What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

Real Style on 11.07.11
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Photo: Kohls

Amy is going to a wedding in early December. "The ceremony will take place at a church and the reception at a pretty fancy pants restaurant in the main ball room," she writes. "It has already snowed here this week, so I don't have high hopes for a crisp clear winter evening and I would like to be somewhat covered. I also never got around to losing that 15 pounds that I need to.  I want to look super stylish and dressed up enough for the reception, but appropriate for the mass."

Sound familiar? Winter weddings -- or dressy events of any kind -- can be a style challenge. Balancing staying warm with looking pretty can seem like an impossible feat. But the right dress can be both practical and super chic.

For a winter wedding, I'm loving a lace sheath dress with sleeves, for several reasons. Lace is super hip right now, and a lace cocktail dress is a grown-up variation on the basic silk or sequinned options. A long sleeve dress is practical for cold weather, but the sheer lace sleeves keep this style from being frumpy.

A long-sleeved, empire waist sheath is also an easy way to camouflage any wobbly bits on your arms and stomach. The Ronni Nicole sheath dress shown above combines a deep V neck with an empire waist, designed to highlight cleavage and minimize any post-baby roll. This is a chic, elegant look that is equally appropriate for a church service and for a swanky party.

And -- bonus -- this is a perfect dress for the office Christmas party!

Pair your lace sheath with some fun jewelry -- a rhinestone pin at the waist, or a pair of cool chandelier earrings or a stack of shiny bracelets. But don't overdo the bling; choose one thing to highlight and let the dress speak for itself.

Basic pumps and sheer black stockings will keep Amy's legs warm and covered, or she could opt for bright colored shoes and sheer stockings (but make sure they're really sheer and not "suntan" -- nude hose should match the skin on your arms, for the most natural look).

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