3 Cozy Outfits for Dining Outside When It’s Cold

If there’s one thing we’ve learned how to do during this past year, it’s adapt. Work from home indefinitely? No problem. Wear a snug yet stylish face covering everywhere all the time? We got this. Share the toilet paper? Yes, we can do that. (Turns out we do have squares to spare after all). But, as the weather outside turns frightful, there’s one change we’re not so delighted to be rolling with: outside dining this winter. 

With more and more restaurants across the country restricting in-door dining capacity, chances are good you’ll have to eat outside for the next few months if you ever want to leave your kitchen again. And, while restaurants are doing their best to keep guests comfortable by way of heat lamps and tented seating, there’s really only so much they can do in the middle of January. In New York. During a flurry. Basically, what we’re saying is, if you want to enjoy your entree outside in the middle of a cold front, well, you need to dress for the occasion. Read on for three cozy outfits you can style for dining outside when it’s cold (but still great for keeping things steamy at your table). 

The Situation:

A much-needed girls’ night out is on the docket after a long week of non-stop staring at your computer and heated conversations with your cat (hey, no judgment here). You’re looking forward to dinner AND drinks with your girl squad, but hoping the possible forecast of snow doesn’t bust up your party early.  

The Solution:

When it comes to dressing for inclement weather, layers are a girl’s best friend. Start with a warm base layer like a stylish thermal long sleeve tee and add a cute and cozy sweater on top. Bonus points for fun patterns and vibrant colors that bring a little warm cheer to your surroundings. It doesn’t hurt to add layers to your bottom half as well. Try leggings under a faux leather skirt with wool socks and thigh-high boots for a stylish look that will quickly become the envy of all your friends. 

The Situation:

Spending time with your loved ones could look a little different this year. For starters, if you want to see your parents IRL instead of through a computer screen (while constantly reminding them to unmute their mics), then you may need to eat your family dinner on the patio like a big girl. 

The Solution:

While family gatherings in the past may have been your stage to show off your finest dresses and cutest tops, this year, consider making your outerwear the focal point of your Sunday best. Leave the puffy jacket at home and take your long, elegant wool-blend coat out for the night instead. The great thing about wool is that it offers a lot of warmth without the bulk so you can keep your clothing underneath thin as well. Think a classic but warm cashmere sweater or turtleneck with a pair of lined dress pants or faux leather leggings for extra warmth. 

If you just can’t stand the idea of eating while wearing a winter coat, consider styling a warm and cozy faux fur jacket or a vibrant poncho instead. Not only will you look great chomping those apps, but it’ll keep you toasty warm when socially distanced as well. And just because your outerwear is the star this season, it doesn’t mean you should skimp on the accessories. Skip the fancy bling and opt for a patterned scarf instead, coupled with a chic, warm hat to draw attention to your glowing (and slightly windburned) face this Winter. Add a pair of stylish boots and there’s no way you’re getting out of there without at least a dozen compliments from your family. 

The Situation:

After spending months (and months) on the couch, streaming Schitt’s Creek and eating all the snacks, you’ve finally decided enough is enough and a fancy date night MUST happen. Like stat. (Moira would be so proud.) 

The Solution:

You may be used to wearing a sexy LBD or floor-sweeping maxi for a night on the town with your cutie, but when winter outdoor dining is on the table, you need to rethink how you throw that sexy ensemble together. In other words, dust off those Spanx, lady, because tonight is their night. Form-fitting shapewear not only helps you achieve that flattering figure you’re after, but it also acts as a great base layer when temps are dropping (not that you’d know it by the spark you’re giving off).

If you plan on staying for dinner AND dessert, then consider wearing tights or leggings with your favorite dress to add even another layer of warmth for your epic night out. Whether you go with pants or a dress, though, you should know that warm yet cute jackets are a must-do for every evening out this winter. Style your outerwear like it’s an extension of your outfit and you’ll never feel underdressed even at the fanciest of venues. A vibrant jacket or bold scarf can even add that lively pop of color you’ve been looking for to complete your otherwise perfect look. No need to sacrifice style for warmth when it comes to dining out this winter.


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