The Duster Jacket Will Never Die—and Here's Why

I promise this won’t be yet another story on how to style one perfect pair of jeans with a variety of tops. No, the topic of today's story is what an absolute game changer it is when you find the perfect jacket to go with your timeless denim. The third piece in question? A duster. Where can you find it? Vintage shopping, obviously.

For our final rendezvous, WWW EIC (and veteran vintage shopper) Kat Collings and I went even deeper into the Eastside of Los Angeles to The Bearded Beagle, a very cool, very under-the-radar vintage store stacked with rows on rows of vintage clothing in Highland Park. Kat, who was prepping for NYFW at the time, was on mission to find a sleek showstopping piece to wear while running from show to show (potentially in her black Vans UltraRange sneakers).

This wasn’t rookie hour anymore… Shopping for vintage apparel is a whole other game. You have to go in with an open mind and a big imagination to visualize how a seemingly old-fashioned piece can work with your modern wardrobe. Kat, of course, had no problem spotting a style that was equal parts Matrix and street-style approved. See what I mean here.

On our journey to find the perfect jacket, Kat started her outfit with the chicest of basics: high-waisted jeans, black Vans UltraRange sneakers, a structured top, and gold jewelry. Though this may not have been a look she was thinking of wearing during fashion month, it is a look we all regularly find ourselves in, especially here in L.A.

Sure, you can throw on a moto-style leather jacket to this outfit, but we’ve done that before. Kat was laser-focused on finding a duster piece that can be worn in a variety of ways. “I love that the duster style can be worn open as a jacket, or buttoned up and worn as a top over pants. Because of the long vertical lines, dusters are the best kind of jacket to elongate your figure, which my 5’4’’ frame needs.”

Whether you’re planning on wearing a jacket over your shoulders, buttoned up like a dress, or over a structured top, there’s no denying that a vintage piece will need some extra TLC. “When shopping for jackets, it’s all about fit,” Kat told me. “A tailor can work wonders, but be honest with yourself about whether you’ll actually end up taking it in.” (In other words, if you fell in love with a piece that is two sizes too big, you may need to keep searching.) Luckily for us, this teal structured number fit Kat like a glove and looks pretty sleek with sneakers.

I’ll be honest: I walked right past the duster when poking through the racks. (That’s why Kat is my vintage-shopping fairy godmother.) “Make sure to try on everything so you don’t miss the more understated pieces that will only pop once you see the fit and how they look styled with your outfit,” she explained.

What I learned is that every piece looks so different on than on the hanger, especially since vintage items can look dated when they’re not tried on. But rest assured that if Kat wasn’t going to snap up this duster, I was going to swoop in. Does it get better than highed-waist jeans, a duster, and a pair of Vans sneakers? Not in my book.

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