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Perfect Pairings: Best Jackets, Sweaters, & Wraps to Wear With Dresses

Well, last week’s spring ‘one and done’ dress blog seemed to hit a nerve with you guys!  Are you now wondering what to wear over that dress if you need another layer? Join the club, because this is a struggle we all face! Finding the perfect pairing is hard work and we are here to help.

There are a few considerations when selecting a ‘dress topper’ (we know that’s not a category but oh well, it’s descriptive!) but here are some general guidelines.  The key is to balance the proportions, as well as to feel good in what you put on!

  • Fit/Shape:  The coat/jacket/sweater/wrap should accentuate the silhouette of the dress. Cropped jackets that nip in at the waist or full-length styles that highlight an outfit’s long lines are both great options. Consider the dress shape when making your choice.
  • Dress Length:  If you’re wearing a shorter dress (knee or above), you can do either a long or short jacket.  If you’re wearing a midi (mid-calf) or maxi (ankle length), a shorter coat is a better option so you’re not drowning in fabric. If you’re going to combine a coat that’s shorter than the midi, try to keep it knee length as opposed to thigh length.
  • Suitability: If the dress is nice, wear a nicer ‘topper’. We love puffers but probably not the best idea with a “nicer” dress!

And now for the list!

Short Jackets/Sweaters (good for long or short dresses)

Cropped Jacket/Chasseur: Nili Lotan Cotton Blend Tweed Jacket $1150:  Brass buttons and a waist-skimming jacket make this a good option for over shirt, shift, or a-line dresses. This one from Reformation $298 in fleece looks very cozy and it’s white so it goes with everything!

Short Trench: Nic & Zoe Short Cotton Trench Jacket $228:  I have a similar jacket to this and I wear it all the time over knee length dresses.  It’s a great travel coat and I feel very pulled together with this on!! And this one from Cos $190 is another great option for a more structured trench option.

Denim Jacket:  You can go the collarless, more tailored route like this one from Rag & Bone. For a more boho look with a flowy long dress you could try this one from Madewell $138 in black and a bit oversized, or this more cropped one from Madewell $128 which can work for both short and long dresses.

Cardigan:  A cropped cardigan like this with a soft ribbed trim would look great with a dress of any length. A longer cardigan like this $69 would be a good layer over a longer dress. Available in six colors.

 

Longer Coats/Sweaters:

Long Trench: On trend now (but always a classic) a trench is a perfect lighter weight option to wear over almost any length dress.  This cotton twill from Ralph Lauren is a great choice, and this one from Mango is a great deal at $159.99.  Belt it at the waist for a cinched silhouette or leave it open for a more relaxed vibe.

Long Sweater:  This merino wool sweater coat from Quince $99.90 is the perfect topper for a dress the same length or longer.

Lightweight Coat: A mid-length coat like this from Quince $99.90 will pair perfectly with a dress of the same length or longer. Another option is this flowy one $468 that looks great with a knee length dress.

Wraps/Ponchos

A wrap or poncho is another great alternative that can go over a short or long dress, especially if you have puffy sleeves on your dress that you don’t want to squash into a tight jacket or sweater sleeves!

Wrap. This one from Quince $98 is a great deal and perfect when you need a light layer for a night out. Chrissie has been a MerSea fan since day one and their Luxy Wrap $228 is designed as a type of jacket (not just a scarf you use as a shawl) so it’s easy to wear and it’s made from 100% cashmere. For a lighter weight option, try this one $68 made from plush organic cotton and available in 6 colors at a great price point!

Poncho:  A poncho is nice because it doesn’t fall off and you don’t need to keep adjusting it! But it does cover the top of your dress so it changes the look a bit. This one from J. Crew $69.50 on sale is a cashmere wool blend and it’s available in six colors. This 100% cashmere one from Quince $99.00 is also a great choice. Easy to throw on over any length dress and can be used with lots of different outfits from jeans to dresses.

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Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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