How to Master Coat Dress Over Pants Trend: Inspired by Olivia Palermo

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So, how do you wear this season’s coat dress over pants without looking frumpy or overwhelmed by layers of clothing?

When it comes to mixing and matching, we tend to look to style-setter Olivia Palermo for cues.

Olivia Palermo does the ribbon-cutting for the opening of Harvey Nichols Beauty BazaarOlivia Palermo does the ribbon-cutting for the opening of Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar in London on November 7, 2012 (Credit: Sakura / WENN)

Olivia Palermo: A Style Icon’s Approach

The pretty socialite has mastered the art like a pro, sporting looks you never would have thought could work. Case in point: the outfit she wore at the Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar store opening in London, England, early this month.

Instead of her usual blazer and skinny jeans, Olivia wore a short cream coat dress over a black long-sleeve sweater and black leather pants. She then added a pop of color to the outfit by wearing blue pointy pumps.

Olivia Palermo shows how to wear leather pants with a short cream coat dressOlivia Palermo shows how to wear leather pants with a short cream coat dress (Credit: Sakura / WENN)

Didn’t she look fabulous? As always, Olivia did not fail to look effortlessly chic. And while it may seem like she didn’t put much thought into the combination, we’re pretty darn sure it was carefully planned and put together the night before.

Breaking Down Olivia’s Look: Key Elements

Now, if you’ve been wondering how to wear a coat dress with pants without looking like you are drowning in piles of fabric, why not follow Olivia’s style here? We analyzed her outfit and broke it down into several simple tips:

1. Selecting the Perfect Coat Dress

If you want Olivia’s look, you must be sure you pick the right coat dress – unique enough to stand out, with the right length and silhouette.

Because you’ll be wearing it with pants, it’s best to pick one that isn’t too long; a tunic length would be ideal. Also, wear something with shorter sleeves so your sweater can show. If you have the moolah, you can try this gorgeous piece from Cacharel:

An abstract print and oversized, boxy fit give a retro wool coat from French brand Cacharel a cozy cocoon profileAn abstract print and oversized, boxy fit give a retro wool coat from French brand Cacharel a cozy cocoon profile

2. Choosing the Right Pants to Complement Your Look

This season’s coats and coat dresses are a bit exaggerated in shape. So, it’s best to neutralize the volume by pairing them with slim or skinny pants that hug the legs and ankles.

Pick a dark color, as it has a slimming and lengthening effect. Here’s a luxe piece from J Brand for those who can afford it:

Skinny J Brand ankle pants with front pockets in soft, stretch leather are a statement pieceSkinny J Brand ankle pants with front pockets in soft, stretch leather are a statement piece

3. The Importance of Layering: Adding a Sweater

As you can see, instead of wearing the coat dress as-is or alone, Olivia mixed it with other items to show a different way to wear it.

Try a fitted long-sleeved sweater for a layered look that isn’t too bulky:

Loose-knit cashmere fashions an airy red sweater from Enza Costa that is perfect for layeringLoose-knit cashmere fashions an airy red sweater from Enza Costa that is perfect for layering

4. The Final Touch: Selecting Footwear

Lastly, to steal Olivia’s style, finish your look with sexy, pointy stilettos. For the combo we put together today, classic black will do since pops of red are already present in the other pieces:

With the cool combination of shiny patent leather and a pointed toe, these black Boutique 9 pumps are ready for an evening outWith the cool combination of shiny patent leather and a pointed toe, these black Boutique 9 pumps are ready for an evening out

Once you’ve acquired the key pieces, put them together, and you’re ready.

Inspiration from Celebrities: Jennifer Lopez’s Take on the Trend

Jennifer Lopez wearing Rachel Zoe's Cameron tuxedo jacket dress outside Fun Radio in ParisJennifer Lopez wearing Rachel Zoe’s Cameron tuxedo jacket dress outside Fun Radio in Paris on June 15, 2011 (Credit: Sakura / WENN)

One year earlier, we spotted Jennifer Lopez in a coat dress from Rachel Zoe’s Fall 2011 collection.

Jennifer Lopez flaunts her sexy legs in a white coat dress paired with matching Casadei pumpsJennifer Lopez flaunts her sexy legs in a white coat dress paired with matching Casadei pumps (Credit: Sakura / WENN)

Who do you think looked best in her coat dress?

Filed Under: Celebrities