Reader Question: A Stylish Way To Stay Warm in a Bridesmaid Dress?


Reader Question:

Hi mamas,
I have to thank you again for your amazing blog and how much more confident I feel about how I look. It was a pretty big ego boost to be on your blog for my "punk librarian" date outfit! But I really need help now. My sister is getting married in March and I am her matron of honor. I picked out this dress and love the way I look in it, and I love the pretty charcoal color my sister picked for the bridesmaids' dresses.

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However, it hit me last night that this being an evening wedding, I may freeze my butt off in a one-shouldered dress during the reception. It can be either warm and springy or cold and miserable here in March, so I want to be prepared. Can you suggest something I could wear that would stay on while I am chasing my 2-year-old, looks cute and goes well with the dress? I need you guys, I am not a satin bolero jacket or chiffon wrap person! (Well, I could do some kind of wrap, but I need help styling it. I am lost.)
Much love,



Hi Shannon!  So nice to hear from you!  And I laughed out loud reading your question – my sister is also getting married.  I am also the "matron" of honor (I hate that word).  Aaaand, we are also wearing gray.  In fact, I have, hanging in my closet, a very similar dress that I was trying on for her wedding (but is going back – love how it vees at the pooch and hits at the widest part of my calves.  Snort.).  

So instead of a collage, I thought I'd play around with that dress (let's ignore its shortfalls, shall we?) to see if I could warm it up in a chic and practical way.  Here's the dress:


And here's what I came up with:

A Basic Wrap

Remember Pashminas?  They are classic, and would definitely work…they are just not the most exciting or unexpected choice.  You can drape it shawl-like over your shoulders, or….I knotted mine to make it more interesting.  

Of course, you can always just use a big scarf.


(wearing: J.Crew Juliet dress, ancient pashmina from Nordstroms – similar here or a budget friendly option here, J.Crew factory bracelets, earrings from old chandelier parts bought at Chelsea boutique in Boulder, CO and purple heels by Kimel – similar here)


Try a Knit Poncho or Cape

This is one of my favorite ideas.  It's easy, comfortable and warm.  And you can chase kiddos in it.  I love the slightly boho vibe.


(wearing: J.Crew Juliet dress, Elizabeth Gilet poncho – similar here or maybe even here, J.Crew factory bracelets, earrings from old chandelier parts bought at Chelsea boutique in Boulder, CO and purple heels by Kimel – similar here, vintage clutch from my mom's prom) 


Try a Boyfriend Blazer

Boyfriend blazers are fitted across the shoulders, but long and lean in the body.  Roll the sleeves.  They tend to look amazing with everything.  I don't actually have a boyfriend blazer, so I just grabbed one of my longer-and-leaner work blazers.  It works OK.  I kinda like the whole tomboyish vibe – like you borrowed your husband's tux jacket for the night…but it somehow fits.  


(wearing: J.Crew Juliet dress and wool jacket – similar here, pearls are just old costume jewelry, and purple heels by Kimel – similar here


Oooo…the Cropped Jacket

My hands-down favorite is the shrunken, cropped jacket.  Mine is knit and endlessly stretchy.  It's also pricey, but I think I found one with cropped shape and a little stretch at Express.  Crazy comfortable, warm, and cute.


(wearing: J.Crew Juliet dress, DVF Knit Jacket – similar DVF here or budget friendly here, earrings from old chandelier parts bought at Chelsea boutique in Boulder, CO and purple heels by Kimel – similar here, Express feather clutch – similar here



You could also try a faux-fur wrap or shrug, or even a cool leather jacket (faux or real) unless your sister is anti-edgy.  A little cardigan is always fine…but the tight, thin fabric would bunch funny over the shoulder detail on your dress.  

Have fun, Shannon!  Thanks for writing in!





  1. Love the blazer and LUV the cropped DVF–I did not know you had that and am sooooo jealous. You look amazing. You’ve gotta keep that dress–you’re not going to find a better one. Is that the petite version? If so, have it taken up from the top of the hem detail and steam it. Also, what pooch?

  2. Thank you so much for the ideas, Shana! I’m hoping my son’s nose will stop running enough for me to go out to the mall today and look around. I love the boyfriend blazer and shrunken jacket. Feminine but a little tough and fun, not cliched. I just had no idea what to do, I saw the options at the bridal shop and wanted to throw up a little bit. I would have totally worn a fur wrap but my sister is wearing a beautiful one and I want her to stand out (not like she won’t anyway, she’s the bride after all). I’ll be sure to report back with pics!

  3. I’m usually soooooo not a blazer person, but I have to say, that is by far my winner. Love the rolled sleeves and necklace. Thanks for the great post!

  4. Shannon, where is your bridesmaid dress from? I’m standing in a wedding in August and the bride hasn’t picked a dress yet!
    Shana, LOVE all your ideas!

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