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How to Wear a Dress Over Pants

This Fresh Outfit Formula Was All Over Fashion Week — Here's How to Wear It IRL

How to Wear a Dress Over Pants
Image Source: Getty / JP Yim

If you're a simple dresser like me, a dress styled over pants probably sounds like an outfit formula you'd scoff at rather than consider. And I hear you! At first thought, this unlikely combo is seemingly unflattering and shapeless. But after attending over 20 shows and presentations throughout New York Fashion Week, the ubiquity of this styling hack could not be denied. Nor could the fact that there's an iteration out there for everyone. In other words, it's a trend to get familiar with.

Now, to be clear, I think easy outfits are great. Heck, I've started an entire franchise on the topic! But sometimes, I want to step outside my comfort zone, kick things into high gear, turn out all the tops, etc., etc. When this styling urge strike, a dress (or skirt!) styled over pants is the exact solve I crave. Not only does it feel fresh and forward-thinking time after time, but it's supereasy to wear if you pick the right pieces. The key is sticking to what you know and like.

If your style is sporty, try and tank dress over track pants. If, like me, you toe the line between feminine and tailored, a lacy dress worn over trousers is both polished and sweet. For minimal types, a slip dress layered over any style of pant is totally fail-safe (ideally one with a slit for movement) while a shirtdress worn unbuttoned at the hem flows effortlessly over trousers, jeans, and even shorts in warm weather. If you're petite, try a minidress over your pant of choice to elongate your line. For maximalist tastes, a printed skirt worn over low-slung pants is unexpectedly playful and definitely worth a go.

Whether you're a total pro or a first-timer, ahead, scroll through for our favorite dress-over-pant outfits from fashion week. Don't stress, you have roughly six months to perfect your ideal combo before the first day of Spring.

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