How to Wear a Swing Jacket

by Mason Howard ; Updated September 28, 2017

A little girl's version of a swing jacket.

matinee jacket image by hazel proudlove from

Swing jackets are women's jackets that are form fitting around the shoulders and then flare out towards the bottom. Their name derives from the way the open and loose portion of the jacket moves fluidly while walking. Swing jackets have an atypical shape, and should be worn correctly and with complimentary pants or skirts in order to bring out the aesthetic appeal of the jacket.

Secure the buttons at the top of the swing jacket. Swing jackets typically only have a few buttons near the top or along the top half. This way, the jacket fits securely around your neckline but hangs free around your mid-section, waist and hips.

Wear swing jackets with more form fitting pants or skirts to counter the broad, triangular shape of the jacket. Wearing loose pants or skirts can create an overall widened and bulky shape to your figure. Swing jackets can be worn informally with jeans, or formally with dress slacks or skirts.

Wear a shirt or blouse that complements the color or pattern of the swing jacket. Because swing jackets are typically only buttoned at the top and then open up at the bottom, the belly area of the shirt is usually exposed. Therefore the exposed portion of shirt should be an accentuation of the coat. Many swing jackets also have shorter sleeves that also flare out. Long-sleeve shirts can be worn with short-sleeve swing coats, but since long sleeves of the shirt will extend beyond the edges of the coat sleeves, wear a complementary shirt.

Put on a bracelet and a necklace. Swing jackets typically have collars and sleeve-ends that function as framing devices for the neck and wrists. The eye will be naturally drawn to these areas and accessorizing will serve as the final accent to the jacket.

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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.