Style Spotlight: Dusters

Casual outfit with a linen duster cardigan and leopard bag. Details at une femme d'un certain age

Dusters, whether cardigans or jackets, have continued to be a micro-trend this season. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of a long outer layer. It’s an easy way to add a little drama and movement to an outfit.

Wearing: cardigan (similar) | top (similar) | necklace (similar) | jeans (similar) | bag | ring | shoes

This Spring’s Crop Of Dusters

AllSaints merino wool cardigan ivory. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

You can’t tell from this image, but this cardigan has buttons on the side seams You can unbutton to change the look. Very cool!




The open weave fabric adds interest to this Plus cardigan.

Catherine Catherine Malandrino rib knit duster. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The ribbed knit and collar add interest to this knit duster in “zinfandel.” Wear open or closed.



You could throw this lightweight jacket on over just about anything for an event-ready look. Snake prints are very on-trend this season.

This terra-cotta shade is very on-trend for spring, but will look great come fall too. (Also offered in several colors.)

Scotch + Soda duster cardigan with stripe accents. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I love the striped edges on this one! Budget-friendly, too!

Stay in touch.

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  1. Cindy Featherston
    April 26, 2018 / 3:09 am

    Yes! Occasionally a “micro-trend” pops up that I adore and know that I will be wearing well past the the current season. I love these and I’m collecting them as I find them at my favorite bargain stores. I’m also collecting duster length vests – great for a light layering during the summer heat/humidity here in Houston TX. I am petite & a certain age (5′ 0″, 62) and find that these really work for me. I always get compliments. Love your fb posts.

  2. Janet
    April 26, 2018 / 5:04 am

    Respectfully, I am fed up with dusters and extra long cardigans. They are awkward to move and sit in, make my legs look shorter, and just look frumpy to me. If you live in a climate as I do where some type of coat is necessary three quarters of the year they are also extremely impractical. In short (no pun intended) I think they are for the most part inelegant.

    • Susan B
      April 26, 2018 / 5:56 am

      The great thing about fashion right now is that there’s something for everyone. So no need to feel compelled to wear something you don’t like.

  3. Lynn
    April 26, 2018 / 5:15 am

    Loving your hair!

    • Susan B
      April 26, 2018 / 7:08 am

      Thank you!

  4. Meg
    April 26, 2018 / 6:48 am

    Just as the weather is complementary for dusters here in the midwest ( no over coat or jacket required) , I have a new puppy who finds the flapping cloth to be irresistible- I suppose I have to put them away for now if I don’t want them full of teeth holes. Hoping they will still be relevant next year. #puppywardrobeissues

  5. Jen
    April 26, 2018 / 7:01 am

    I love the long duster trend! It makes me feel good to wear them even though I’m a plus size, sometimes they hug spots that I don’t want but I just get over it. I have a really cute duster vest that I’m planning on wearing this summer over tanks!

  6. April 26, 2018 / 7:04 am

    That outfit is fantastic! I’m totally going to steal it after I finish sewing my own cream-colored duster.

  7. kristinazack
    April 26, 2018 / 7:59 am

    I always admire these on other people, but your “movement” is my “too much fabric”. I’ve bought them in the past, and you know how it is – I buy them for that imaginary me who isn’t driven bonkers by all that flapping fabric. Ha. They look good on my tall and slender frame, but I never end up wearing them. You totally rock it, though.

  8. Cathy D.
    April 26, 2018 / 9:32 am

    Susan, you look really good in dusters, but I feel awful when I try one on. They make me feel clumsy and weighted down. I have seen very few women wearing a duster here in Manhattan, and they have all been
    quite overweight. The duster, which may have been intended to conceal, had the opposite effect. I’m sticking to shorter cardigans. That said, dusters look great on you… perhaps because you’re slim compared to most women.

    • April 27, 2018 / 1:28 pm

      Same here in Montréal. I find that they look utterly splendid on Pseu; perhaps because she is relatively slim. Even though I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, I’ll never be as slim as Pseu, and I’m scarcely taller. They don’t suit me in the least. Fortunately they exist for those who look good in them, and as pseu says, there are many other trends.

      I suspect our urban lifestyles are also different, though we all live in large cities. People drive a lot in LA, while here we are just as likely to walk, take the métro, or cycle and of course the climate is utterly different.

  9. sophia
    April 26, 2018 / 10:42 am

    I have 2 handmade knee length kimonos that have yet to be worn. Thank you for inspiring me to consider them “dusters” and make use of the lovely garments, ASAP!

  10. Nicole K
    April 26, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of the J Crew selection. It’s on trend also with the more fluid trenches. I want that exact item in a lighter color. Good luck!

  11. Stephanie J
    April 26, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    Did you size down in the silver shoes in the first pic? Some say yes, some say their regular size fit. Thank you!

    • Susan B
      April 26, 2018 / 2:56 pm

      Yes I did. I’m usually a size 7 in mules or sandals, and a 7½ in closed shoes. In these shoes, the 6½ was the perfect size.

  12. Alison
    April 26, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Great post. At 5’1” I have never thought to try this look thinking I was too short. Not sure of your height but note another comment from another petite reader who loves them so I’m going to give it a go. Especially as here in the Southern Hemisphere we are starting to layer up.

  13. Daniella
    April 27, 2018 / 1:08 am

    I find dusters most unappealing unless one is slim, long legged, and tall. Must be worn with some panache! Impractical most of the time, though. I am slim and long legged, yet I would not considering anything longer than mid thigh!

  14. SuD
    April 27, 2018 / 4:41 am

    Interesting look. I’m 5’2” and not a fan of the length. The longest I can go without looking overwhelmed and frumpy, is to my knees. If, however, it was fitted on top and open from the waist down, it might work.

  15. Jeanette
    April 27, 2018 / 5:48 am

    Absolutely love this combination on you
    I feel you are rocking it!!!

    April 28, 2018 / 11:37 am

    I am drawn to the terra cotta shade from Anthropologie. Do you think that weight of duster would be good to pack for my trip to Paris in mid-July? just enough layer for chilly evenings over a black dress or black pants. I would like to find a light cashmere sweater but this one might be good.

    • Susan B
      April 28, 2018 / 11:40 am

      I haven’t tried this one in person, but it’s a ramie/acryllic blend so would be fairly lightweight. Probably not as warm as a light cashmere, but you may not need that much warmth in July.

        April 28, 2018 / 12:15 pm

        thank you! I was thinking that as well–finding a light cashmere is not easy. but this one could work.

  17. April 29, 2018 / 10:22 am

    Gee, that look good on you. I’ll have to give it a try. I saw you trying one on at Eileen Fisher. You looked great in that one also.

  18. Harper Q
    April 29, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Can you do some wedding outfits, not neccesarily with a duster. Thanks.

  19. Ann Ruble
    April 29, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Susan, I usually enjoy your posts, but i’m scratching my head on this one. I’m 5’2″ and I believe you’re also petite. I can’t imagine wearing a duster; it would make me look even shorter. How can it work for you??

  20. February 28, 2019 / 5:03 am

    I am a big fan of dusters — I think they look elegant, and I love the way they move when you’re walking on a breezy afternoon. A duster is wonderful when it’s not too hot or cold outside, and I’ll wear one in place of a jacket and still feel polished or professional, if need be.

    However — and this is my deal-breaker — it is very hard to wear dusters in winter weather (at least in Detroit) when you need to wear a coat outdoors. If you do, you must wear a coat that’s long enough to cover the duster — definitely not a car coat — or else they hang below the coat hem and look sloppy or strange. So I save my dusters for spring and fall weather.

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