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Short-Sleeved Dresses

Can You Wear Short-Sleeved Dresses in Winter?

May 17th, 2023

What is a Short-Sleeved Dress?

Short-sleeved dresses are a dress that comes with sleeves that end anywhere between just below the shoulder and just above the elbow. They can come in a range of different dress styles as well as any colour or pattern you can think of. There is also no limit on what style of neckline a short sleeve dress may have or where the hemline ends. 

In the summertime, short sleeves give you an opportunity to show off your arms while there is still fabric covering your shoulders to protect them from the strong UV rays of the sun; however, in the cooler winter months, short sleeves open up a range of opportunities with layering to mix and match different colour and pattern combinations. Short sleeves are also perfect for wearing underneath a jacket because the sleeve can sit comfortably without poking out the end of the jacket sleeve like a long sleeve dress might.

The type of material, when looking to buy a short-sleeved dress for winter, can also be quite important. Cotton dresses are perfect for winter. Although cotton is typically known to be a breathable summer fabric, it is also ideal for the colder months for a few reasons. One of the main reasons that cotton dresses are great for winter is that cotton is unable to hold a static charge. This means you can say goodbye to your dress bunching and clinging to awkward spots as well as the nasty zap that that static can cause. Cotton dresses are also excellent at insulating with a few extra layers because cotton is able to trap the warm air between them. This means you will be kept cosy, comfortable, and looking absolutely fabulous no matter how dry and cold the winter gets.

Because short-sleeved dresses come in a range of different styles, colours, patterns, necklines, and hem lengths, means they are incredibly versatile to wear to just about any occasion. A single-sleeved dress can be dressed up or down in winter and styled to express every unique personality.

Types of Short-Sleeved Dresses

Short-sleeved dresses can come in just about any style of dress with varying hem lengths and necklines. Sleeved dresses also come in an extensive range of different colours and patterns to match every personality and occasion. Some dress styles are more likely to come with a short sleeve, these are three of the most common styles:


Smock dresses are unstructured dresses. They are voluminous and typically made of lightweight materials like cotton so that they float beautifully around you. They will usually also have embroidery detailing throughout the skirt to add to the volume.


Shift dresses became popular in the 1920s and got their name because they were easy to shift, shake, dance, and move in. They hang from your shoulders in a straight line, with the hem typically ending somewhere between just above or below the knee.


Swing dresses are flowy with an A-line shape. They are made to swish and swing with every step you take. A swing dress has a fitting top with a skirt that flows out and floats around you.

Short-sleeved dresses also aren’t limited to just one style- they can come in a range of different cuts and shapes for sleeved dresses to accentuate your shoulders and arms. These are three flattering styles for short-sleeved dresses. 

Puff sleeve

Puff sleeves are gathered at the shoulder and then caught in a cuff at the edge of the sleeve to create a puff-out sleeve. This type of sleeve is perfect for accentuating your shoulders. 

Frill sleeve

A frill sleeve is gathered or pleated at one edge and hangs to create a frill or ruffle. This type of sleeve is typically made from lightweight fabrics, such as cotton because they have a good drape. Frill sleeves elongate your arms, making them incredibly flattering.

Capped sleeve

A capped sleeve is a more structured sleeve design. They are cut and seamed to fit the shoulder just like a cap- just like the name implies.

How to Style Short-Sleeved Dresses in Winter

As the temperature starts to drop- the days get shorter, and the nights get longer- is no reason to lock your dresses with short sleeves away in your wardrobe. Short-sleeved dresses are perfect for wearing under jackets and coats because they sit comfortably without poking out the end of your jacket sleeve. They are also excellent dresses for layering, allowing you to play around with different colour and pattern combinations as well as you won’t need to worry about a cotton dress building up static against your stockings. If you are stumped for ideas on how to style your short-sleeved dress for winter, here are a few style ideas for different occasions:


Sleeved dresses are perfect for a casual look because they can be so effortless to style but still look like a well-put-together outfit. For an effortless but stylish outfit for winter, wear a dress with short sleeves, a denim jacket and sneakers. The jacket will also help to add shape to dresses with more volume or ones that are a little more flowy.

For a cosy and comfy winter outfit, add a jumper or a cardigan. Knitwear is excellent in winter for locking in the warmth, and it can feel so cosy against your skin. If you are wearing a boldly patterned dress, opt for a jumper or cardigan in a solid colour. Longline cardigans are excellent at elongating your silhouette effortlessly.

During the day, wearing a dress with short sleeves with a long sleeve turtleneck underneath can create a sophisticated but casual look that will keep you warm and looking fabulous.

A little bit fancy

If you are heading for a night out, a romantic dinner date, or just want to dress up a little bit, then there are a few ways to style your short-sleeved dresses in Winter. Adding a leather jacket and boots to your sleeved dress is an easy way to dress up an outfit.

Leather, like cotton, is also excellent at keeping you warm and will lock in your body heat. The style of boot you wear is up to you and slightly depends on what length your dress is. For a mid-length dress, ankle boots are usually best, while for an above-the-knee dress, you can show off some taller boots. Adding a scarf can help to elongate your silhouette, or adding some delicate jewellery will help to add a touch of sparkle.


The easiest way to create a sophisticated look for work is to add a blazer to your dress with short sleeves. Not only will it add a touch of sophistication, but a blazer will also help to add structure to a dress that is a bit more voluminous or flowy. If your workplace is a little bit more laidback or you want to be a little bit comfier and cosier while you work, then adding a longline cardigan can help to elongate your silhouette and keep you warm.

Buy Short Sleeved Dresses Online at Cotton Dayz

There is no need to pack away your dresses for winter just because they have short sleeves. Adding layers to your dress not only keeps you warm but also opens opportunities to play with colours, patterns, and textures within your outfit.

Start adding layers to your wardrobe with Cotton Dayz's range of short-sleeved dresses, check out our entire range of sleeved dresses, or hunt for your next favourite discounted item in our sale

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