One New Thing: A Duster Coat Will Refresh All Your Outfits for Fall

The addition of this one layering piece will make your whole wardrobe feel brand new.


Courtesy Elder Statesmen

In a world where we’re consuming trends everywhere we look — on TikTok, Instagram, through film and TV, and, of course, the runway — it can be tempting to feel like you need to buy an entirely new wardrobe each season. But the reality is, sometimes buying just one new item is all you need to make what you already own feel more inspired.

After much consideration, we’ve decided that for fall, the piece that’s definitely worth the investment is a duster.

Available in both jacket and sweater form, dusters are easy enough to incorporate into everyday outfits, yet at the same time, provide just enough spice to keep things from feeling predictable. Similar to our go-to blazers and cardigans, they have the ability to pull together casual combinations, and pair well with fancy dresses and jumpsuits.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that dusters are a trend nearly every generation can get behind (so you won’t have to worry about being roasted by a TikTok teen for wearing one). While they were certainly a staple during the Y2K era, we’ve noticed they tend to sneak back into our rotation every few years.

Models and bloggers rocked the layer in the mid-2010s and now they’re back, according to the fashion crowd. After spotting brands like LAPOINTE, Dries Van Noten, and LaQuan Smith working dusters into their Fall 2022 collections, we knew it was only a matter of time before this layer began popping up everywhere.

“I’m a sucker for nostalgia, not to mention a dramatic shape that can billow in the wind.” —Celebrity stylist Shea Daspin

“[This trend] brings me back to the era where celebs wore dresses over jeans, studded belts over their dresses, and a duster jacket to top it off,” celebrity stylist Shea Daspin tells InStyle. “I’m a sucker for nostalgia, not to mention a dramatic shape that can billow in the wind.”

Daspin says this unique layer will come in handy this season and beyond, keeping you warm while still looking cool. “Depending on what climate you live in, you can wear the duster alone as a jacket, layer a hoodie underneath, or a trench on top,” she says. “You can wear your chic duster to a party without looking like you are on your way out the door.”

Celebrity stylist Philippe Uter — who is known for dressing Meagan Good, Adriana Lima, and Stranger Things’s Noah Schnapp — says dusters can enhance even the simplest outfit.

“Whatever you wear it with, the jacket will make a noticeable impression when you walk into a room,” he tells us. “I love it with high-waisted jeans and a T-shirt, maybe cinched with a belt.”

Since they’re such a statement piece, dusters have proven to be a great way to make old clothes feel new again.

“A duster jacket can update looks you already have in your closet,” says costume designer Janie Bryant, whose credits include Mad Men and 1883. She also adds that “the length and silhouette of dusters tend to be a flattering fit for most shapes.”

It all sounds super simple in theory, but when it comes to duster outfit ideas, we’re always down for recommendations. According to stylist Tara Swennen, who dresses Kristen Stewart, color can make all the difference.

“I like to wear a bright-colored duster over neutral clothing to add a fun pop to my look,” she says. “Or, keep yourself warm by wearing a casual neutral duster over a light dress, jeans, leggings, or trousers. Or even a pencil skirt to elongate your frame.”

Daspin adds that it’s also important to pay attention to proportion. “Since a duster is long and hits anywhere from mid-calf to ankle, I’d mix up the silhouettes underneath and pair it with a short skirt, knee-high boots, and a fitted crop top so the look feels modern instead of dowdy,” she says. “Statement pieces like a great pair of earrings really drive home the drama of the long silhouette.”

Uter also suggests opting for elongating footwear. “This piece can overwhelm your silhouette and make you disappear,” he warns. “Pairing heels with a duster jacket can help with the length.”

Akira duster

Courtesy of Brand

Free People duster

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Hayley Menzies duster

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SER.O.YA duster

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Express duster

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Camila Coelho duster

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Bar III duster

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Lapointe duster

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Revolve duster

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