.st0{fill:#FFFFFF;}

Clothing, Women's clothing

17 Winter Formal Dresses for Every Special Occasion 

By  Emily Konatella

LAST UPDATED - December 26, 2022

When shopping for a winter ball, wedding, gala, or holiday party, you'll have to factor in more than the dress code. You'll need to choose something seasonally-appropriate for the colder months.

When the temperatures drop, turn to heavier fabrics like satin, velvet, and stretch jersey in covered-up silhouettes with long sleeves and hemlines below the knee. Colorwise, lean into metallics and rich jewel tones like emerald green, ruby red, and sapphire blue— or stick with classic black.

To help you shop, we've rounded up seventeen of the season's most stylish winter formal dresses. From black-tie holiday parties and end-of-year charity galas to winter formal dances and balls, you can nail the dress code in these timeless picks.

17 Winter Formal Dresses and Winter Ball Gowns for All the Events on Your Social Calendar

01

Out of 17

Lauren Ralph Lauren Tuxedo-Style Column Gown

Tuxedo Style

Lauren Ralph Lauren Tuxedo-Style Column Gown

Source: Bloomingdales

This Tuxedo-Style Column Gown from Lauren Ralph Lauren puts a feminine twist on a traditional men's tuxedo jacket. It features all the hallmarks of the time-tested style: a satin shawl collar, long sleeves with four-button cuffs, and a welt pocket at the chest. A waist-accentuating twist at the center front shows off the plunging V-neck and sexy center-front slit. Sparkling pumps and statement jewelry bring a feminine finish.

Material

Shell & lining: 91% polyester, 9% elastane

collar: 100% polyester

Care

Dry clean

02

Out of 17

Cinq à Sept Angeline Embellished One-Shoulder Gown

Shimmering Gown

Cinq à Sept Angeline Embellished One-Shoulder Gown

Source: Bloomingdales

Tis the season for sequin embellishments and maximalist dresses like this Angeline Embellished One-Shoulder Gown from Cinq à Sept. Its elegant one-shoulder neckline, bracelet-length bell sleeve, and ruffled thigh slit allow the alabaster sequins to really shine! An updo, nude heels, and simple stud earrings ensure your dramatic dress doesn't come off the slightest bit garish.

Material

100% nylon; lining: 100% polyester

Care

Dry clean

03

Out of 17

Tularosa Olivier Gown

Richly Velvet

Tularosa Olivier Gown

Source: Revolve

How gorgeous is this Olivier Gown from the LA-based (and It-Girl-approved) label Tularosa? Draped from richly textured velvet, it hugs every curve just right. Long sleeves and an ankle-length hem perfectly balance out the sexy thigh-high slit, plunging V-neckline, and midriff cut-out. Now all that's left to do is find the right accessories to complete your look!

Material

Self: 93% polyester, 7% elastane
Lining: 95% polyester, 5% elastane

Care

Dry clean only

04

Out of 17

Badgley Mischka 40s Pleated Velvet Dress

Reminiscent of vintage eras

Badgley Mischka 40s Pleated Velvet Dress

Source: OliveLA

Shopping for a dressy holiday party? Badgley Mischka's vintage-inspired 40s Pleated Velvet Dress is just the thing to wear. The midi-length formal dress features a curve-skimming silhouette with shoulder pads and a gathered side detail that accentuate the smallest part of your waist. Cut from rich red velvet, it's a sophisticated style that you'll look forward to re-wearing years down the line.

Material

92% polyester, 8% spandex

Care

Dry clean

05

Out of 17

Bronx and Banco Fire Mini Dress

Mini Dress

Bronx and Banco Fire Mini Dress

Source: Revolve

If you're looking to show off your legs, slip into the Bronx and Banco Fire Mini Dress. The silky LBD is defined by a pleated one-shoulder neckline and a single flowy long sleeve with ostrich feather trim around the cuff. It's otherwise simple body-con silhouette features a padded shoulder and boned bodice for added shaping and support. Complete your look with a pair of timeless black pumps.

Material

Self: 60% poly, 40% silk
Contrast Fabric: 100% ostrich feathers

Care

Dry clean only

06

Out of 17

Marina Rinaldi Durata Metallic Midi Dress

A metallic moment

Marina Rinaldi Durata Metallic Midi Dress

Source: OliveLA

Marina Rinaldi's Durata Metallic Midi Dress elegantly flatters your curves with soft ruching across the bodice. Fitted long sleeves, a high neckline, and a midi-length hem offer the added coverage required when the temperatures drop. Cut from shiny, crystal-embroidered stretch fabric, its slim-fit silhouette is comfortable enough to dance the night away at a holiday party or winter wedding.

Material

Self: 95% polyester, 5% elastane (exclusive of decorations)
Lining: 100% polyester (knit)

Care

Hand wash, dry flat

07

Out of 17

retrofete Miley Dress

Bold Color

retrofete Miley Dress

Source: Revolve

This winter, turn heads— for all the right reasons— in retrofete's bold red Miley Dress. The sexy floor-length gown is cut from slinky jersey fabric with a daring midriff cut-out, knotted waist detail, and a functional back slit. Let the dress do all the talking with understated styling: a slick bun, nude heels, and a tasteful pair of earrings.

Material

92% polyester, 8% spandex

Care

Dry clean only

08

Out of 17

SAU LEE Penelope Gown

Eastern and Western inspiration

SAU LEE Penelope Gown

Source: Revolve

Hong Kong-based fashion designer Cheryl Lee's brand, SAU LEE, fuses Eastern and Western inspiration with modern and vintage design elements. This breathtaking Penelope Gown is cut from viscose satin fabric accented with faux button trim along the side and an elegantly draped halterneck. An exaggerated sash tie behind the neck brings a heightened sense of drama to the plunging open back. Offered in six vibrant color options, it compliments every skin tone and style preference.

Material

Viscose blend

Care

Dry clean recommended

09

Out of 17

Khanums Kira Diamante Trim Maxi Dress

Crystal embellished trim

Khanums Kira Diamante Trim Maxi Dress

Source: Revolve

Bring the drama to your next special occasion in Khanums' Kira Diamante Trim Maxi Dress. The luxurious black dress boasts crystal-embellished trim along the plunging v-neckline, side cut-out, thigh-baring slit, and hems. Though covered up enough for cold-weather events, it's certainly on the sexy side.

Material

Viscose blend

Care

Dry clean recommended

10

Out of 17

Anna October Bordeaux Midi Dress

Timeless Design

Anna October Bordeaux Midi Dress

Source: Revolve

Anna October is a Ukrainian fashion label that uses deadstock textiles and artisanal techniques to handcraft timeless dresses worthy of a spot in any woman's wardrobe. This Bordeaux Midi dress is cut from deep brown viscose fabric with a turtleneck, cap sleeves, and a chic back cut-out. Its fringe-trimmed, asymmetrical hemline was made for twirling.

Material

100% viscose

Care

Dry clean only

11

Out of 17

Halston Velvet Rebecca Gown

Effortlessly luxe velvet

Halston Velvet Rebecca Gown

Source: OliveLA

Timeless and a touch sexy, this Halston Velvet Rebecca Gown is the perfect choice for a black-tie affair. Its 70s-inspired, floor-length silhouette is cut from luxe black velvet with ruched detailing and a thigh-high slit. The plunging neckline makes the perfect complement to a dazzling statement necklace. Complete your look with a black menswear blazer that contrasts the ultra-feminine cut.

Material

Self: 93% polyester, 7% elastane
Lining: 92% polyester, 8% spandex

Care

Dry clean

12

Out of 17

BCBGMAXAZRIA Velvet Ruffle Gown

A princess moment

BCBGMAXAZRIA Velvet Ruffle Gown

Source: Revolve

If you are looking for ball gown dresses, then you must check out BCBGMAXAZRIA's Velvet Ruffle Gown. It makes the perfect floor-length dress for a winter formal dance and a great option for winter prom dresses or winter ball dresses. It pairs a surplice-neck velvet bodice with a tiered tulle skirt will make you feel like a princess the moment you put it on. The rich, wine red color feels seasonally appropriate for the colder months and looks flattering on every skin tone.

Material

Self: 90% polyester, 10% spandex
Contrast Fabric: 100% polyester
Lining: 88% polyester, 12% spandex

Care

Dry clean only

13

Out of 17

Michael Kors Collection Check Sequined Dress

Iconic black-and-white check

Michael Kors Collection Check Sequined Dress

Source: Bloomingdales

This Michael Kors Collection Check Sequined Dress pays tribute to Bloomingdale's iconic black-and-white check. Designed exclusively for the department store's 150th Anniversary collection, it's a limited-edition piece worth splurging on for a special night out. The all-over sequined checkerboard pattern catches the light from every angle, ensuring you're the star of the show!

Material

82% polyamide, 18% elastane

Care

Dry clean

14

Out of 17

Ronny Kobo Normella Dress

Front cut-out design

Ronny Kobo Normella Dress

Source: Revolve

You'll feel more confident the instant you lip into Ronny Kobo's Normella Dress. The long-sleeve, body-con maxi dress features twisted front cut-outs that show off just the right amount of skin. Draped from timeless black velvet, it can easily be dressed up or down for any semi-formal or formal affair on your social calendar.

Material

92% polyester, 8% spandex

Care

Dry clean only

15

Out of 17

Katie May Amina Gown

A timeless black formal dress

Katie May Amina Gown

Source: Revolve

If you're not the jewel tone velvet type, stick to a timeless black formal dress you can re-wear any time of year. Katie May's Amina Gown is draped from midweight crepe jersey fabric with a sweeping one-shoulder neckline and an exaggerated scarf neck. Its sexy thigh-high slit and open back certainly aren't for the faint of heart. Complete your look with bold jewelry and simple black heels.

Material

Self: 98% polyester, 2% spandex
Lining: 100% polyester

Care

Dry clean only

16

Out of 17

Andrea Iyamah x REVOLVE Aylo One-Shoulder Dress

One shoulder styling

Andrea Iyamah x REVOLVE Aylo One-Shoulder Dress

Source: Revolve

Sexy meets sophisticated in this Alyo One-Shoulder Dress from Nigerian designer Andrea Iyamah. If you are looking for semi-formal dresses, this dress may be a perfect choice. Its one-shoulder silhouette is effortlessly draped from oxblood red satin fabric. An adjustable drawstring allows wearers to adjust the waist cut-out to their liking, making for a flattering fit on all women of all shapes and sizes. The special occasion dress is available exclusively at REVOLVE.

Material

97% polyester, 3% spandex

Care

Hand wash

17

Out of 17

One33 Social Foil Cut-Out Maxi Dress

Dramatic

One33 Social Foil Cut-Out Maxi Dress

Source: OliveLA

Under the light of the dancefloor, this One 33 Social Foil Cut-Out Maxi Dress appears to be draped from liquid metal. Its gathered fabric, balloon sleeves, and cut-out waistline accentuate your hourglass shape without feeling overtly sexy. A dramatic thigh-high slit elongates your legs and emphasizes the sweeping floor-length skirt.

Material

95% polyester, 5% spandex

Care

Hand wash cold, dry flat

What To Look For In a Winter Formal Dress

Whether you are looking for a winter formal dress for winter proms, winter formals, or galas, the dress should be appropriate for the weather. Winter formal dresses are typical long dresses. While you can wear short dresses to winter events (unless it is indicated in the dress code), long dresses are much more common.


About the author

Emily Konatella

Emily is a fashion consultant, designer and creative director with more than 15 years experience creating, designing and developing clothing & jewelry. From managing pageant shows to turning concepts into actual designs, she has experience with almost all fabric types and jewelry designs and is in touch with the latest fashion trends.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE


Creative Design

Get a Weekly Dose Of Tomorrow's Trends & Best Products!

We don't share your information with anyone!


Didn't find what you were looking for?

Search to find more inspiration!