Once a staple of cowboys and action heroes everywhere, the duster has reemerged in a stunning fashion moment. Read on to discover how the duster works in the everyday wardrobe.
Why Duster Coats Help Your Whole Wardrobe Come Together
Duster coats have come a long way from what they were originally intended for, which was keeping dust off of horsemen on the trails, so as to not get their real clothes “dusty.” While a duster is typically composed of a light cotton or canvas material, they have evolved to become a style staple. They were originally made with such light material so they could easily scoot back to the hips while horsemen were on their horses. Now, the term “duster coat” is more an indicator of length. Duster coats are about mid-length, reaching about halfway below your knee.
Having a duster coat is a staple for just about anyone. It helps an entire outfit come together and shows peaks of your whole ensemble underneath as you move. Plus, while we’ve come a long way since wearing them for horseback rides, they still serve the purpose of protecting your clothes while in transit to an event or outing.
Dusters are light, breathable, and oftentimes the secret show-stealer of an outfit. Here are our current favorites that will surely take your current wardrobe to the next level while also probably being a lifelong piece.
Norma Kamali White Cotton ‘80s Oversized Duster
This Norma Kamali ‘80s duster is one sent from our dreams; we’re sure of it. The great thing about white canvas in a duster is that you can really customize your look however you want. This piece would be great for dip dying or tie-dying to make it fully and 100% your own.
The shoulder pads are removed, so there’s a little bit of ease in the arms to give an extra slinky, oversized feel. No buttons, zipper, or lining, because the simplicity of this duster is where the magic really lies. The simple structure and deep pockets give it all the details it needs because what you really want to stand out is the piece as a whole, in all of its simple extravagance.
Pair this with an understated casual look of jeans and a crop top or over a mini dress. Feels like pajamas, looks like couture. Sounds good to us.
Diane Freis Deadstock, Hand-Beaded Duster
This Dian Freis hand-beaded duster is one of the most whimsical pieces we’ve laid eyes on. It screams pure goddess. Floor-length, clasp at the top, full-length arms, open chest, and a deep opening going all the way down the front make this one of the more unique pieces you’ll ever see. The stunning beadwork is hand done on top of a sheer black body material.
Because of the see-through nature, whatever you wear underneath will pop. Wear a bright color to help the black beaded piece stand out, or stick with a black dress to sink into all your witchy vibes.
This piece is a statement all on its own, and no matter what you put under it, you’re sure to steal the show. If you’re feeling extra spicy, this could even work over an underwear set as lingerie. Just be ready to accept compliments all night if you wear this out, alright?
Ilie Wacs ‘70s Oversized Duster
This fully-lined ‘70s microsuede Ilie Wacs coat is the classic, minimalistic, chic, full-on “I’m a part-time detective and full-time model” coat of a lifetime. The subtle buckle detailing on the arm sleeves, the collar, and the tie belt help shape the jacket into a waist-accentuating masterpiece.
This jacket will go with just about any look and can be dressed up or down. Wear it with a mini dress and heels, or with jeans, booties, and a T-shirt. This is the type of duster that will effortlessly accommodate a multitude of looks.
Oleg Cassini ‘90s Duster
If you’re looking for the epitome of a simple, barely-detailed, streamline, classic, khaki duster, look no further. This Oleg Cassini duster could be a spokesperson for dusters. It lets the style speak for itself and doesn’t need any details to help it out. It has no clasps or collar and a very minimal lining, leaving it the perfect light jacket to complete just about any outfit.
This is a jacket that will match about every outfit and look different with each one. It’s sort of a chameleon in the sense that it will likely look very casual with everyday wear but more formal when dressing up.
The color of this one is really what captures us; it’s that pure, rich, duster-era khaki. Plus, it’s made of a rayon-polyester blend, meaning that the drape will move extraordinarily well.
Evan Picone ‘70s Trench
This Ecan Picone coat needs a round of applause, all for itself. This is the perfect jacket for spring or summer. It’s made with silky polyester, so it’s water-resistant and will add a freshness to any spring, summer, and fall out. It could even work in the winter, for those of us who live in warmer climates. It is the perfect color of cream and gives off that silky, shiny feel that adds a soft brightness to every look.
Uma Designs ‘80s Denim Duster
This ‘80s denim duster from Uma Designs is sure to be one of the most iconic things to have ever been a part of your wardrobe. Of course, we know denim is versatile, as we’ve been wearing jeans and jean jackets for a long time.
But, we’ve also seen the rise of the two-piece denim suit or the “Canadian tuxedo,” if you will. Plus, deconstructed, upcycled, and patchwork on denim pieces have taken over the world of fashion and sustainability lately. And, with good reason. New denim is horrible for our environment, and it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to make one single pair of jeans.
So, whenever you come across a pre-loved, vintage piece made from denim, it’s worth a second look. But, this jacket doesn’t take much convincing. It’s got everything you could ever ask for in a statement jacket - duster length, big pockets, and beautiful detailing across the back and shoulders.
This is, of course, one-a-kind, as there’s probably only one like this out there. But it’s also one-of-a-kind in the sense that we’ve never even seen anything like this. This jacket is bold yet incredibly grounded and is probably a duster for the fashionista in us all.
Bonders Dusty Rose Babydoll
This dainty, dusty rose balloon sleeve duster from Posh & Page serves all sorts of garden-party cottage-core feelings. This delicate ¾ sleeve piece is a fresh take on a duster in the sense that it’s still very understated while having a distinctive color. The gathers that shape the chest give this jacket an almost ‘50’s overcoat feel, but the length and muted rose/mauve color tell us that this is likely from the ‘80s.
Vintage Denim Applique Duster
Don’t tell the others, but this just might be our favorite duster of all. This 80s/90s midi-length denim duster tells a story simply by existing. Its beautiful floral applique across the chest and back gives a not-so-subtle homage to the ’80s, while the denim body of this duster helps us see that it’s probably more early ‘90s. It’s a beautiful piece of work that encompasses a Western feel because of the shape of the floral detailing - to a point in the center - while also holding the feeling of being an elegant, Regency-era type coat. That is, if the Regency-era combined with the late 1980s to create a jacket.
Basically, this is the jacket of all jackets and will make any outfit better. Plus, it’s totally patch-able or would look awesome with custom embroidery or other personalization. This jacket will only keep taking on new life with every era it lives through.
Styling a Duster
Due to their versatility, you can’t really go wrong in styling a duster. Part of their charm is their ability to make a casual outfit look together or send a put-together outfit over the top. Here are some ideas to get you started in styling your duster if you don’t know where to start:
- Wide-leg trousers and crop top
- Body-hugging dress and heels
- Tank top, shorts, sneakers
- Skinny jeans and bodysuit
- Slacks and silk top
Duster jackets are versatile, any weather, any outfit, pieces that will be a lifelong friend if you choose one that really represents your style.