Should A Coat Be Longer Than A Dress?

In cooler months or in settings where it is inevitable, you may need to wear a coat with your dress. Deciding whether or not the coat you are wearing is too long or short for your dress is a huge factor in what you may decide to purchase and wear. Jackets and coats may be a lifesaver in the fall and winter months but can also cause a little bit of a fashion emergency. Should your coat be longer than your dress? We've checked with what the fashion experts have to say about this.

When it comes down to style and what is currently on-trend, your jacket should be longer than your dress. A long, oversized coat is a super fashionable and trendy way to stay warm this winter. These coats prove themselves to look stylish while being essential for cooler temperatures. 

Below, you will find recommendations and style inspiration for wearing a long coat with your dresses. We are diving into this long coat versus short coat debate head first so you can find the perfect jacket to wear over your winter ensemble. From faux fur to leather to even Peruvian alpaca wool, we have got you, quite literally, covered. Continue reading!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

young woman wearing long coat looking bothered, texting on her phone while crossing the street, Should A Coat Be Longer Than A Dress

Why Your Coat Should Be Longer Than Your Dress

When deciding what style of long coat is going to complement you best, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:

  • What is the occasion?
  • What is the temperature?
  • How long is your dress?
  • What coat style fits your style the best?

Longer coats tend to look more elegant when worn over a dress. Whether you are going to a cocktail party or even a wedding, your coat has got to make a statement.

Longer coats seem to have a more sleek design to them compared to a shorter length. This versatility allows you to have an endless amount of options. Short jackets really only look appropriate when worn with a top and bottoms. You don't want to look incomplete or out of place when wearing a dress or gown.

Some Of Our Favorite Long Coat Styles

We will link all of our favorite Amazon products so you can check them out. There are also plenty of coat alternatives for those of you who may not want to completely cover the dress you have been dying to show off to your friends.

Faux Fur Coat

Long faux fur coats have seen a surge in popularity and are essential statement pieces in a person's wardrobe. This look has a luxurious and glamorous feel to it and is sure to wow whoever is around. These tend to look good no matter their length, which is a bonus for all of you short jacket fanatics.

Click here to see this coat on Amazon.

Fur-Lined Trench Coat

Another great long coat to pair with a dress would be a faux fur-lined suede trench coat. This style has a classic look to it and is extremely versatile. Pairing this with a beautiful cocktail dress or even a long form-fitting style is bound to be a show stopper.

Click here to see this suede trench coat on Amazon.

Fleece Coat

A stylish fleece coat gives off more of a comfy and trendy vibe.  Fleece is very warm and also tends to be more affordable compared to other long coat materials. This material has also become very popular as a shorter coat that you may want to check out for your everyday outfits.

Click here to see this fleece coat on Amazon.

Single Breasted Outerwear Coat

This coat is great for a night out on the town or a business event you may be attending. The material with this coat may not keep you as warm as the others shown so please keep that in mind. This is definitely more of a straight from the car to the event type of long coat.

Click here to see this coat on Amazon.

Puffer Down Coat

This would be for a colder climate that might be more on the adventurous side. If you have to attend a dinner party in a blizzard, this is the coat for you. Down material is considered to be very luxurious as well as warm.

Click here to see this puffer coat on Amazon.

How Can You Make Your Coat Longer?

An easy way to create the illusion that your coat is longer would be to simply wear a shorter length dress. This gives your look a more dramatic feel and saves you the trip to purchase a new long coat.

If you are worried about the sleeve length on your jacket, try wearing a long sleeve sweater or thick top underneath to elongate those sleeves. Layering has a very winter look and feel to it while also keeping you warm. There are countless blog posts and tutorials on how to sew sleeve extenders into your coat to achieve this longer looking effect. Or simply follow along with this Youtube tutorial from Heather Handmade:

Can You Wear A Short Coat With A Long Dress?

You can certainly wear a shorter coat with a long dress, it just will not look as elegant as wearing a longer style. A short coat paired with a longer dress tends to create the illusion you have outgrown your clothing. When planning out an outfit, you always want to take height and size into consideration.

Shorter coats look better with blouses or tops worn alongside jeans or dress pants. A shorter jacket falls into a m0re relaxed and comfortable style of clothing. However, a short jacket will certainly work with a lightweight, long summery dress.

On the other hand, there are also long dresses that fall into the formal category. You'd wear one of these dresses to a fancy dinner or an important event. Short jackets on top of long dresses do not make a whole lot of sense for that type of situation.

girl holding disco ball while standing near friends posing for the camera

As seen in the photo above, a fur coat may be one of the few styles that you can get away with when it comes to wearing a short jacket. The way the fur hangs over the dress does in fact create a more full and pre-planned look.

Studio shot of young beautiful woman against gray background wearing short coat over a long dress

The model shown above is wearing a short leather jacket with her dress. The leather material makes this outfit work, offering a more rugged contrast to the silky dress. In style, everything is about balance.

What Coat Do You Wear With A Long Dress?

It really depends on the season and the style of long dress that you're wearing. If it's spring or summertime, you're most likely wearing a lightweight maxi dress. Pair the dress with a canvas coat, jean jacket, or leather jacket, as seen below.

While we've established that you can wear some short coat styles over a long dress, it's best to wear a long coat in the cooler months. A wool or fur coat are two of the best coat materials for pairing with a long dress. The materials are warm and come in a plethora of styles. So you're pretty much guaranteed to find a coat that complements the style of your dress.

A long coat helps accessorize your long dress. It also ensures that you stay warm in your attire!

What Do You Wear Over A Dress When It's Cold?

When it is colder outside, we all have one thing in mind...staying warm! Wearing a dress can be extremely uncomfortable in cooler climates if not paired with a nice warm coat or jacket. Long coats keep you warm as well as super stylish.

However, a great alternative to wearing an entire coat with your dress would be a shawl or scarf. By keeping your neck and chest warm, you may not feel so uncomfortable wherever you may be. Wool tends to keep people the warmest while giving off a very elegant and sophisticated look.

Cashmere And Wool Scarf

You can see how this cashmere and wool scarf allows you to stay warm while also not having to put on a full coat. This is a great and cost-effective alternative to purchasing an entire coat if that is more your style.

Click here to see this scarf on Amazon.

Alpaca Wool Shawl

This shawl is made from Peruvian alpaca wool and is on the higher end of the shawl spectrum. This specific item has a beautiful patterning to it, adding to your overall style.

Click here to see this shawl on Amazon.

Cashmere Scarf

As seen above, we have included a great cashmere scarf that comes in a bunch of fun colors we found on Amazon. This is the most cost-effective item on our list and has amazing reviews from people who have purchased it.

Click here to see this scarf on Amazon.

In Closing

Let's face it, winter would not be holly or jolly without a warm coat. Freezing temperatures don't have to ruin your fun as long as you come prepared. Long coats are a clear winner against their competitors and beat them out in the style and overall appearance. Options are endless when it comes to long style jackets and you do not have to break the bank to get your hands on your own.

For those of you who don't want the commitment of an entire coat, shawls, scarves, and wraps are extremely warm and still allow you to show off your dress. We hope this helps you to stay warm and stylish this holiday season.

For more coat information and styling tips, check out these articles:

Should A Coat Be Fitted Or Loose?

31 Types Of Coats And Jackets You Should Know

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