If you blew big bucks on a trench coat this spring–a worthy splurge, considering it’s one of the 10 wardrobe essentials you’ll have for life!–why not make it work double duty and try it out as a dress?

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PHOTO: Ditoj / Splash News

David Beckham and Victoria Beckham out and about shopping in Milan, Italy.

Pictured: Victoria Beckham

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Picture by: Ditoj / Splash News

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Yes, there’s an easy joke about trench coats and flashers buried in here somewhere, but seriously–in the right setting, a trench coat can totally work as daytime dress. Check out Victoria Beckham wearing a gabardine trench coat from Burberry’s spring 2010 collection. With a few clever styling tricks, she’s totally turned it into a chic minidress (and so can you!).

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First things first: Don’t choose to wear your trench as a dress when you’re in a situation that might get hot and uncomfortable–events that are mostly outdoors (a garden party, an al fresco bridal shower, a day of shopping) are best. Length is important, too–if it’s too long, it’ll still look like a coat; too short, and you’ll risk overexposure. It should graze your fingertips when you put your arms down at your sides. And don’t forget to wear something underneath! Even if it’s just a simple slip or a pair of Spanx, you want something between your skin and the coat that you’ll go back to wearing (and not necessarily laundering regularly) each day. Make sure your undergarment’s hemline is short enough so it’s concealed under the coat–the look you’re going for here is film noir sexy, not granny’s day out at the library.

Then accessorize to make your trench look more like a dress and less like a coat: Swap out the boring khaki belt it came with for one that cinches your waist more tightly and really defines your shape. Then add shoes that match the belt or your handbag (this will create continuity and make it look more like “an outfit,” ie, black patent pumps with a black patent leather belt; a cherry red ribbon belt and bright scarlet espadrilles), pile on some sassy jewelry, and watch the compliments come rolling in. Check out our version of this look on the cheap:

What do you ladies think of wearing your trench coat as a dress? Have any of you tried it out yet? Would you take on this bold style move, or is it a bit too risque for you? Discuss!

PLUS!…get more of my Style Secrets now:

– Find out why two skirts are better than one

– See what the washer and dryer can do for your old leather jacket

– Get an almost-free way to femme up your French cuffs

Photo: Ditoj/Splash News

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