I was with a tall size US10 client last week, shopping for semi-casual holiday outfits for a slew of upcoming events. We were looking at pairing sleeveless dresses with a very comfortable and interesting top layer. The idea was that my client would keep the topper layered over the dress as part of the outfit. The layer had to be less formal than a jacket, but not quite as casual as a cardigan. And preferably not in a dull flat black. 

Zara
Suede-effect Jacket
View Info
Top Pick
16

We actually found the topper BEFORE the sleeveless dresses, so sometimes putting the cart before the horse can work. Zara’s longer length suede-effect jacket ticked all the boxes. The jacket is as soft and cosy as a cardigan, tailored and roomy in all the right places, and the length works well over an assortment of dress silhouettes. It’s spunky, flattering, and a little iridescent. It’s also sufficiently lightweight to layer under a coat. It goes up to an XXL and runs true to size. My client fit a Large perfectly. Although my client is tall, the topper works just as well on shorter body types.

We went back to Nordstrom and tried on a slew of dresses that worked with the topper, and here are the winners. The lengths were surprisingly good (all a little longer than what you see in the pictures).

Add sheer black hosiery, closed silver footwear, a silver clutch, an old pair of cream go-go boots, and a little bling around the neck, and my client is casually festive AND comfortable for her upcoming events.