When it’s cold outside and you want to stay warm but also be able to shed layers as the day demands it, layering is key.  I love the layered look but how do you pull it off in a practical manner without looking bulky?  Caroline at Un-fancy has put together a simple tutorial that you’ll want to check out below.  Also, if you are wanting to declutter your wardrobe, you’ve got to take a peek at her capsule closet experiment.





In the past, my biggest gripe about layering was bulk.  I felt like the only way to stay warm was to look like a marshmallow.  And as awesome as marshmallows are, it’s not super practical to be dressed like one.

So, here’s my formula for bulk-free layering.

1 | Base layer

To me, this is the most important layer. It’s the layer that’s right up next to your skin, so it determines the way your body feels in the outfit — which is a big deal.  Usually, no one will see this layer, but even still, it’s nice to have a good-looking base layer that can stand on it’s own.  You know, just in case you get too warm and need to shed your other layers.

In this outfit, I’m wearing my favorite long sleeve base layer under my sweater — it’s soft, lightweight, and stretchy. You could also do a fitted short sleeve tee.

2 | Main layer

My main layer is usually a loose sweater, like this one, but it could also be a lightweight knit or even a silky blouse.

If it’s super cold outside, I go with a wool sweater.  And remember, it’s not itchy because I’m wearing a base layer.  Winning!

My love for wool can’t be quantified.  It’s ridiculously warm and it’s naturally stain and odor resistant too.  Did I ever tell you about the time Aaron spilled an entire glass of red wine on my beloved wool cardigan?  I ran to the bathroom thinking it was ruined, but after blotting it with cold water, there was no sign of the stain.  Within 10 minutes, I was out enjoying a fresh glass of wine — stain free.  Unbelievable.



3 | Outer layer

This could be a rain jacket, a parka, a sweater coatigan, or a pretty wool coat. But no matter what, I value function over form when it comes to my outer layer.  Here, I’m wearing a rain jacket, perfect for a drizzly day.

One of the biggest layering mistakes I used to make was buying outerwear that was too fitted.  Sure, it fit perfectly with a tee underneath, but a bulky sweater? Not happening.  Nothing feels worse than having your sweater bunched up in your armpits because your coat is too small.

I’m currently on the hunt for a super warm winter coat, and when I go to the store to try them on, I purposely wear bulky sweaters.  That way, I don’t make that mistake again.

BONUS | Scarves, hats, gloves, socks, etc.

If it’s super cold out, add these bonus layers to warm up even more.

Curious how to wear socks with ankle booties? Here’s three examples.

And that’s it!

This outfit, with all it’s layers is probably best for a 40 or 50 degree day.  But swap the rain coat for a parka, add a scarf and a hat, and you could be set for a day in the teens.

The key to it all is to get dressed knowing you’ll add and remove layers throughout the day.