I Tried the 21 Best Winter Dresses From Ref, H&M and Zara—These 12 Made the Cut

Last week, I went on a relentless mission to find some of the best winter dresses to add to my wardrobe this cold-weather season. It is freezing now, after all, and there’s no question that my work, weekend, and party ensembles could do with a few frocks to keep me toasty as well as looking chic. I headed to some of my favorite retailers—ReformationZara, and H&M (all known for their trendy and affordable selection) to try on some of the coolest picks of the season—from knit sweaterdresses to dazzling party dresses and trending voluminous frocks. Twenty-one changes later and these 12 below officially made the cut. Just add tights and boots for a gorgeous winter-ready look.

Scroll below to see some of the pieces I took home with me, and if you’re so inclined, they may go home with you too.


A sleek long-sleeve midi dress has been high up on my wish list—particularly one that can work from day to night with the addition of some chic jewelry and heels. This form-fitting one flatters in all the right places, is surprisingly warm, and can easily be worn with a blazer for work or to a holiday party with sparkling accessories.

I love everything about this gem of a dress—from its jewel emerald hue to its lustrous silky fabric and its flattering silhouette. It's the perfect dress for every winter holiday event, from parties, cocktails, dates to dinners, weddings, the list goes on…

I love the playful, preppy, and retro look of this polka-dot minidress. The tie-neck bow adds a trendy touch—super cute when paired with tights and knee-high boots. Bonus—polka-dots were spotted all over the spring 2020 runways and will be trending hard next year.

This casual knit dress will be your go-to when you can't think of what to wear. Pair it with chunky Chelsea boots or hiking boots on the weekend for a super-cute look.


Yes, yes, yes to this Chanel-inspired tweed cardigan dress! And you can't tell from the photo, but the buttons are jeweled. Layer over a tissue-thin turtleneck and knee-high boots for a chic winter look. 


This voluminous and billowy tiered dress is trend-forward, super comfortable, and has major Cecilie Bahnsen vibes. I love the puff-sleeve details too.

Wear this casual yet polished pinafore dress over a black turtleneck and tights for a cool-girl winter look. Perfect for work and weekends.

I couldn't help but strike a pose in this glitzy number! Zara has SO many striking winter party dresses right now, it's hard to choose just one. I was drawn to this dress, in particular, because it has everything I love—a little sparkle, a little fringe, long sleeves, and a flowy silhouette (which means I can fill up on holiday party hors d'oeuvres and no-one will be able to tell—hurrah!). 

While our black, beige, and gray dresses are on heavy rotation right now, there's nothing like a vibrant color to garner all the compliments this winter. This fitted knit dress is gorgeous (the puff sleeves are a pretty addition)—and I've already had so much praise on the couple of times I've worn it since purchasing.


Every winter wardrobe needs a good knit dress. This stretchy ribbed one from H&M is the perfect everyday choice. I would belt it at the waist and wear with a gold chain link necklace and knee-high boots. It's such great value for the money. I'm particularly fond of the khaki green hue, which looks way more expensive than its price tag.

The leather trend is here to stay. A cool (and affordable) way to take on the trend is with this chic puff-sleeve shirt dress belted at the waist. It's super luxe looking—simply pair with some badass stomping boots.

Another holiday party dress for the win! This one will keep you warm while dazzling the crowd with spectacular sparkle. 

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