How to Layer Clothes Like a Pro This Winter

The best things in life have layers: croissants, romantic partners, and wintertime ensembles. Throwing on an extra jacket or sweater during the colder months is a part of life, but there’s a difference between wearing layers and letting layers wear you.

It’s an equation that begs to be solved year after year: What plus what equals a perfectly layered outfit? This year’s answer involves going against what you think you know about pairing. Guided by haute couture and celebrity and Instagram influence, you can dress for winter with the wisdom of someone truly au courant.

More Is More

(image via molly goddard)

Silence the voice in your head telling you your look is “too much” because this year, odds are, it isn’t enough. A head-turning testament that what is vogue and what is “beautiful” intermittently contradict, maximalism is a style that isn’t for the faint of heart. But for those audacious enough to try it, you’ll be nothing but warm (and best dressed in the room, bar none).

Though it may seem that mastering maximalism is as easy as throwing on whatever falls out of your closet, it involves more calculation than you may think. Gravitate toward pieces that are harmonious in color scheme, texture, draping, and pattern, and make families out of clothes that have the same energy – be it loud, neutral, or furry!

Take It From Glasgow

(image via vogue via chanel/armando grillo)

Chanel’s Fall 2022 collection was built around tweed. It’s the fabric you’d find yourself in on a chilly Scottish morning, much like the ones that Virginie Viard, creative director at Chanel, had while the brand’s collection was being conceptualized. But AMs in Lochmore weren’t the only thing that inspired Viard; she also had 1960s England on her mind: colorful record covers and tweed-esque suits that do wonders for the legs. The lovechild of these muses is the matching 2-piece (or 3- or 4-piece) suit. Not only does this garb take the guesswork out of each layer, but it leaves you emanating an inarguably chic charisma. Dress it up even more with tights, a purse, and hair accessories in a complementary color scheme.

Big Shirt, Big Pants, Big Everything

(image via elle russia)

This winter, let yourself get lost in your wardrobe and swim in a sea of clunky and chunky pieces without worrying about looking gauche. Think of this approach as the antithesis of the model-off-duty look. An oversized sweater tucked into baggy trousers (cinched with a thick leather belt if you want more shape) is a great base, then embellish the look with a thick trench coat and an oversized scarf (we love this collection from Grey Bandit).

Feeling Smart?

(image via shirin altsohn via instagram)

The “school uniform” is more than just a pleated skirt and monogrammed sweater. Taking a cue from academia is all about sticking to neutral colors and classic silhouettes – and asking yourself whether you could walk through a European boarding school’s campus without a second look. What’s so beautiful about this style is that it’s built with an array of basics like a standard blazer, a smart skirt, and an essential white button-down. Due to the muted colors, you can create an entire collection of outfits by mixing and matching the same pieces. Keep warm from head to toe with a schoolboy hat, wool socks, and, of course, oxford loafers.

Plan Ahead

(image via daily mail)

The fashionista faces trouble during the transitory season when cold mornings leave you overdressed and warm once midday strikes. If you’re not ready to unpack the puffer jackets and cashmere, there are ways you can extend the life of your summer wardrobe – and that’s through the sweater wrap. With a stretchy-knit cardigan or chunky sweater, you can carry an extra layer on your person to be armed and ready once the temperatures cool. If it doesn’t get chilly enough, your wrap will act as nothing more than a tasteful accessory. You can use this trick throughout the season: Simply don it on top of your winter gear, and you’ll have reinforcements in case you (or a friend!) can’t fight the freeze.

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