How to Style an Oversized Jacket

how to style an oversized jacket

Pants: Abercrombie 25 short
Jacket: The Drop trench coat xxs
Top: Ann Taylor xs petite
Shoes: Madewell sneakers 5H, Zara boots (similar styles here and here)
Bag: Cafune bag c/o (scarf tutorial)

In recent years I’ve been gravitating more toward looser, oversized fits (especially with long jackets!), but there can be a fine line between oversized chic vs. looking like you’re a kid trying on mom’s clothes. I usually recommend getting alterations for items to fit properly, but sometimes you may need to just quickly and temporarily adjust the fit on something that’s too big. You can see these tips done step-by-step in my Instagram Reel below.

I have this trench coat in my closet that I debated over for a few months and eventually missed the return deadline. I bought it after trying on a friend’s, and it’s definitely too big and long for me BUT I loved how lightweight and crisp yet floaty the fabric is (hard to describe). I contemplated hemming the length and sleeves but have yet to commit to any alterations, so here are some guidelines I’d follow for styling it as-is!

PS – I have been loving the drape on these crepe pants. The color I have is running low in short, but they came out with a new light color that’s fully stocked and also have classic black well-stocked.

1. Adjust and accentuate the waistline

You can do this in a variety of ways! If it’s an oversized cardigan or jacket that you want to open, I try to visually define my waistline underneath the looser piece. You can do this by adding a belt underneath, or tucking in a top at your natural waist like I did here.

If it’s a jacket that you want to wear closed, a lot of times the waistline placement on oversized pieces are far below my actual waist, like the original belt placement on this trench. In this case, a common alteration I do on jackets is to remove and raise the belt loops by a few inches, or just remove the belt from the loops and tie it higher up around my natural waist. You can also just belt it with a different belt altogether (like our leather Edited Pieces belts)

The photo below shows what a difference it makes if I tie the sash belt a few inches higher at my natural waist, instead of how it came original which hit at my hips!

amazon trench coat petite styling
2. Style the sleeves

I’m a big proponent of getting sleeves altered to fit properly, but if you’re in a pinch, folding them up or using the rubber band hack works. Just make sure to use an elastic in a similar color as the coat, in case it peeks out.

3. Elongate the rest of the outfit

I would typically recommend pairing an oversized piece with something more fitted, like slim cut pants and a fitted top. The contrast between a fitted outfit underneath an oversized jacket is the most foolproof way to style looser pieces!

However, I’ve really been liking loose on loose, which can still work as long as the pieces are elongating. For example, instead of loose cropped pants I went with these full length pants to keep the visual lines long and flowing.

Another easy adjustment is to add some heels, and you don’t always need to sacrifice comfort for a little boost. I’m a big fan of lower block heels like these Zara booties that add height but are still easy to walk in (mine are old, but they have a similar styles here and here).

how to style wide leg white trousers for spring work outfit

One more photo to show the original fit and length of the trench:

oversized trench coat
When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. AJ wrote:

    We all sometime in our life gets in a situation when we have to put on oversized clothes or clothes that are not of our size, may be due to unavailability of our size or so reason, but these hacks a person can truly try like using matching color rubber band to make sleeve look of your size or using tighten belt.

    Posted 3.16.23 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?