Cold weather does not mean the death of dresses

Dani Ebel, a senior at the University of Oregon, loves finding dresses that can be worn year-round and uses layering to stay warm during the fall. (Leanne Harloff/Emerald)

Letting go of summer can be hard. From sandals to tank tops, many clothing items become obsolete as the days get chillier, but before packing away those warm weather clothes, take a moment to consider the many ways you can still wear a dress in the cold. University of Oregon senior Dani Ebel doesn’t let the fall weather shrink her closet.

“Some days you just want to wear a dress,” Ebel said. Originally from Southern California, Ebel moved to Oregon for school and had to quickly adjust to the climate. “It was hard at first, but you just learn as you go.”

After three years of living in Oregon, Ebel has figured out a few tricks for surviving the colder weather. These tips will help dress-lovers like her maintain their style year-round.


“Tights are your best friend,” said Ebel. The most glaring obstacle to warmth while wearing a dress is bare legs; tights are a simple solution to this problem. From jet black to dazzling purple, tights come in nearly every color imaginable. On particularly chilly days, fleece-lined tights are an excellent option and can be found at most department stores here in Eugene.

“You can always find thicker tights,” Ebel said. Tights are also an easy way to dress up an outfit. Even a sundress can be transformed into business casual with the addition of tights and appropriate shoes.


Flip flops are a staple during the summer, but they don’t transition very well to fall and winter. Instead, it is time to bust out the boots. One of the great aspects of boots at this time of year is that there are enough different types to fit anyone’s personal style. Just like with tights, tall boots work to combat the issue of bare legs getting cold, and some are even lined with faux fur to maximize comfort and warmth. With the addition of thick socks, even ankle boots can keep you feeling toasty while walking to class, plus they work great for spring outfits when the sunshine returns. “Transition pieces are essential,” said Ebel. “It’s good to have things that are versatile.”


Scarves should never be underestimated. Throwing a scarf on top of a dress can make you feel bundled up enough to brave the outdoors, even if it’s just for the brisk walk home from the library. If you haven’t been able to find the perfect knitted circle scarf yet, then you can always make your own. Head to any craft store in Eugene to pick up a round knitting loom and your favorite colored yarn in order to create exactly what you’ve been looking for. Cute and cozy is the mantra for cold weather scarves.


“I am a huge proponent of layering,” Ebel said. As outside temperatures drop, it is often hard to tell how warm the buildings on campus will be. “Sometimes it’s freezing outside, but you get to class and it is roasting,” Ebel said.

This problem can be countered with layers. By having multiple options of what to remove, you can maintain a reasonable body temperature no matter how hard the heaters are pumping. Sweaters can be easily tucked underneath a raincoat for quick removal once you arrive, and doubled up socks can be incredibly helpful for keeping your feet dry on rainy days. “Layering is an easy way to look put together, no matter the situation,” Ebel said.

With all of these ways to keep you warm, it is completely possible to continue wearing dresses even after the summer has drawn to a close. For Ebel, who has considered moving to New York City after graduation, the colder weather hasn’t been such a bad thing. “I’m used to it now,” Ebel said. “Oregon will have definitely prepared me.”

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