When the temperatures are anything besides scorching hot, dressing for the weather can be difficult. If you leave in the morning, it’ll likely be far chillier than it will be at noon. If you work in an office, you’ll need to figure out how to stay warm on your commute but not be too hot in the office. Layering clothes is a delicate dance, but we’re here to announce that we’ve officially cracked the code to nailing it.
Here’s the thing: While it’s virtually impossible to mess up when layering, you can do it in a way that makes your day much less comfortable because you’re carrying around the clothes you had to take off—or worse, in a way that makes you feel like you can’t move because your layers are too bulky. On the opposite end of the spectrum, not wearing enough will force you to run an emergency errand to find something warm to throw on because you’re freezing cold.
Trust us, if you follow these steps, you’ll be layering like a stylist, staying the perfect temperature wherever you go, and never feeling uncomfortable. The cold temperatures don’t have anything on this formula.
Layer #1: Dress for your warmest location
Most days out of the house include more than one location, so plan accordingly for where you’re going. For example, if you’re going to your office, you’ll want a base that looks professional and feels comfortable on its own so you can wear it alone if need be.
For the best base layer, you’ll want to go with something simple and lightweight for it to fit seamlessly under your subsequent layers. You don’t want anything that will bunch up underneath your next layer or will make you feel too hot. Since something will be going over the top, the more the base is undetectable, the better.
Think: thin, seamless, and minimal.
Layer #2: Create your silhouette
In some regions, your middle layer might be your final layer (California and Florida, I’m looking at you). But for the rest of us, this layer adds additional warmth while also creating shape and adding style to your look.
Whether you want to go for a classic blazer, cardigan, or something more form-fitting that will add shape to your body—like a corset or sweater vest—this layer is the one that will live under your outerwear and likely will be doing all the talking whenever you’re indoors (or when you take your coat off).
Pro tip: You might choose to shed this layer before you shed your outer layer, so pick something you can potentially fit in the bag you’re carrying or that you don’t mind holding throughout your day.
Layer #3: Seal in the warmth
Your outermost layer is not only the first thing people will see but also the key to tying your outfit together and actually staying warm. Yep, it’s time to add a coat.
While we all have that big parka that only exists in our closets to stay extra warm, for this, we love having an option in our wardrobes that makes us feel confident and stylish rather than bulky. This season, we’re opting for puffers, teddy coats, and classic wool options—especially on days we’re layering.
Pro tip: Don’t worry too much about matching your coat to what’s underneath it. Use this as an opportunity to mix textures and patterns for a more effortless result.
Layer #4: Don’t forget your feet
When you’re dressing for warmth, odds are, your shoe of choice will be a boot or bootie.
If your look involves a dress or skirt, layer a pair of knee-high boots underneath so the amount of skin you’re exposing is as minimal as possible and you stay toasty warm. If you’re wearing pants, choose any of your go-to booties and layer a cozy pair of socks underneath to ensure your feet aren’t the reason you end up cold throughout the day.