Dear Lucky: What length trench coat is the best/most appropriate?

Q: What length trench coat is the best/most appropriate? —Zelda

Cotton trench, $128, gap.com. Silk dress, $515, Orla Kiely, orlakiely.com. Patent leather pumps, $99, Circa Joan & David, macys.com

A: Dear Zelda,

I always thought there was a firm rule on this subject—and perhaps there once was. I went to several fashion operatives with this question, figuring I’d eventually get the definitive word, but the truth is, there is no ideal skirt-to-trench-coat ratio. Executive fashion director Alexis Bryan Morgan’s style is very feminine, even ladylike, so she was my bet for Fashion Editor Who’d Pronounce a Rule, but no: “It depends on what you’re wearing,” she said. “It’s not that you shouldn’t consider it when you’re getting dressed, though—a little skirt peeking out is almost always cute, and if the two lengths match exactly, it’s great, but something super-short with something super-long could either be awful or really cute.”

The problem of looking like a flasher (when the skirt is shorter than the coat) is not such a problem for some sexy people; for others, Alexis recommends just leaving the coat open. “Leaving it open and loosely belted or not-at-all belted solves a lot of weird-proportion problems. But in the end, it’s trial and error. Trust your eye.” Or if all else fails, loosen your belt.

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