A duster is a very long and lightweight sleeved topper made of knits or wovens. Lengths finish between below the knee and above the ankle. A duster is more of a general term because they come in many variations. Knitted dusters look like maxi cardigans, and some of the more substantial weight woven renditions look like lightweight trench coats. 

Generally, duster fabrics are soft, and more like a blouse, shirt, sweater or shacket weight, instead of a coat or jacket weight. The collection shows an assortment of styles.

Soft Duster Coat
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Icon denim duster jacket
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Print Kimono
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Alani Kimono
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The outfit formula:

Duster + Layering Top + Jeans/Pants + Footwear

Don’t think you have to be tall to wear these combinations. You can absolutely wear them as a petite if you wear duster lengths closer to the knee than the ankle.

Slim bottoms — like skinnies and straights in cropped or regular lengths — are a slam dunk pairing for dusters because they temper its volume. That said, you could also try culottes, wide crops, cropped flares, bell-bottoms, bootcuts or a midi pencil skirt. Heels are fun because they add height to the length of the duster, thereby balancing out proportions. That said, don’t feel obliged to wear heels because flats and very low heels will do just fine.

Here are five renditions to get you started.

1. Dressy Kimono Duster

The kimono duster is extremely lightweight, and more dramatic than shorter kimono styles. It’s fab in hot weather when you want a third piece that’s breezy. The beauty of the kimono duster lies in its sensual drape and movement. Dress it up with cropped flares or bell-bottoms, and pointy-toe pumps.

ELIZABETH AND JAMES Zoe Floral-print Twill Jacket

2. Casual Kimono Duster

You can dress down the same kimono duster with a layering tee, casual jeans and footwear like slides, flat mules, d’Orsays, or gladiators. There is no need to belt the kimono, and feel free to leave the top untucked.

Steve Madden Floral Kimono Duster

3. Bomber Duster

The bomber duster is unique and fun. Sporty, yet dramatic and luxe in the silky fabric. I like the way it’s been styled here with relaxed cropped pants that match the soft and fluid drape of the bomber duster. The tucked top goes a long way to lengthening the leg line from the hips up, as do the black pants that create a faux column of colour with the patterned duster. The flat-form oxfords add a futuristic touch.

Rachel by Rachel Roy Floral Print Duster Bomber

4. Embroidered Duster

This duster is like wearing a very long utility jacket. It’s straight and very vertical, so all you need are skinnies, an untucked top, and a pair of dainty shoes to balance out the rigid masculine vibe of the topper. The embroidery breaks through the stiffness of the duster by adding the pretty. Fun juxtaposition.

Rachel by Rachel Roy Embroidered Army Duster

5. Denim Duster

The denim duster needn’t be belted, although it adds structure and interest to the outfit. If you don’t like to wear blue denim on denim, try white, grey or black jeans. Keep the layering top neutral or throw in a non-neutral. Compete the outfit with dressy or casual shoes – from the prettiest pumps to chunky sneakers, it’s all good. I’m liking the trendy straw bag here too.

J.CREW Belted Denim Coat