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The Genius Way to Wear Summer Dresses Through the Winter

You'll get more mileage out of your wardrobe this way, stylists say.

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Each fall, we unceremoniously parse through our closets to pluck out summer dresses and put them into storage. Many sleeveless options get the boot, as well as items made of lighter fabrics and ones with shorter hemlines, leaving you with a pared-down wardrobe comprised of knits, denim, trousers, and sweater dresses. But before you do this year's switchover, take note. Fashionistas on TikTok are sharing new ways to style summer dresses into fall and winter. Learn these hacks, and you'll get more mileage out of the things you already own.

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This hack turns a summer dress into a sweater and skirt combo.

We're always looking for new ways to style the clothes we already own, and TikTok user @refrainaria discovered the ultimate hack for wearing summer dresses through the cooler seasons.

In a recent video on TikTok, she shares how. First, she changed into her summer dress and then put a bra on over it (she used an underwire bra, but you could also use a sports bra). Then, she pulled a sweater over both.

"You take the end of your sweater and tuck it up under your bra," she explains. "And then you have this cute cropped sweater that you can wear over any of your dresses." She adds that you can keep the back of the sweater untucked or twist it and tuck it into the bra.

As far as fall and winter styling goes, it might be best to try this with dresses in deep, rich colors (The TikToker shows the hack with an olive green dress). But really, you can do it with any dress you want to get more wear out of!

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You can also purchase these genius tights.

Another way to extend the wear of your dresses is to team them with tights. However, there are warmer options than the nylon ones you're used to.

In another TikTok video, Kristina Kacheeva (@kristinakacheeve) shows off a fleece-lined pair. With more than 13,000 reviews on Amazon, these tights are a bonafide viral hit. They pull on like leggings but have a tan-colored undertone, so it looks like you're wearing tights.

In her video, Kacheeva paired them with a mesh black turtleneck, a black slip dress, and black boots for the ultimate glam look that's also toasty warm.

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Or thermal undergarments.


Replying to @shilpakarg_______ Yay, dress inspo for all my aussies girlies as its currently so cold rn 🥶 #winteroutfitinspo #australianwinterfashion #australianwinter

♬ Can't Take My Eyes Off You – Original Extended Version – Boys Town Gang

For a more casual look, layer your dresses over thermalwear. Ivy Nicole (@ivy_nicolee), a TikToker from Australia, showed this style in a recent video. She starts by pulling on thermal pants from Uniqlo, then putting a summery skirt and cardigan on top.

For a second outfit, she wears the full thermal Uniqlo set—a top and bottom—and wears a strapless dress and wool coat over it. "You're wearing a dress but still keeping cozy," she says.

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Have fun mixing and matching!

Close up of cardigans and linen button-down shirts
Olga Polishko / Shutterstock

Other TikTok fashionistas have come up with a slew of creative ways to take their dresses into winter by layering on several pieces simultaneously. User @dressmelikethat paired a floral black mini dress with tights, boots, a white button-down, and a black sweater vest. User @shanzy_wadie matched her dress with a white button-down and chunky knit sweater.

Of course, there's always the age-old hack to wear a turtleneck or long-sleeve shirt underneath your dress. You can also put a cardigan on top or pull on a sweater that's already cropped, so you don't need to use a bra hack to keep things in place. Add your coat, and you're ready to go.

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Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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