It can be tricky to know how to wear skirts in winter in a way that looks really stylish, but is still warm on those frosty days. There are so many different types of skirts, with different styling requirements that it can get a little overwhelming when you’re faced with your wardrobe each morning.
To help with this I have created a winter skirt outfits style guide, covering as many types of skirts as possible (with pictures for reference), to provide some easy fashion tips and inspiration!
But first, let’s delve into some warm outfit guidelines to follow when styling skirts in winter…
How to wear skirts in winter
- Wear a bodysuit with your skirt to provide extra hidden warmth to your mid and lower body, underneath your skirt.
- Warm up your skirts by adding tights or leggings underneath. Woollen or thermal tights are best for really cold days.
- Wear tall boots to provide some extra warmth to your legs and dress up your skirt.
- Don’t be afraid to layer underneath your skirt! Adding another skirt of a thinner fabric under your skirt is an easy way to add warmth without bulking.
- Pair your skirt with a long chic coat, to provide warmth to your lower body whilst looking put-together.
- Layer up on the top half of your body with a chunky scarf and jacket.
Warming up your body when wearing a skirt in winter is a priority, but so is looking stylish! The above tips are great for adding cosiness to your outfits, but here’s how to execute them in a fashionable way…
1. Wear a bodysuit with your skirt
Pairing your skirt with a bodysuit instead of a regular top is a fantastic way to add an extra layer to your midsection and lower body, to keep your tummy warm underneath the skirt. A bodysuit is much longer than a regular top, and covers more of your body, to provide some added heat, without bulking out your skirt or adding too many chunky layers.
Bodysuits are great for keeping in the heat too, as they are close fitting and remain totally tucked in – no body heat will escape through any gaps at your waistband.
I would suggest a thermal bodysuit or a long sleeved bodysuit as a great choice for styling with any type of skirt, either on it’s own or as a hidden layer underneath a jumper. Choose a bodysuit that compliments the colour or pattern of your skirt. In the above image I paired a burgundy bodysuit with a pink tweed skirt, with threads of burgundy running through the pattern.
2. Add legging or woollen/thermal tights
Ditching your sheer tights and choosing leggings or thermals instead is a super easy way to warm up your legs underneath a skirt in winter. If you don’t have any leggings, woollen or thermal tights, instead just layer two pairs of the tights your already own, for some extra thickness.
Match your shoes to your tights and make sure you wear a skirt of a similar or complimentary colour to your tights for a put together look. In the above image I warmed up a short red skirt with thick thermal black tights, a black long sleeved bodysuit and black boots. I tied in the red with a red handbag to finish off the look. All of the layers were warm, but they weren’t bulky, keeping the outfit sleek and stylish.
3. Pair your skirt with tall boots to keep your legs warm
For an extra layer over your calves wear knee-high boots with your skirt to warm up your legs. You could always sneak some long socks underneath the boots for added cosiness, if you did not want to wear the boots over leggings or tights.
Tall boots look really chic with short skirts, as they create an elegant and dressy silhouette. Match your skirt to the colour palette of the boots and add a thick coat on top for a stylish winter look.
4. Layer a skirt or slip underneath your skirt
Sneaking a slip or another skirt under your skirt is a fantastic way to layer up without compromising the style of your outfit. I know slips are outdated, but hear me out – they are really useful in winter, and nobody can see them anyway! If you don’t own a slip, adding a hidden skirt under your first works in the same way. Just make sure the hem of your top skirt covers the hem of your under skirt, for a seamless finish.
In the above image I am wearing a dress to demonstrate the ‘hidden skirt’ technique, but the same principle applies to skirts too! Add a second skirt of a much thinner material under the first, so it keeps you cosy but doesn’t bulk. Making sure the hidden skirt is unnoticeable is key when looking put together, as you don’t want any strange lumps or bumps messing with the cut or shape of your top skirt.
5. Wear a long coat with your skirts
Long coats are so chic and look great in the colder months. They are always in fashion and are a great investment for your winter wardrobe. Purchasing a coat that comes to your knees or mid calves is an easy way to warm up your whole body when wearing a skirt, whilst looking sophisticated.
Choosing a coat that will pair well with black or brown is always something to keep in mind when styling your skirts in winter, as its likely you will be wearing black tights or black or brown boots. Picking a neutral coloured coat is a safe bet, if you want it to pair well with a good range of skirts, shoes and tights.
A beige, grey, cream, black, dusty pink or mauve coat would work well with black tights and pair with many styles of skirts.
Choosing a thick material for your coat, such a wool or tweed will ensure a really cosy top layer over your skirt, as better quality material like these are more dense and trap more heat. Its worth investing in a good quality, versatile long coat if you plan on wearing skirts throughout the winter.
6. Add layers to the top half of your body, such as a chunky scarf and fleece jacket
Doubling up on your top half will help balance out your outfit and fight the chill. Adding scarves, jackets and thermal layers under your clothes is a great way to warm up your outfit and make up for any heat lost by your skirt.
In the above image I styled a pencil skirt with a thick fleece jacket and huge scarf, to add lots of cosiness to my body. I would also suggest wearing thermal tights under the pencil skirt to complete the look.
Fleece jackets are a really good heat saver, and will keep your body toasty whilst still looking stylish. A jacket that falls to the hip is a good option if you want to show off your skirt, instead of covering the whole outfit with a long coat.
Now we have covered some ideas for warmth, lets get into how to wear and style different types of skirts…
How to wear long skirts in winter
In winter wear long skirts with cropped jumpers, wool tights and Chelsea boots for a casual celebrity-inspired style. For the office, wear long skirts in winter with thermal tights, heels and add a blazer or a tailored jacket for extra warmth.
Long skirts are a great option for the winter as they will keep most of your legs warm, and can either be dressed up or down depending on your plans for the day. I like to pair long skirts with a more form fitting top and heeled boots, to create a sophisticated silhouette, as pictured below.
Choose long skirts that incorporate black into the pattern when wearing them with black tights and boots, to create cohesion in the colour palette of the outfit. The above skirt I’m wearing is a satiny skirt appropriate for the office, a party or a nice weekend lunch. I love this skirt because it is so versatile and can be transitioned through the seasons thanks to the black in the pattern.
Choosing skirts with black in the pattern is my top tip when shopping for wardrobe pieces that can be worn throughout the seasons!
How to wear midi skirts in winter
Wear midi skirts in winter with tights, heeled ankle boots and a form fitting long sleeved top for a sophisticated silhouette. Layer with a long coat that falls to the hemline of the skirt for a well tailored look.
Styling a midi skirt in winter is easy as long as its pattern or colour is suitable for the season – no neon or summer patterns. You need to choose a midi skirt that will pair well with tights and more muted autumn/winter colours, such as black. Tights are most commonly black, so if you intend to warm up your legs under your midi skirt you want to make sure that the colours wont clash and look odd.
Wearing a form fitting top with your midi skirts such as a turtleneck is a great option for warmth and style, as it will balance out the midi skirt and elongate your silhouette. Add heeled boots for a dressier look.
Wearing a midi skirt to the office in winter is also really easy. Simply add sleek, professional looking thermal tights underneath, heels, a thermal layer underneath your blouse and an optional blazer for a business wear look.
If you are enjoying this article you may also like 10 Ways to Style Dresses in Winter
How to wear mini skirts in winter
Wear mini skirts in winter with leggings or thermal tights as opposed to sheer tights, and pair with tall boots to keep your legs warm. Add a cropped jumper or turtleneck and a tailored jacket to complete the look. For added warmth wear a long wool or tweed coat when stepping outdoors.
Styling a mini skirt in winter can be a little tricky, as you need to really warm up your legs. Avoid sheer tights and instead opt for fleece lined or wool tights or thick leggings to keep you cosy. Wear a long sleeved top or a body suit for extra warmth on your mid section and don’t be afraid to layer on top with a cropped jumper. Cropped jumpers are great layering pieces as they will not swamp your skirt in material, instead sitting neatly at the waistline for a stylish, tailored look.
Alternatively a thermal turtleneck and a cropped jacket work well when warming up indoors, as I styled in the image below.
Add a long pea coat when heading outside for a sophisticated finish.
When purchasing a mini skirt for the winter months opt for a darker material that will pair well with dark tights or leggings. The majority of winter fashion is darker, so keep this in mind when deciding what will match your existing wardrobe items.
How to wear pencil skirts in winter
In winter wear pencil skirts with cropped jumpers and heeled boots for a stylish yet casual look. For the office pair your pencil skirt with sleek black tights and heels and finish with a blazer for warmth.
Pencil skirts look great in winter for both casual looks and business wear outfits for work. Casual jersey material pencil skirts look great with cropped jumpers in the winter, for sexy and sleek outfits that are really feminine. I styled the below outfit with a red cropped jumper and a red handbag, but kept everything else black, for a striking look.
For the office wearing a more formal pencil skirt with thermal layers underneath is a great option for warming up whilst still look professional. Choose closely fitted thermal layers that don’t bunch under the pencil skirt and compromise the silhouette.
How to wear summer skirts in winter
In winter the easiest way to wear summer skirts is to choose summer skirts that incorporate darker colours in their patterns. This makes them much easier to pair with tights and dark winter clothing.
When I shop for summer skirts I always ask myself whether they will also look good with tights or dark clothing, as I love to make my wardrobe stretch throughout the seasons. Any pattern or design that incorporates black will pair more easily with tights. Alternatively, if the skirt doesn’t have a pattern, make sure the colour will match black.
A great example is the below red skirt. I love to style this piece in both summer and winter, as it’s the perfect shade of red to go with black, or to be worn with lighter colours.
How to wear denim skirts in winter
Wear denim skirts in winter with a long sleeved sweater, tights and ankle boots for a cute and casual look that doesn’t compromise warmth. Darker wash denim skirts are easier to style with other garments in winter, as winter clothing tends to be of a darker colour palette.
In the below image I styled three outfits including denim skirts to show how versatile this type of skirt can be. Denim skirts can be worn throughout the seasons and often feature as a well-loved staple piece in our wardrobes because of this.
3 more ways to style a denim skirt in winter:
- Add accessories to dress up your denim skirt in winter, such as a chunky belt and heeled boots.
- Wear a cropped sweater with your denim skirt, that meets the waistline of the skirt but doesn’t swamp it in material, for a trendy silhouette.
- Tuck in a turtleneck or a thermal bodysuit and pair with thick wool tights and a big statement scarf for a comfy yet stylish outfit.
What shoes do you wear with short skirts in winter?
The best shoes to wear with short skirts in winter are tall boots that rise to the knee or the thigh, as these will add extra warmth to the legs. Pair with long socks or fleece-lined tights underneath for extra cosiness.
Wearing tall boots with a short skirt is a super easy way to keep your legs warm whilst looking put-together. Tall boots with a heel elongate the legs and balance the silhouette when wearing a short skirt.
Is it OK to wear a skirt in the winter?
It is definitely OK to wear a skirt in the winter, when styled correctly for warmth. Swap sheer tights for thermal or fleece-lined tights and choose a skirt of a heavier material, for added cosiness.
From a style perspective skirts look good in winter when paired with appropriate winter clothing, such as thick sweaters, turtlenecks and long coats. Add scarves for added warmth on your top half and balance out the bottom half with tall boots. Skirts are appropriate winter attire when styled this way.
Avoid leaving your legs bare when wearing short skirts in winter, as this can look a little odd.
Thank you for reading this skirts in winter styling guide – I hope you now feel confident to put some outfits together and rock your skirts this season!
For more fashion tips, check out…
How to Wear Ankle Boots With Skirts – Style Guide
10 Ways to Style Dresses in Winter
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).