Casual Style

The Ultimate Guide on How to Layer Clothes

by Rebecca Casamayor

Winter fashion is a favorite for many—after all, who doesn’t love cozy sweaters, beautiful scarves, and stylish boots? Plus, the colder weather is the best time of year to practice layering!

When you master the art of layering, you can create exciting new looks with your favorite wardrobe staples. However, many people are intimidated by layering clothes because it can make you look bulky if done incorrectly.

If you want to learn how to layer clothes like a pro, this formula will guide you.

Invest in the Right Layering Essentials

You should have several key pieces if you want to create a polished look. The good news is you probably already have a lot of these in your closet.

Pull out these garments to start creating layered looks:

    • Long-sleeve T-shirts
    • Light turtlenecks
    • Denim, chambray, or flannel overshirts
    • Vests
    • Leather jackets
  • Scarves

Start with a Light Base

Layering clothes

When wearing layers, flatter your silhouette by starting with a thin base. Style icon Lauren Conrad recommends starting with a form-fitting top in a neutral color or a plain pattern.

Many people try to use blouses as a base layer, but these shirts don’t sit flat against the skin and often bunch up as you move. Instead, start with a light-gauge knit, like a thin turtleneck or long-sleeve T-shirt.

Try Classic Combos

Once you’ve picked the perfect base, it’s time to add layers. If you’re new to layering, you might want to start with some classic combinations.

Try pairing:

    • A long-sleeve shirt + a chambray or flannel overshirt + your favorite vest
    • A turtleneck + a cardigan + a statement scarf

You can use whatever you have in your closet to create different looks using these formulas. The beauty of layering is that it lets you get creative with how you wear classic pieces.

Mix and Match Fabrics and Textures


When layering, incorporating different textures will add a bit of interest to your overall look. You can do this by mixing and matching fabrics and different fibers.

For instance, fashion blogger Jess Ann Kirby recommends pairing denim with a cotton T-shirt and wool overcoat. If you really want to jazz things up, incorporate a touch of velvet or suede! This will ensure each garment gets the attention it’s due, accentuating the distinct layers of your outfit.

Don’t Forget Accessories

No outfit is complete without a few well-placed accessories. If your neck is looking a little bare, add a necklace, whether it’s a statement piece or a delicate chain, or a cozy scarf to your look. If you feel like your mid-section is looking a little bulky, try cinching it with a thin belt.

Plus, you can add a pop of interest to any outfit with a great bag or pair of shoes. These accessories are the cherry on top of the sundae!

Once you’ve figured out how to layer clothes and create flattering looks, you can branch out and create unique ensembles that are sure to earn you compliments. The sky’s the limit with layering, and you never know what will look great until you try it.

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