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How to Pair Jackets With Dresses

Say no to goose bumps with these blazers, vests and cardigans.


Make pairing jackets with dresses look effortless by copying these looks straight from the runway and the red carpet. Pair a leather jacket with a more punk rock dress, a fur vest with a formal gown, and a fitted blazer with any mini dress.

Click on any of these photos to see the looks up close!

1. Cropped Leather Jacket

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For a bit of an edge, throw on a cropped black leather jacket with a shiny zipper. A leather jacket works with short or long dresses of nearly any style. Emma Watson wore hers with an a-line dress that flares out at her natural waist. Notice how the jacket ends right at her waist, too? It makes this outfit look totally put together.

2. Cropped Blazer

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When you’re wearing an elegant ball gown, it almost seems like no jacket will do. After all, you don’t want to take away from your elaborate gown. The solution? A cropped, fitted blazer. Emma Watson chose a dainty cropped blazer in white with no buttons, pointy lines and a tiny pocket. Make sure the shoulders and sleeves of your cropped blazer fit you like a glove. It’ll keep the whole look elegant, refined and polished.

See more winter formal style tips!

3. Denim Jacket

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The 90s are making a comeback, and not just on TV. Hailee Steinfeld topped a wild print empire waist dress with an adorable denim jacket. While denim isn’t right for a formal or semi formal dance, it’s perfect for more casual dances, parties and even New Year’s celebrations. It’s all about dressing up the denim. Hailee accomplished this with bright accessories and heels.

4. Luxurious Cardigan

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When there’s only a light chill in the air and your legs are already covered with tights, opt for a long-sleeved cardigan in luxurious fabric. Think cashmere, fine wool or soft, brushed cotton. Stay away from synthetic fabrics that will take away from the dressiness of your ensemble. Cheap fabric can make your dress look cheap, too.

Check out these winter makeup looks

5. Fur Vest

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When the temps are absolutely frigid and you’re headed to a formal affair, reach for a fine fur. It’s the most formal topper a girl can wear! And, you don’t have to limit yourself to a fur coat. For a new twist, try a fur vest. It will warm your neck, heart and keep you looking elegant. If real fur isn’t your thing, you can always opt for the faux kind.

6. Long Fitted Blazer

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Fitted blazers are the jacket of choice when it comes to celeb outerwear over dresses. Blazers work best with nearly any style dress, as long as it has a short hem. Aubrey Plaza rolled her sleeves up, which works with her strapless dress and peep toe shoes. For fall and winter, opt for a dark-hued blazer in black, navy or charcoal grey.

Get the whole look: how to rock winter tights

7. Long Sweater Duster

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It’s not quite a jacket, not quite a cardigan. This long sweater coat by Badgley Mischka features a zipper up the front and a wide, dramatic collar. If you want to try this look, go for a long sweater with fabric on the thicker side. You don’t necessarily need a dramatic collar. If a smaller collar works better with your outfit, go for it. The key to pulling off this look is to make sure the hem of your sweater is longer than your dress. If your dress is looking out, it’ll look sloppy.

See the trendiest winter formal dresses.
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  6. How to Pair Jackets With Dresses- Say No to Goose Bumps

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