Can I Wear a Jacket Belted on the Outside?

Style Question: One of my readers sent this photo and asked …


Dear Deborah,
I thought you would enjoy this photo of a great jacket. I subscribe to your newsletter and realize that this is a hard look if one is not pencil thin and tall. I am 5′6″, curvy, and busty and love this look. Any suggestions on how to pull this off? Thanks for your help, Marilyn

Hi Marilyn,
Great to hear from you! You have a great eye, and we love this look too!! Belting a jacket on the outside is very big this fall. This look is perfect for those who are thin.  For other body types, here are some other ideas:

  1. The jacket’s fabric is nubby and heavy-looking and will add bulk to those who are not pencil-thin.  Solution: Find a jacket made of more lightweight, smoother fabric. This might be a sweater and not a jacket at all, which can be an excellent option to keep the bulk down.
  2. Do I need to have a tiny waist to do this look? Not necessary; however, if you are more of an “apple” shape (thick through the middle, with little or no waist), you should skip this look. It will not flatter your figure.
  3. Don’t try this look with flats! This is a super fashion look; make sure you pair your jacket and belt with a great pair of pumps or high-heeled boots!
  4. Make sure you pair your jacket with a flat front trouser or pencil skirt. Trying to do this look with a skirt or pants with belt loops or buttons, or pleats,  will not just look too bulky.
  5. I like that she has worn a skinny top underneath with a low neckline. This looks very flattering!  On closer inspection, it almost looks like she has layered a skinny sweater set underneath. Once again, if this is the case, you would have to be super slim to wear all those layers and then belt it!
  6. Keep the belt simple!  This belt is not the attention of the outfit. See… you notice the jacket and the detail on the collar and her colorful necklace, first!  The necklace is in harmony with the outfit and does not try to outdo the belt!!
  7. Notice that there are no buttons on the jacket, or at least you do not notice them. One more tiny detail that makes this look “work”!
  8. The top under the jacket and the Pants or skirt are all the same color, giving her a monochromatic look that pulls it all together and looks classy.
  9. If you are busty, be very careful that your jacket fits and does not “pull” across the bust line. A lot of busty women are short-waisted too. Skip this look if you fit this description!
  10. Her natural make-up keeps her young-looking, and her up-swept hair dresses up this outfit! Thanks!  
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