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6 Clever Ways to Style Outerwear

How to build everyday outfits with your favorite coats and jackets.

Posted in: Style & Wardrobe • December 19, 2022

“I believe in a collection of coats,” said fashion designer Claire McCardell in her book What Shall I Wear?

According to McCardell, having a bunch of colorful coats in your closet is better than having one workhorse coat. Why? Your coat is the first thing people see when you walk into a room. “I can promise you that a variety of ‘coverings’—and that includes jackets and stoles and sweaters and capes—will do wonders for your morale as well as your Fashion reputation.”

If you needed an excuse to sew more outerwear, you now have Clarie McCardell’s permission. And once you've sewn a few outer layers, you’ll likely need some styling ideas to keep your looks fresh. So in [this video on our YouTube channel](LINK TO VIDEO), Sarai and Haley talk about 6 ways to style outerwear using 3 really popular Seamwork patterns.

How to Style Outerwear

Here's an easy styling trick. Pick an outfit that works in harmony with your outerwear, and then find another outfit that works in opposition. You can read more about that idea in this article How to Find the Best Silhouette for Your Body. Here are examples of how to dress in harmony and opposition with 3 popular Seamwork outerwear patterns, including a chic coat, a sporty bomber, and a cozy quilted jacket.

A Long, Classic Coat

Denise is a lined coat with curved princess seams that intersect the neckline, creating a chic, classic silhouette. This coat hits at the knee, so it looks lovely worn layered over jeans, skirts, or dresses.

To dress in harmony, create a sleek silhouette that extends the lines of coat. For example, look for straight or slim-cut trousers. If you want something comfortable, sew the Dexter pants, which are actually made from knit fabric. Pair your pants with a simple sweater, like Oliver. For shoes, pick a pair of loafers.

To dress in opposition, make the silhouette less sleek. Wear more casual garments underneath, like the Witt joggers and Lex sweatshirt. Top the look off with a beanie. For shoes, pick something casual, like sneakers.

A Sporty Bomber Jacket

Larkin is a bomber jacket that won’t ever go out of style. It has gender-inclusive drafting with a classic, relaxed fit throughout. To dress in harmony, play up the sportiness with the Ryan tee, Mel joggers, and chucks or sneakers.

To dress in opposition, choose less sporty layers. Wear the Dani pinafore and Lenny top with tights and boots.

A Cozy Quilted Jacket

The Easton jacket is basically a wearable blanket. It’s also a total fabric chameleon, changing based on your chosen fabric.

To dress in harmony, go bohemian with Benning, tights, and tall boots.

To dress in opposition, create a contrast between your fabric and the rest of your outfit. For example, wear a soft, quilted Easton with a sharp, utilitarian look. Or if your quilted jacket looks more utilitarian, wear something romantic with it.

This look pairs Easton with the Tessa jeans, Ellie henley, and a pair of Chelsea boots.

All of these looks show you how many possibilities you can create just by dressing in opposition or harmony with your outerwear. If you like styling tips, here are a few more ideas for your me-made wardrobe.

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