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Fall Trends: Duster Coats

Long, Loose-Fitting Coat Merges Old West With Modern Urban Vibe

Published July 15, 2011 on

By Amanda Ash

Fall outerwear is going to great lengths — sometimes as far as the ankle or heel — to ensure dedicated fashionistas are cloaked head-to-toe in sophistication come cooler weather. Duster coats, often incorrectly referred to as trench coats, are this winter’s frost-fighting trend. They run the gamut from wool to fur, combining a feminine, cosmopolitan style with 20th century outlaw origins. Inspired by Texas Rangers and Wild West gunslingers, these long coats were traditionally worn by horsemen to protect clothing from the grit and grime of backcountry trails. Fall’s glamorous dusters still function as a sort of shield, but their ruggedness has been replaced with a graceful polish that’s fit for the debonair. Think of wrapping one around a mini-dress on a snowy evening or draping one over a delicate ballgown during a downpour.

Maximizing the “Maxi” Trend

Although the cozy, cultured, mid-length camel coat dominated the last two fall seasons, the duster coat is this year’s outerwear trend, said Anya Georgijevic, fashion writer for Vitamin Daily and “The Block” magazine, and blogger at I’, nominated as one of “Elle” Canada’s top fashion blogs of 2010.

“It’s just dropping that hemline a bit lower,” Georgijevic explained. “It’s pretty much the same coat, but almost menswear-ish.”

Jude Feller, creator of Lily & Jae and designer for Lifetime Collective, refers to the duster as a “maxi coat.” She said dusters are in during the summer of 2011 thanks to the popular spring and summer maxi-skirts and dresses, which fall beneath the knee and come in soft, flowing, billowing fabrics.

“I personally think duster coats go with everything else ‘maxi,’ ” she said. “Also, the trench coat was big for spring, so it could be a combination.

“They seem to be elegant for fall, which is nice because the original duster coat was much more loose and masculine,” Feller added, referring to the coat’s rustic roots. “Paired with a maxi-skirt or dress, I think they’re a hit.”

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