What to Wear Over a Dress

A young woman wearing a fur coat over a mini dress

Everyone always talks about how you can give your outfit that IT factor to create a more intentional and sophisticated look. But elevating your style is easier than you think when you use layering.

While layering is necessary in winter, it can be a powerful style tool when used during the warmer months as well. But what do you wear over a dress to make it more flattering and versatile?

Check out this blog from our style experts as we explore what to wear over a dress that breathes new life into all your favorite pieces!

What to Wear Over A Sleeveless Dress

A young woman wearing a jacket over a sleeveless dress

Layering over a sleeveless dress is one of the easiest places to start. You don’t have to worry about extra fabric that bulks your shoulders and arms. It’s also a great way to wear summer styles in cooler months.

1.Puff Sleeve Denim

We don’t need to introduce the denim jacket—it’s a classic choice! However, denim that you wear over a dress should be cropped and fitted to define your waist for an hourglass effect.

A bulky sleeve or shoulder will add to that shape, thinning your waist by exaggerating your torso and hips.

2.Military Jacket

Adding a cropped military jacket over a sleeveless dress also defines your waist, but it creates a more edgy look with a heavy, textured material. Wear this type of jacket over a wool or thick cotton dress—not lightweight materials that will wrinkle.

3.Long Blazer

Our last recommendation to wear over a sleeveless dress is the long blazer. It has taller lapels and strategically placed darts to slim and elongate your frame. Avoid the oversized styles in favor of tailoring that gives you shape.

What to Wear Over a Mini Dress

A woman wearing a short dress standing in front of windows

Want to keep those shorter hemlines in your closet for longer? Here are some items to wear over a mini dress.

1.Trench Coat

A trench coat is perfect for formal occasions because it’s a classic piece. We love this option because it works with any piece, no matter how long or short! Wear a trench longer than your dress for more interesting silhouettes.

2.Oversized Cardigan

Don’t think office cardigan for this look. Opt for a slouchy, textured cardigan that’s lightweight and chic to wear over a dress. Pair it with knee-high boots in the same color to draw the eye down from head to toe!

3.Kimono Cardigan

This choice for layering is very light and breezy—suited for summer nights and spring days. We love mixing patterns and colors with a kimono-style look that falls lower than your mini hemline.

What to Wear Over a Maxi Dress

A woman wearing a long coat over a maxi dress

Maxi dresses already have a ton of fabric, so you need to be careful with layering to ensure you aren’t swallowed by your clothing. If you’re starting to feel swamped in clothing, add a belt to recreate shape.

1.Cropped Blazer

Since your dress goes all the way down to the floor, a cropped blazer does some of the heavy lifting for you. When it cuts off at your waist, it automatically highlights the area, giving you curves—even if the dress isn’t fitted.

You can highlight your waist even further with a thick belt or leave a little to the imagination when you let the dress hang loose.

2.Cashmere Sweater

For this type of look, we like a bright pop of color to wear over a dress. It adds something interesting to your outfit. Cashmere is also the perfect layering fabric because it’s really warm, but doesn’t add any bulkiness to your silhouette.

If your maxi dress has sleeves, look for a sweater that has a little extra room in the arms to prevent uncomfortable bunching.

3.Long Denim Jacket

We love denim so much that it’s making another appearance on our list! This time, choose a jacket that follows the line of your skirt so that the lengths blend into each other when you wear it over a dress.

Paired with a sunhat and sandals, a maxi dress and a denim jacket create the ultimate boho-girl look for summer!

What to Wear Over a Sweater Dress

A young woman wearing a teddy coat over a sweater dress

Sweater dresses are ideal for fall and winter weather, as the thicker fabric ensures you stay cozy no matter how long your hem is. But what do you wear over these thicker pieces?

1.Leather Blazer

Instead of a lighter-weight cotton blazer, opt for a thick, bold leather blazer. It adds a cool factor that just can’t be beat. A black leather blazer is also incredibly versatile and works well with many different sweater dress styles.

Hot tip: the leather blazer also looks great when you wear it over a mini dress. Add some tights and booties for winter to ensure you’re giving style and comfort!

2.Teddy Coat

Almost like a fuzzy version of a trench coat, the teddy coat is great to wear over a dress because it keeps you super warm. While it adds some bulk, this is perfect for sweater dresses, as it prevents the lines from your dress underneath from showing.

Another benefit of this type of jacket is that it tends to have a more fitted silhouette, tamping down the bulkiness of your sweater dress and giving you shape even in such thick layers.

Shop Outerwear at The Willow Tree Boutique

Now that you have some ideas of what to wear over a dress for every season and occasion, it’s time to experiment with what you have in your closet. Share your best outfits with us on social media for a chance to be featured!

If you feel like you’re missing some essential outerwear layers, we’re here to help! Browse our women’s clothing boutique for the newest styles and must-have fashion.

Kim Kidd

Kim Kidd founded The Willow Tree Boutique in 1992 with a mission to help women of all ages and sizes feel confident and appreciated. The boutique offers a wide range of clothing options, including tops, bottoms, and accessories from top brands at affordable prices. Over the years, The Willow Tree has grown from a small clothing boutique to a beloved fashion destination.