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How to Layer in Winter

When the cold weather hits, don’t tuck away your sense of style with your summer shorts. Many women think, “What’s the point?” when it comes to winter fashion since all the layers will just cover your cute outfit anyway. 

Though I get it, y’all, your cold-weather coats, hats, and thermals don’t need to hide your curated looks. Instead, you can style these layers to showcase and even compliment your ensemble! 

If you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry. Hang tight because my post today is a winter clothing guide that’ll teach you how you can stay warm AND stay chic. Here’s how:

How to Layer in Winter

Consider the transition.

If you’re styling a multi-layered outfit to get you through your whole day, it needs to evolve. Early on those winter days, the outfit might simply need to keep you warm. But, once you arrive at the office, the ensemble needs to transform into something workwear appropriate! Then, what about errands after work? And, you’ll need to bundle up again for the trip home, of course.

The point is, cold weather clothing needs to be transformative. Each layer must be intentional, so the outfit can work for your whole day. Not only will it stay functional all day, but it’ll stay chic too! That’s really what we want, right?

Vary textures.

Too many of the same fabrics make winter clothing look heavy and frumpy. After so many layers, it looks like you’re buried in a cotton or wool blanket. Totally not flattering! So, when you’re styling, make sure you’re using a mixture of weights and textiles. 

Mix and match color and tone. 

Like I said earlier, layering clothes for winter can easily look sloppy if you don’t do it right. Not only do you want to vary texture, but you want to vary color too! If the outfit is all on one note, it won’t have any dimension or visual interest. It might keep you warm, but it won’t make you feel like you’re strutting down a runway when you’re walking down the sidewalk. And, that’s how fashion should always make us feel, right?

Think about coverage with layers. 

Don’t pack away your short-sleeved shirts and skirts too fast. While it’s true you need coverage for frigid days, you can achieve coverage through layers! So, if you have a sleeveless sweater vest or button-up, you could wear that with a long-sleeved top underneath. (These make for perfect layering pieces in your capsule wardrobe.) 

The same thing goes for the bottom. If you want to rock your leather shorts or adorable mini skirt, add tights or leggings. An extra layer of fabric can give you the right amount of coverage while opening up a ton of styling opportunities! 

Don’t cheap out on accessories.

Y’all, you’re going to need hats, gloves, scarves, and other accessories to keep you warm. Getting one set of these cold weather basics and using them every day might seem like a fine enough idea, but it can really separate these items from your outfit. Remember, this post is all about layering with style! 

When you’re curating layered winter looks, make sure your hat and other accessories will compliment the look. With the right color and style, these winter necessities could add a whole new level of visual interest! 

Layer with purpose.

Staying fashionable is vital. Staying warm is probably just as important. (I am kidding, of course, it’s just as important!) So, when you’re layering your clothes, do it with a purpose to get the most function out of your fabrics. 

Start with a base layer that wicks away moisture and sweat from body heat. Polyester or nylon will do just fine. Then, add a middle layer that insulates and retains your body temperature. Merino wool or nylon is great for this. Finally, the outer layer should protect you from wind, rain, and snow. Wool, cashmere, cotton, or flannel make great final layers.

Of course, these aren’t hard and fast rules. Not everyone is concerned about prolonged exposure to those nasty winter conditions! But, if you commute to work on foot or by subway, honey, layer the right way. No need to get frostbite in the name of style. Anyway, I hope this helped you consider what your fabric choices actually do for your body! On to the outfit inspo!

Layered Winter Outfits

Puff Vest and Ribbed Sweats Set

For this look, pair a ribbed sweat set with a cropped puffer vest. First of all, the ribbed fabric is super cozy and actually super flattering! This means you can be comfortable at the same time as you’re rocking something totally chic. The puff vest elevates the look while keeping you warm, and the Mini Uggs are just the cherry on top of this perfectly balanced (and totally tasteful) casual winter look!

Brown and Black Puff Vest and Sherpa Coat

This next outfit uses blacks and browns to create something totally elevated. I know when you were a teenager someone told you that black and brown clashed, but they were WRONG. Just take a look at this gorgeous Abercrombie ensemble for proof.

Start with a black base layer using these 90s relaxed straight jeans and this wrap sweater bodysuit. These two pieces alone are just to die for. Seriously. And, they’re super versatile. You can wear them with anything! But, for this outfit, add an insulating mini puffer vest and this sherpa coat

I’d go cream on the coat and brown on the puffer vest, but you could make a complete look with either of the color options. Then, just pick the perfect pair of brown booties and you are set for anything the chilly day brings. 

Corset Jumpsuit and Mesh Crew Bodysuit with Wool Print Coat

This next look makes great workwear. It’s edgy, modern, and so chic. Start with this long sleeve mesh bodysuit. It’s the perfect garment for adding sleeves to anything sleeveless! If you need more coverage to the top, rock this underneath. That’s exactly what we’re going to do here. We’re going to layer the bodysuit below this fierce black jumpsuit.

Then, get some heeled boots and this black and white patterned wool-blend coat. It adds just the right amount of flare to the look to keep it from looking too flat. Plus, it’s warm with a great length for windy or wet days. A Saint Laurent handbag big enough for all your work supplies will be the perfect finishing touch. 

Fitted Turtleneck with Fringe Poncho

For this layered look, grab a black turtleneck sweater and cropped bootcut jeans. The ones I chose have a rough hem. These frayed bottoms compliment the second layer, which is a fringed poncho with a brown and black pattern. 

Because of the brown and black notes in the outfit, definitely feel free to add boots and handbags in either color. And refine the heavy fabrics and layers with some silver jewelry! Here’s another version of this look that uses animal print and a wrap. Either way, both of these looks help you stay warm and stylish. 

Faux Leather Leggings and Layered Sweater Vest

This is a fall outfit that you could easily transform into a layered winter masterpiece. The first layer includes leather leggings and a white long-sleeved button-up. What a great start! It’s edgy and classy already.

Over that, wear the trendy oversized sweater vest. It’ll soften up the slick fabrics and give you a totally insulating mid-layer. Finally, you need combat boots, gold jewelry, and this oversized blazer for your outer shell. This look is so cute and polished! Plus, it transitions so easily from work to play. LOVE IT.  

Cable Puff Sleeve with Long Sleeved Faux Leather Top 

Here’s one more workwear layered outfit for you! Get this faux leather long-sleeved top that’ll hug you tight and sculpt your figure. Next, soften it up with this cable knit puff sleeve sweater. I love the sharp white collar. The sleeves help shape your figure as well, and the knit is warm and trendy for the season. 

Next, grab this pencil skirt in navy! Like the top, the bottom also shapes your silhouette and has a stretchy fabric that’s super comfortable. Underneath, you may need tights depending on what shoes you choose. This could work with high heels or heeled boots, depending on if you want to make it edgier or more corporate. Either way, it’s going to work!

Use this guide to curate gorgeous layered looks this winter season! 
How to Layer in Winter

Layering up for winter doesn’t have to kill your vibe. Instead, you can use layering to amplify your looks and style transitional masterpieces that will definitely turn heads. Remember to vary your textures and tones and to purchase high-quality winter necessities to keep your looks refined, weightless, and totally chic. For more style tips, check out my blog and Insta! I’ve got new outfits and style tips every week!