves if you’re over 40.” If you have fabulous arms, go for it. I agree, take a picture of yourself in the dress first. The camera doesn’t lie. This is a beautiful selection of dresses!

  13. Love the ruched dress & on such a tiny lady I’m sure you will look beautiful. My only worry would be how your arms appear in the sleeveless dress. I think the ladies advice of taking a picture of yourself in the dress should satisfy any worries you may have. Good luck with the wedding, have a great day.

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