ESC: Kate Middleton, Melania Trump

AP; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The coat dress is to the public figure, as the denim jacket is to the It Girl.

(See: Kate Middleton's best looks as evidence.)

The typical closet may not include the seemingly fancy, cold-weather piece, but royals and first ladies have them in spades. Call it the de facto wardrobe essential for influential women. On her tour of Asia, Melania Trump wore at least three variations of the coat dress. And, we've seen the Duchess of Cambridge wear it on the job even more.  

The coat dress is warm and looks formal without requiring much outfit coordination. Just pair one with heels and you're ready to meet the Japanese prime minister…or attend your next holiday party. It's an efficient piece of clothing that is also sophisticated, but just because it seems simple, doesn't mean it's not without impact.

Although it's obvious that the first lady and duchess have a penchant for the coat dress, the women have completely different styles—and it shows…even when wearing very similar-looking pieces.

ESC: Melania Trump


The FLOTUS proved a coat dress doesn't have to be boring. With the right textures and color palette, a topper, like Melania's Fendi piece, will work for any occasion. 

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge

Press Association via AP Images

Every element of this coat is thought out, from the ornate buttons, to the shorter hem, to the small side slits. The knitted texture alone would make a statement, but with its additional design details, it makes for a youthful take on an old classic. 

ESC: Melania Trump


You can never have too much of a good thing. Case in point: The first lady's coat dress perfectly matches her shoes. The buttons on the sleeves make for a subtle design detail that adds a lot of impact. 

ESC: Kate Middleton, Style Story, February 2012

Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Duchess of Cambridge took animal prints to a new level with a bird-print coat dress, which she paired with brown suede ankle boots and brown tights. Both women expertly prove they know how to stay warm and stylish any season. 

ESC: Melania Trump

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Melania kept it incognito under a dark blue wool trench coat, which cinched at her waist, and in matching Christian Louboutins. The FLOTUS' fierce physique proved once a model, always a model.

ESC: Kate Middleton

Press Association via AP Images

Like Melania, the mother of two wore a blue belted Eponine coat dress, which complemented her tiny waist. Always attentive to the fashion details, Kate paired the look with some navy heels.


Melania Trump, First Lady Fashions

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Mrs. Trump paired her red coat dress with matching gloves and her staple pair of Gucci sunglasses and nude Jimmy Choo high heels. Alice Roi, who designed the crimson coat dress, told The Hollywood Reporter, "The coat dress is a favorite of Melania's and the FLOTUS "is definitively responsible for its revival."

ESC: Kate Middleton, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Tim Rooke/Rex/REX USA

Well before Melania became first lady, the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing a similar red coat. Notice the silver diamond broach pinned to the coat dress? People reported it was "on loan from the Queen's jewelry collection."

ESC: Melania Trump

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The president's wife proved she has expensive taste in a stunning $4,00 sculptural coat dress by Delpozo. The former model looked absolutely presidential in the plum ensemble, which she paired with electric blue pumps.  

ESC: Kate Middleton

Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images

This was actually the fifth time we saw Kate wear this plum trench. The versatile trendsetter kept it fresh with a $15 faux-fur collar, which has since sold-out. You have to applaud style on a budget—even when there is no budget.

Melania Trump

Anna Ferensowicz / Pacific Press

We're all green with envy over this gorgeous suede coat. The first lady is a vision after landing at Warsaw military airport. Major style props for the classic brown, teal, black and white scarf, which surely kept her warm. 

ESC: Kate Middleton

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate always manages to keep her style diplomatic. We loved her nod to Ireland's national color, as she rocked this dark green coat and adorable black fascinator. 

ESC: Melania Trump

Lintao Zhang/Pool Photo via AP

Sometimes you have to keep it simple and elegant, like the FLOTUS does in this chic Dolce & Gabbana coat dress. The president's wife matched her husband, who wore a nearly identical black coat. 

ESC: Kate Middleton, Style Story, February 2015

Karwai Tang/WireImage

The pregnant princess stunned in a cream A-line MaxMara coat, in classic Kate fashion. While the expectant mother kept her baby bump concealed, her skinny belt drew our eye. 

ESC: Melania Trump

Vatican Pool/Getty Images

In an all-black ensemble, the first lady wore a traditional veil and Dolce & Gabbana lace coat dress while visiting Vatican City to meet Pope Francis. 

ESC: Kate Middleton

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

The queen of fascinators stepped out in another, wearing all white for the 100th Anniversary of Passchendaele. Is it us or do only Brits look good small hats or fascinators?

ESC: Melania Trump

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Looking chic in another coat dress, the FLOTUS looked comfortable in her signature style and python stilettos. In a sea of black coats, both women own the white coat. 

ESC: Kate Middleton

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

In another fascinator and all white-ensemble, we respect how Kate never strays far from her traditional roots. 

We're calling it: It's time to invest in a coat dress. 

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