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    33 Winter Formal Dresses That Are Totally Holiday Party-Approved

    You'll basically be like Queen Elsa when she sings "The snow never bothered me anyways."

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Unless otherwise specified, all sizes in this post are listed in women’s.

    1. A high-neck plaid winter formal dress featuring long sleeves and a midi-length for anyone who prefers to keep *all* their skin covered once those temps drop, but doesn't want to sacrifice on trendiness.

    Reviewer wearing high-neck black and white long sleeve plaid dress with black and gold belt, black tights, and black pointed toe heels, standing in front of brick wall
    Model wearing product in red and white with open-tied silver heels on a white background

    Promising review: "This dress is absolutely perfect. I needed something to wear to a business gala I was attending and decided to give this dress a try. It’s stretchy, breathable, and just the right length in the skirt and the sleeves. Don’t think about it, do it. I’m going to order this dress in a different color to wear to work." —Celina Ceballos

    Get it from Amazon for $38.99+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and six colors).

    Don't forget to add a chic black formal dress to your closet!

    2. A velvet open-back formal dress you can wear to a holiday dinner with the fam or even just a work event — either way, you'll be thankful for those long sleeves and soft material during the colder months.

    Model wearing crewneck silver velvet long sleeve midi dress with ruched bodice and front slit and black open toe heels, model wearing product in black with silver open toe heels, model showing back of product with circular cutout and tie back with black block heels

    The dress is also machine-washable!

    Promising review: "I never say this, but I LOVE how this dress makes me look and feel. It is so soft, well-made, and comfortable. It is sized perfectly and I feel like a model wearing it. Highly recommend!" —Heather C

    Get it from Target for $40 (available in sizes XXS–4X and two colors).

    Psst — you can see this style with the rest of our formal dresses.

    3. A jersey winter formal dress featuring an adjustable waist tie you can customize to your liking AND a wrinkle-resistant material, so you can literally stuff it in your suitcase before going to your family's for the holidays.

    Models wearing long sleeve midi dresses with v-neckline and adjustable waist tie in black, purple, and teal, paired with black loafers and brown shin-length boots on a white background
    Universal Standard

    Universal Standard is a woman-founded brand that creates inclusive designs in sizes 00 through 40. During the design process, each piece is fit on a model of every size so you'll get a more reliable, comfortable cut than garments created via a static formula. PS: Check out their recycling program to save serious $$$ on your next order!

    Promising review: "I love the fit, color, and overall look of this dress. I paired it with some jewelry and wore it to a bridal luncheon for my daughter — received so many compliments. I plan on wearing it to work with a blazer, and it would be great with a jean jacket too!" —Anna F.

    Get it from Universal Standard for $138 (available in sizes 00–40 and three colors).

    You might as well add a white formal dress to your lineup too.

    4. A stretchy winter formal dress requiring no waddling (it's THAT flowy) and since it's made with soft long sleeves, you won't need to be ~tied~ down to a shawl all night long.

    Reviewer wearing dark green long sleeve v-neck maxi dress outside in front of black metal fence
    Reviewer wearing product in red with red flower crown

    Promising review: "Wore this dress to a wedding and I felt like I was dressed just right. It was just dressy enough for the occasion and I felt beautiful in it. The waist is gorgeous and the top fit without hanging open at all." —elizabeth gibson

    Get it from Amazon for $34.99+ (available in sizes S–4XL, 22 colors, and three styles).

    5. A mini wrap black formal dress simple yet fancy enough to go from work to your friend's dinner party — no outfit change necessary. 

    Model wearing black knee-length dress with long sleeves, wrap tie, and V-neckline paired with black pointed toe flats on a gray background
    Old Navy

    The tie is adjustable and can be fastened just how you like it. Make sure you line-dry this to keep it intact.

    Promising review: "Such a cute dress! The pattern and feel is perfect. I would suggest if you have a larger chest area to order a size up just to have enough material to comfortably wrap around you." —anonymous

    Get it from Old Navy for $49.99 (available in sizes XS–4X and tall and petite lengths).

    6. A cocktail winter formal dress with ruching that can be personalized using the adjustable side tie. Plus, the breathable material means you can go as hard as you like on the dance floor — especially once the "Cha-Cha Slide" comes on.

    Reviewer wearing mini cobalt blue off one shoulder dress with side tie sash and long sleeve, paired with silver heels
    Close up of reviewer wearing product in black with pearl chunky necklace in front of white wall

    Prime members: this one's a Prime try before you buy!

    Promising review: "I wore this dress to a wedding and everyone loved it! It was comfortable and the color is beautiful! I’ll be buying several different colors! I definitely recommend!" —Jennifer

    Get it from Amazon for $40.99 (available in sizes S–XL and 38 colors).

    7. A tie-front winter formal dress oozing delicateness and whimsy with its balloon sleeves and arm ties that make it completely customizable. Additionally, the floral pattern and pockets (!!!) really make the whole look ~flourish~.

    Model wearing red puff sleeved midi dress with floral pattern and tie waist paired with brown boots on a white background

    Promising review: "I bought this dress about a week ago and it fits like an absolute dream! This was the perfect dress to kick off the fall season! The color, pattern, fit, make, quality — everything was just perfect. Oh yeah, AND IT HAS POCKETS!!!! I mean c'mon, doesn’t get much better than that does it? Overall, I wish I could have this dress style in every pattern and color. Love it, love it, love it!" —VMorrr

    Get it from Madewell for $138 (available in sizes XXS–XXL).

    8. An embellished A-line winter formal dress, which is basically the perfect 'fit for a NYE party. I mean just look at it! The ruffles, flowy sleeves, AND embellishments just scream party-ready.

    Front and black view of long light blue long sleeve dress with balloon sleeves, sequin embellishments, a v-neckline, and ruffle hem tiers

    Make sure you only hand wash this material.

    Promising review: "Such a gorgeous dress! The material is lightweight and of good quality, and the fit is also stunning. I really needed a long sleeve formal dress, so this is absolutely perfect, I would highly recommend! :)" —Anonymous

    Get it from Asos for $125 (available in sizes 0–12).

    9. A V-neck maxi winter formal dress made with long lace sleeves and a side tie, proving that even some of the simplest designs can make the biggest impact. 

    reviewer wearing the black dress with a black hat
    reviewer wearing the green dress

    Promising review: "I needed a dress for a wedding and had trouble finding anything in the stores. While browsing, I came across this and went with it figuring if it did not work I could return it. It worked beautifully. The fit was perfect and it was the perfect length. While not too dressy, the lace sleeves added the ah-ha touch. I received many compliments, and best part is it can definitely be worn again. I would not hesitate to recommend this. Doesn't break the bank and looks and feels great!" —kim dilky

    Get it from Amazon for $43.99 (available in sizes XS–3X and six colors).

    10. A zebra-print formal dress because you want to make a statement and this lil' number will ensure you *don't* blend in.

    Model wearing black and white zebra print maxi dress with balloon sleeves and high neckline with white open-toe heels on a white background

    Get it from Boohoo for $18 (originally $45; available in sizes 4–12).

    Don't miss out on these fall wedding guest dresses either.

    11. A flared off-the-shoulder winter formal dress using a stretchy and comfort material you'll want nothing more than to make your theater debut in as you attend The Nutcracker with your loved one. 

    Reviewer wearing knee length flared navy blue off the shoulder dress with three-quarter sleeves and nude heels
    Reviewer wearing product in black with sheer black tights and black heels in front of a blue wall

    This material should be hand washed only.

    Promising review: "I needed a black dress for an evening affair! I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or have the dress looking cheap. This dress was perfect. The material was not sheer, it had just the right amount of stretch, and fit perfectly!" —Gale Blackshear

    Get it from Amazon for $34.99+ (available in sizes S–XXL and seven colors).

    12. An asymmetrical winter formal dress combining the flirtiness of a short cocktail dress with the elegance of a maxi dress using an attached side train, so you can *lit-erally* have the best of both worlds.

    Model wearing burgundy red mini dress with long side train and one long sleeve shoulder, paired with clear open-toed heels

    Make sure you only hand wash this and drip dry it out of direct sunlight.

    Promising review: "I absolutely loved this dress for homecoming! It was supper comfortable and no one else had anything like this. You’ll definitely need heels for this dress so it doesn’t drag as much, but it’s so pretty!" —Karyss R.

    Get it from Windsor for $59.90 (available in sizes XS–XL and three colors).

    13. belted sweater winter formal dress sporting a midi-length for anyone who's not quite ready to commit to a floor-length dress, but still wants some coverage to keep them warm — especially on a snowy night.

    a reviewer wearing the dress in green
    Reviewer wearing product in light blue in a parking lot

    This dress is machine washable and made from a soft blend of cotton and polyester. 

    Promising reviews: "I love this dress and can’t wait to wear it again! The orange is so pretty, but still fit very nicely! I wore it to a chilly outdoor wedding ceremony and got lots of compliments! The reception was inside and I was not too hot with dancing and drinking." —Jasmine Brazil

    Get it from Amazon for $36.98+ (available in sizes S–XXL and 12 colors). Also available in a shorter length

    14. A patent leather mini black formal dress you'll be pulling out for more than just work events. It's so ~snazzy~ that it would totally earn a "That's hot" from Paris Hilton herself.

    Model wearing long sleeve mini patent leather black dress with belt and high-neck, paired with black flats on a white background

    You should spot clean this or hand wash it with like colors. Make sure you don't dry clean it or twist/wring it out. Lay the garment down flat to dry. 

    Promising review: "SEXY!!! I already own this in the teal leather, so I knew it would be fabulous — size up though, it runs a bit small." —Anonymous

    Get it from Eloquii for $129.95 (available in sizes 14–28).

    15. A one-shoulder winter formal dress made from a fuzzy velvet fabric that's SO snuggly, you'll want to wrap yourself up in it even after you've come home from that winter gala.

    Model wearing purple velvet one shoulder maxi dress with side leg split, model wearing product in navy with open-toed heels, model wearing product in rust with nude open-toed heels in front of a white wall
    Baltic Born

    Promising review: "I wore this dress as part of a bridal party and it was absolutely stunning! It can definitely be worn again and I do not regret this purchase one bit." —Michele C.

    Get it from Baltic Born for $76 (available in sizes XS–XL and 14 colors).

    16. A satin ruffle winter formal dress you can't help but think belongs in a rom-com — because it's that dreamy. Once you slip it on and tie it closed with the adjustable waist belt you'll most definitely be exuding main character energy.

    Video of model wearing satin midi dress with bottom ruffle, balloon sleeves, and adjustable waist tie, walking in nude heels
    Victoria Angel/Etsy

    Victoria Angel is a small shop on Etsy that specializes in handcrafted formal wear.

    Promising review: "Not going to lie, I had so much doubt in this dress, but let me tell y’all, it’s such a beautiful dress. It looks exactly how it looks on the picture and fits perfect! It was 100% worth buying! The dress feels soo smooth and amazing just a really pretty dress! ❤️" —Jodie

    Get it from Victoria Angel on Etsy for $98+ (available in sizes S–XXXL).

    17. cable sweater winter formal dress so you can *finally* live out your dream of wearing a fluffy cozy sweater to your annual family photos.

    a reviewer wearing the dress in camel
    a model wearing the sweater dress in gray

    This must be hand washed only.

    Promising review: "Wow, do I love this sweater dress!!! It is so toasty warm and so stylish! I have it now in the blue and the gray. It comes all the way to my knee and I'm 5'9". It fits great and keeps its shape all day long — I never have to pull on it or anything. I really wish they'd come out with more colors!" —Lisa M

    Get it from Amazon for $32.99+ (available in sizes 4–10 and in four colors).

    18. A wrap-front sweater dress from Abercrombie that will literally give you chills — but not from being cold. Instead, you'll just be mesmerized by how cozy it feels against your skin — you may even just ditch your sweats for this... maybe.

    Model wearing white long sleeve sweater dress with wrap front design and knee-high length, model wearing product in black with black open-toed heels
    Abercrombie & Fitch

    This material should be machine washed in cold water, then reshaped and laid flat to dry.

    Promising review: "Love love love! The wrap front is so nice and the square neckline doesn’t show your bra/bra straps. It’s a thinner sweater dress, perfect for fall weather." —Paula C

    Get it from Abercrombie for $60 (originally $80; available in sizes XXS–XL, three colors, and two lengths).

    19. A starry velvet winter formal dress friends will be completely starstruck over once they get a peek of you in this thang. And it's *so* warm, you won't even need a cardigan to layer over it.

    model in skater shape star print velvet dress

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this dress so much. I went down a size from medium to small, and honestly, it makes such a difference. I was worried that I would look a little odd, but I was absolutely comfortable. I wore this for a date and I felt dressed up but still comfortable. The gold absolutely shines and the velvet is so soft and comfortable. No itchiness at all. I received so many compliments." —Alison ♡

    Get it from Amazon for $40.99 (available in sizes XS–XL aand six colors).

    20. A puff-sleeve winter formal dress featuring a whimsical square neckline and a smooth silk material. You'll be finding any excuse to throw a party just to show off this lil' piece.

    Model wearing mini dark red dress with puffy sleeves and open toe sandal heels on top of patterned carpet
    Whimsey and Row

    Whimsy + Row is a woman-owned small shop that creates fashionable clothing through sustainable practices. Since it's made with 100% raw silk, this dress should be dry cleaned.

    Promising review: "I love the drape of the dress. I also like that it doesn’t wrinkle easily. The texture of the fabric is unique and nothing like I’d seen before. I kept getting compliments that I looked so elegant! For me, the sleeves had a tendency to start to fall off my shoulder, but it wasn’t that noticeable and would stay up if I fixed them." —Sarah Larson

    Get it from Whimsy + Row for $42 (originally $198; available in sizes XS–XL).

    21. A printed winter formal dress anyone looking to really *pop* will quickly add to their cart. Plus, peep that pleated skirt that is just whispering "Come on, give me a twirl."

    another reviewer wearing a blue version of the dress
    another reviewer in the same dress in a different color scheme

    This should only be hand washed.

    Promising review: "I couldn't believe how cute this dress was in person given the price! I am usually closer to a size 4 in American sizing, but opted for a size 6 in this dress and I am glad I did. It JUST fits, so keep that in mind when ordering. I HIGHLY recommend this dress. I can't wait to wear it to a wedding and can easily wear it to work in the future." —Jennifer O'Connor

    Get it from Amazon for $29.98+ (available in sizes 2–14 and 44 styles).

    22. A lace-up sequin winter formal dress exuding *so* much glamor, your other party dresses will be rolling their eyes in jealousy as you pick it AGAIN for your next fancy event.

    Model wearing floor length green sequin dress with spaghetti straps and v-neckline on a brown background, model wearing product in navy blue showing lace-up back on a white background

    Make sure this gets hand washed and line dried for the best care.

    Promising review: "This dress is simply gorgeous. I will be wearing it to a black tie wedding and can't wait to see the finished look, but it really is just perfect. It looks true to the pictures, beautiful color (green in my case). The ties make it so that you can really get the perfect fit for your body. It's so glamorous. Highly recommend!" —Megan L.

    Get it from Lulus for $94 (available in sizes XXS–XL and two colors)