Master the Art of Layering

A young woman staying warm by layering her winter clothing before heading outside in the snow.

With frigid temperatures on the horizon, it’s not always easy to strike a balance between staying warm and looking stylish. One of the biggest problems we face during the winter months is how to successfully layer our clothes without ballooning our silhouette to ridiculous proportions. If you want to combat the cold in style, below are some essential tips to help you master the art of layering, so that you can keep your wardrobe on point throughout the winter season.

Pay Attention to Proportion

Proportion is an interesting thing in that you might not always be able to detect when it’s there, but you can immediately recognize when it’s not. Since your eye naturally tends to seek a sense of visual equilibrium, you have to experiment with layering by giving close attention to silhouettes, lines, volumes, and lengths. For example, it would be best to pair an untucked oversized blouse with fitted pants in order to achieve a balanced silhouette. If you layer this look with a jacket, be sure to choose one with a hem that is longer than the underlying shirt in order to further streamline and balance out the overall proportions.

Play with Textures

Various textures can add dimension and visual interest to an outfit, not to mention the fact that they can work together to keep you cozy and warm! It is important to note that layering too many textures that are within the same “family” can cause your look to become heavy in short order, so keep balance in mind with textures as well. For example, if you’re wearing a chunky knit sweater (a heavy texture), it would be best paired with a lighter bottom texture such as sheer tights, or even over a shirt dress.

Mix and Match Prints, Patterns and Colors

Mixing and matching prints, patterns and colors is an area that can easily go awry, so be sure to remember the all-important elements of balance and harmony when you’re making your selections. For example, try pairing small prints with larger-scale prints of a similar color to prevent clashes. You can also try pairing patterns that have roughly the same scale, but with inverted colors. Another approach is to balance a lively or vibrant print top with a solid-colored jacket to finish off and ground the look. When layering colors, it’s always a safe bet to keep them all in the same color family, but of course you can work complementary colors as well to create rich layers, such as a navy cardigan over a white button-up, paired with rust-colored pants.

Try These Additional Layering Ideas:

  • Wearing a thin cardigan underneath a jacket
  • Styling a dress over a long-sleeve button-down
  • Utilizing vests
  • Pairing a bulky jacket with a pencil skirt or thin denim
  • Layering neutrals with bolder colors for contrast
  • Layering tights with knee socks and knee-high boots

When the temperatures are falling, layering can be your secret weapon to maintain a good fashion sense while staying nice and warm. Keep the above tips in mind to help you layer like a pro during the cold months!