How to Take Your Summer Wardrobe Into Winter: Dress-Over-Pants Edition

Friday, November 23, 2012

One look making its way back from the '90s is the dress-over-pants. Remember this baby?

Gwen Stefani, c.1998

Well, Gwen's style isn't the only thing that's improved since then. The dress-over-pants look is making a comeback, and this time it's sophisticated and sleek, thanks to the likes of Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone and Rebecca Taylor:

(... and Givenchy and Haider Ackermann while we're at it).

Hate it or love it, you have to admit: at least it's one way to carry your summer wardrobe into winter! For example - you might remember this dress from TSM's feature in the Washingtonian this summer:

To take your winter wardrobe into summer, you can wear a dress like this with a pair of sleek, slightly flared pants and a sweater thrown on top, and voila! You end up with an entirely different outfit, and one that's completely winter appropriate to boot:

Dress: Zara | Hat: Urban Outfitters | Pants: Tahari 
Sweater: Max Studio | Heels: Zara 

To make this look work for you, here are some simple tips to keep in mind:

1) Keep the dress at knee-length or higher. A knee-length hemline will maintain the leg and waist proportions of your body. Anything longer tends to look awkward.

2) Keep the waist defined. With so much fabric (dress plus pants), you want to be sure to create shape somewhere. Instead of wearing a shapeless shift dress, try one with an empire-waist or one that will make it easy to define your waist with a belt.

3) Stick to darker tones. For winter months, stick to a neutral palette (like greys, blacks, and browns) to make you feel like your dress is made for winter, instead of being a horribly-misplaced dress from summer.

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