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 really 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.
You can find a basic long sleeve anywhere but right now, this is 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, 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…I do live in Canada after all. 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 odour resistant too. Did I ever tell you about the time a friend accidently spilled an entire glass of red wine on my beloved wool cardigan at FriendsGiving? 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, or a pretty wool coat. But no matter what, I value function over form when it comes to my outer layer.
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 or creeping up your neck 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.
And that’s it!
The key to it all is to get dressed knowing you’ll add and remove layers throughout the day.
So tell me, how do you approach layering? Got any tips to keep things bulk-free? Also! Do you have any tips on finding a high quality, warm winter coat — not just one that looks warm? I’m on the hunt for a truly warm winter coat, so I’d love to hear your insights. Share away in the comments.
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