Coats! Help!

Here are two really interesting questions from a reader regarding winter coats:

How should a coat fall over a skirt? I know that sounds ridiculous, but its driving me batty. Also, how do you incorporate a funky or colored coat into a wardrobe – I don’t have one because it seems too frightening! 

First of all, neither concern is ridiculous. They’re both totally valid. So valid in fact, that each deserves its own post! So let’s go one at a time. First up, coat lengths.

Coat lengths are all over the map these days, from cropped to waist to knee-length to maxi. The same goes for skirts and dresses. It’s a lot of sartorial confusion, which could make anybody want to stay indoors in their PJs.

Instead of doing that, just follow my two simple rules:

1. If the coat falls above the knee, the skirt should be longer than the coat.

2. If the coat is knee-length or below, skirt length doesn’t matter (can be above or below).

              Um, is she wearing anything under there?                          Yep, but it’s too short for that coat!

The major thing you want to avoid with a coat over skirt/dress is looking like you’re not wearing anything on your bottom half. This happens when the coat length falls in the above-knee range, and your skirt can’t be seen.

But if your coat falls at or below your knee, it will cover enough on its own so you won’t have to worry about looking naked underneath. Therefore, your skirt length can fall above, at, or below without it changing the look of the ensemble.

You’ll hear some differing opinions on the matter. Some people believe the skirt and coat length should match exactly, to which I say, who has the time?? Personally, I love when the bottom of my skirt peeks out from the hem of my coat. I think it looks very elegant, and adds a little pop to my outerwear ensemble.

Stay tuned for a separate post on colored coats and how to make ’em work for you.

all images from jcrew.com

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