Style and Styling

5 Tips for Styling Dress-over-Pants

Rock the Look!

Hello, Reader Dearest!

If you live in the US, it’s that time of year, again… The grocery stores are featuring all the goodies we need for the Thanksgiving table.

Families are working out who is bringing what.

We’re focusing on the things for which we are grateful. (Hopefully!)

And for some reason, the table seems smaller than it did last year…

How did that happen?

(Oh, and my middle son is getting impatient for the family to commit their Christmas wish list to paper. We Klebbas do a four-square list: Something I Want, Something I Need, Something to Wear and Something to Read.)

In the midst of all this, I’m thinking style. In particular, travel style and holiday style. (That’s what we’re working on in THE Style Studio this month!) Because we are entering the biggest travel season of the year, and we can’t go into it naked. TSA would disapprove. Even if that’s about how it feels going through screening…

So today, let’s think about what we might wear for the Thanksgiving feast!

The Dress-Over-Pants trend is having a renaissance, and as far as I’m concerned it’s perfect for Thanksgiving Day and Dinner! Perfect because it takes the ease of trousers/pants and combines it with the it’s-a-special-day vibe of a dress. (And no one will be the wider wiser if you unbutton your pants after dinner!) SO, if you think you might like to give it a try, let’s run with five tips for making a dress-over-pants look work for you!

Watch Your Volume

Don’t want to wear a volume over skinny look? Turn it upside down by wearing a narrow tunic over a wider legged bottom. This has a more polished edge, especially if you keep the two pieces tone on tone. (Perfect for the Quiet Luxury vibe, ladies!) The trick is volume only in one area, top OR bottom. Save both for the tall and slender or highly Dramatic Personality Style Archetype.

All images: Pinterest

Skinny Jeans Rock for Dress-Over-Pants!

Yes, skinny jeans are looking passe, however, they are still FAB under a dress! Especially a short tunic or flowy dress of any length, from mini to maxi.

All images: Pinterest

Watch Your Hems

Yes, you can wear a dress of almost any length with trousers/jeans underneath. The trick is to choose a trouser/pant/jean that is longer than the dress. If your pants are shorter, it loses the effect.

Open Fronts or Slits Rule

Not rule, like something you have to follow, but RULE, as in are amazing! If your dress doesn’t have a slip, a shirt dress unbuttoned from the bottom to around the waist looks fabulous worn with a narrow pant underneath. Feeling exposed? Layer a tee or cami underneath and imagine you are wearing a duster. That’s what an undbuttoned dress over pants is like! If your dress doesn’t have a front opening, an asymmetric hemline looks cool, too!

All images: Pinterest

Wear Heels

Add some height to your look! Even a little heel helps ground this look. If you are heel averse, try wearing a wider bottom with a flatform or chunky ankle boot. You’ll see plenty of versions worn with sneakers. If you are opting for a wider trouser, a heel is your best bet. Especially if you are altitudinally challenged like yours truly…

Choose a Shorter Topper

Since you are playing with layers here, if you need a topper, choose one shorter than your dress/tunic. I know, many people are still running around with the old rule that your coat should be longer than your dress hem stuck in their heads. Let it go. (Cue swelling Disney theme music.)

All images: Pinterest

How About You?

Is Dress Over Trousers a look for you? Have you tried it? If not, what is stopping you? Does it feel too trendy? Too young? I’ve been seeing Dress Over Trousers on ALL ages, so don’t let your years stop you from trying it out. If you feel at all Creative, Feminine, Dramatic, Rebellious or Relaxed, give it a whirl. If you run more Elegant Chic or loving Quiet Luxury, one of the tunic over wide trousers options might feel more you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below… There’s room for you here!

Stylishly yours,


  • Blurooferika

    Thanks for this post, Liz. I think the dress over pants look is awesome and have tried it myself a few times. Note to self: good way to keep warm in the winter months.

    • Liz K

      Thank you, Natalie! It started as a way to control the greedies when our boys were small and became very handy as they got older and presents became more pricey. This way, multiple family members can go in on one really wanted or needed gift rather than a bunch of stuff that will only clutter up their homes and lives.

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