Skip to main content

How to style a cocktail dress in winter

by Julie Goodwin, / Wednesday August 14th 2019


I own a few staple cocktail dresses that I feel incredible in, every time I put them on. There’s nothing quite like a Julie Goodwin Couture dress to make you feel a million dollars and give you the confidence you need to walk into a room radiating.

There’s something special about a bespoke dress and the way it makes you feel. The perfect length, the right amount of ‘snugness’ around the waist, a flattering cut across the shoulders; it’s something you only achieve with a bespoke dress – it’s not something that exists off the shelf.

When it comes to investment dresses, too, they’re not something you should keep locked away for only once or twice a year. Getting a lot of wear out of your wardrobe is all about styling, and in winter, cocktail dresses can be worn just as often as in summer – with the right layers.

 

‘Peacock’ dress in silk/cotton/lurex with organza and crinoline underskirt. Silk Lurex tailored trouser – Julie Goodwin Couture

‘Peacock’ dress in silk/cotton/lurex with organza & crinoline underskirt. Silk Lurex tailored trouser

 

Try pairing your hi-low hem cocktail dresses with cigarette pants and create a layered look. Keep it simple and stick with a monochrome palette to maintain a ‘less is more’ concept when layering.

 

‘Blackbird’ coat dress in silk moiré taffeta. White tulle skirt – Julie Goodwin Couture

‘Blackbird’ coat dress in silk moiré taffeta. White tulle skirt

 

Every cocktail dress can be paired with the right coat too, and a ¾ length coat is a lifetime investment that can be worm with dresses, pants and skirts of all styles. Team your cocktail dress with a jacket and belt it for something a little dressier, or pin a brooch to your front lapel to bring out the colours of your dress.

 

Tuxedo style jacket with tails in textured silk crepe – Julie Goodwin Couture

Tuxedo style jacket with tails in textured silk crepe

 

The same can be said for a white tailored jacket – it pairs perfectly with more formal dresses and skirts, and a bespoke jacket is a staple piece for multiples of looks. My tailored jacket works exceptionally well with tulle and white is a timeless colour for all styles of women.

 

‘Claire’ cocktail dress in duchess silk satin over silk organza blouse – Julie Goodwin Couture

‘Claire’ cocktail dress in duchess silk satin over silk organza blouse

 

And, rather than layer over your dress, try a blouse or turtleneck under it to get more wear from your LBD. A simple collared shirt or knit says ‘office’, while an organza or chiffon blouse is more ‘after dark’ appropriate.

If you’re in need of a cocktail dress for year-round wear, or a tailored coat to team with it, pop into my Albert Park studio for a fitting.


Fashionably moral; the new luxury. Dress ethically, sustainably in exquisite couture and artisan brands.


The 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival Derby Day trends prove classic silhouettes and old-world glamour are always in style


Couture and colour trends for the spring summer season ahead


2019 spring millinery trends are all about abstract shapes and alternative forms of headwear


The beauty of bespoke: why investing in quality fashion is smart dressing


Bec Cole is the creative mind behind ‘the clutch that broke the internet’