How To Pick The Right Jacket To Go With Your Party Dress

Whatever your preferred silhouette is this season—short and girly, long and slinky, mid-length and fitted—outsmart fickle climates with these foolproof coat and dress pairings. 

Ruffled Mini + Fit-And-Flare Coat

A strapless, tiered ruffle dress is utterly sweet and girly,  so play up that feminine vibe with a coat that nips in at the waist and flares out at the hips. Bonus: the jacket’s swingy silhouette won’t restrict the dress, which means no unwanted wrinkles. 

Jill Stuart Celina Coat ($838, 212.343.2300) in Midnight; BCBGMAXAZRIA Jacklyn Sleeveless Dress with Tiered Ruffle Skirt ($398, available end of November) in Light Pearl; HUE Tinted Metallic Tights ($14); Mason/Stanley Bermuda Bangle ($5,500); Mason/Stanley Bermuda Stud Drop Earrings with Pave Diamonds ($900); Mason/Stanley Bermuda Stud Earrings with Pave Diamonds ($790); Roger Vivier Prismick Miroir Clutch Bag ($1,177); Brian Atwood Tribeca Patent Leather Platform Sandals ($895).

Full Skirt + A-Line Coat

A structured coat that goes just past the waist and has a slightly retro feel works to temper a fuller skirt. Additionally, a simple black dress acts as the perfect blank canvas for whimsical touches, such as a bold print and a feather clutch. 

Milly jacket (similar style here); Alice + Olivia Veena Sleeveless Flare Pleat Dress ($495, available December); Portolano Opera-Length Leather Gloves ($395); HUE Cotton Tissue Socks ($5); Kotur Fino Clutch ($850) in Multi; Giuseppe Zanotti Star-Detail Suede Cage Bootie-Sandals ($2,495).

Fitted Dress + Menswear-Tailored Coat

For your next cocktail fete, accompany a sleek and sultry metallic frock with a dressed up tuxedo jacket. The tailored piece keeps the look feeling chic and polished, while offering a modern take on Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking look. 

Proenza Schouler Long Tuxedo Coat ($2,490); DKNY Gold Sleeveless Cami Dress with Pleated Rosette Detail ($495, 800.231.0884); Echo Design Solid Oversized Silk Scarf ($58); HUE Backseam Sheer Tights ($18); Eddie Borgo Pave Ombre Crystal Large Cone Bracelet ($1,000) in Yellow/Pink; Salvatore Ferragamo Miniaudiere ($1,490) in Metal and Lucite; Christian Louboutin Decollete Patent Leather Stiletto Pumps ($625).

Floor-Length Slip Dress + Light Layers

The slinky slip is the dress of the season and it happens to be perfect for the holiday party circuit, too. Lighter layers work best with this wisp of a dress, so try a furry vest over a velvet tuxedo jacket. You can removed the jacket indoors and keep on the vest for extra warmth. 

Express Faux Fur Zip-Up Vest ($83); Burbery jacket; Nili Lotan Maxi Cami Dress ($495) in Wheat; Iosselliani Brass Mixed Colour Necklace ($570, 212.686.2211); Zara Leather and Fur Evening Bag ($80); Cole Haan Jovie High Sandals ($298).

Babydoll Dress + Boyfriend Coat

The babydoll dress can read youthful, which is why we recommend elevating your look with a sophisticated coat and scarf combo. A boyfriend style that’s the same length as the dress will do the trick. 

Topshop Fluffy Boyfriend Coat ($178); ASOS Smock Dress with Velvet Burnout ($107) in Red; Urban Outfitters Colorblock Oversized Eternity Scarf ($29); HUE Fishnet Tights ($14); Mawi Double Stack Closed Link Bike Chain ID Bracelet with Spikes ($583, available December); Christian Louboutin Loubiposh Clutch ($995); Walter Steiger Short Back Zip Ankle Boots ($895).

Minimal Dress + Maximum Coat

Mimic the clean lines of a shift dress with a long, menswear-inspired coat that hits at the ankle. 

Theyskens’ Theory coat (similar style here); Theory Lyall Silk Layered Dress ($295); Ann Taylor Leather Bow Gloves ($78); Nancy Gonzalez Cigarette Clutch ($2850, available for special order at Bergdorf Goodman) in Grey Astrakhan; Christian Louboutin T Slick 120 Heels ($965).