1 Creatures of Comfort Tomlin dress $490
2 Wood Wood $175
3 Anntian circle dress
4 The Row Dress & Pants
5 Zara Studio zip dress $79
6 Zara Babydoll dress $79
Go ahead and file dresses over pants as another thing about fashion that men hate, but who cares? In fact, a lot of women also hate dresses over pants. It is quite avant garde in some ways, or 90’s grunge, or Orthodox Jew (not that that’s a bad thing…). I’ve always loved the look, but there’s a fine line between doing it right and well, not doing it right. Some may say no, there is NO way to do dresses over pants “right,” but I think the key is in the proportions, color & texture.
I personally like dresses over cropped pants best, ones that show a little ankle, like the ones in the image above – which are all done right, by the way. Full length pants and a long sleeve dress are hard to pull off, but this look by MiH works I think because of the drastically different denim washes. This Zero Maria Cornejo long shirt dress over long athletic pants is so very chic, but both of these looks obviously work better on a tall, thin type.
Which is not to say we curvy, short girls can’t rock the look also, I just think the dress must be shorter, and the pants must come just to the ankle with a slight flare. Also, heels. You must have some height with this look.
I would wear this Eileen Fisher wedge dress, or this James Perse chiffon dress (which looks MADE to be worn with pants). Of course, any super-sheer or gauzy-type dress would be perfect with pants, like this one by Helmut Lang, or this one by James Perse (I tried this on, it would be PERFECT over pants, but not so great on me as a dress).
I have done this look before (I would wear different jeans now, and still clogs, but more “delicate” ones LOL), and am already preparing an outfit for tomorrow that I’m excited about. We’ll see how well it works in real life! Whenever I see a women successfully wearing a dress over jeans/pants, I think “how chic! how sophisticated” and want to be her for just a second. It can border on high school art teacher if you don’t have at least one structured piece, or too many colors, but overall, I think a women who wears dresses over pants looks creative, interesting, and care-free.
What do you think? Do you wear dresses over pants? how?
I love the dress over pants look. Definitely agree that cropped pants work better on those of us who are shorter, and also if the dress skews more tunic-y—i.e., a little too long to be a shirt but too short to wear on its own. I love that outfit of yours from last year, did that dress survive your closet purge?
My man-repeller outfit for this summer is a J. Crew navy gauze tunic / dress over Rag & Bone army pants, rolled up with sandals. Chunky heel sandals if I’m feeling dressy, but more likely flat sandals.
Grechen Reiter says
oh! love that outfit 🙂
yes, that dress survived, I wore it yesterday in fact!
I also love that look, and wear it in my own way. I’ll layer an Eileen Fisher linen gauze tunic over pants. I appreciate your shopping suggestions, too.
To me this is a look strictly reserved for the young and skinny. I am well into my fifties and though tall and fairly slender, I would look a the funny cat lady. ;0)
Jessica @ Beautify My Life says
Not my thing. The only way I’d maybe do it is with very skinny pants, in which case it looks more like leggings, probably defeating the purpose. I’m so not avant garde 🙂
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Cornelia, I’m neither “young nor skinny.” I’m also on the short side. But if you proportion the look correctly, it looks lovely on older ladies. It’s very flattering.
Grechen Reiter says
i understand where you’re coming from cornelia, but i vote for not leaving anything to the young and skinny 😉 except maybe mini skirts…
eileen fisher specifically does a great job of styling things on women of a certain age that we would otherwise assume look “better” on a younger woman, and i’ve seen many an stylish lady wearing dresses over pants (and not only at the eileen fisher store LOL)
We’ve entered summer in NC, and at 91 with 100% humidity, the thought of a dress over pants is just way too much fabric.
In general I don’t think the look is flattering on me. Or I’m not used to seeing that profile so I don’t like it as much as what I’m used to. I did just get a hippy dress that might be a wee bit short so I might consider wearing it over pants if I feel too exposed to wear on its own….. (but it’s a more stiff cotton, not a flowy tunic, so I’m not sure that would work either….)
A hearty “hell yeah!” to that idea from me, too! I love a good linen tunic/dress or even a jersey tunic/dress over a pair of pants or leggings. Preferably black if it’s pants or leggings, but I have worn the look over white ankle cropped jeans, quite well, if I do say so myself. ????
I refuse to allow my creativity to be limited by age. What I consider appropriate, yes. But at my height (tall) and weight (decidedly not skinny!), you’re not going to see me in a mini nor a crop top, but this combo? Perfect!