Jeff Spicer/Landov, DVT/Star Max/GC Images, Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for BFI
Andrea Cheng
Oct 22, 2014 @ 8:31 am

Is it a coat? Is it a dress? A coatdress, as its name suggests, benefits from the best characteristics of both—it embodies the instant outfit-making qualities of a dress and the the protective heavyweight material of a coat. Even though the two-in-one piece is not a novel concept by any means (see: Kate Middleton, who has been wearing them for practically every single public outing, including her most recent, since becoming Duchess), but there has been a definite upswing in celebrities sporting coatdresses on the red carpet and off.

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And just like ordinary frocks, coatdresses vary in color, silhouettes, and personality. Jennifer Lawrence, for one, dialed up the heat in a plunging tuxedo-style Dior coatdress at the Serena premiere during the 2014 London Film Festival. Alternatively, Emma Watson took a sophisticated stance and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in a conservatively chic heather gray Dior coatdress. And finally, street style star Olivia Palermo made quite a statement at London Fashion Week in an embroidered Matthew Williamson number (and again in a sleek Dior one during Paris Fashion Week).

With the stars as our guide, we followed in their stylish footsteps and scouted the market for coatdresses and coats that double as dresses. From jacquard-woven ones (perfect for special occasions) to denim styles (ideal for weekendwear), consider wearing a coatdress to stylishly battle fall's chilly temps outside and excessively air-conditioned spaces inside.

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From top (above): Kule, $395; kule.com. Halston Heritage, $375; net-a-porter.com. Red Valentino, $1,012; valentino.com.

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From top (above): Base Range, $275; lagarconne.com. Ted Baker London, $625; tedbaker.com. Alice + Olivia, $1,197; aliceandolivia.com.

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