If the thought of layering clothes gives you flashbacks to being told to dress for school with the requisite "don't forget your coat," we promise you that piling it on has never been better. We've long associated experimental layering with the Olsen twins during the mid-noughties—hiding from the paparazzi in mountains of bohemian fabrics and hefty coatigans. And a decade later, playful layering is still on the style agenda, especially when navigating weatherproof dressing in winter.
To help, we've compiled key layering tricks that will help you get more wear out of your existing favourites over the next few months and help you decide what you need to invest in. If there's one major tip we can give you? You'll find that one of the most versatile, long-wearing purchases is a black roll-neck, along with a classic leather belt and over-the-knee boots. Below you'll see classic layering techniques that minimalists always lean on, and then more out-there combinations—such as clashing prints and doubling up on coats—for those who like to experiment more with their looks.
See below for outfit formulas to make you excited about adding those extra layers.
1. Try the Preppy Shoulder Knot
Style Notes: Looping a colourful jumper around your shoulders is an old preppy styling trick you'll spot at any golf club, but it's also Alexa Chung's favourite way to layer up knitwear.
& Other Stories Mock Neck Sweater (£35)
2. Stick to One Colour
Style Notes: Stick to one colour scheme head to toe, as this will make all your many layers look more streamlined.
& Other Stories Wool Blend Oversized Blazer (£165)
& Other Stories Cropped Relaxed Fit Turtleneck (£65)
& Other Stories Belted Long Sleeve Jumpsuit (£89)
3. Use a Belt
Style Notes: A leather belt is a really useful item to add definition to your coats and to bring together separates.
Stella McCartney Wool Coat (£1075)
Isabel Marant Lecce Leather Belt (£90)
4. Clash Similar Prints
Style Notes: Wearing mix-matched prints is typically a no-no, but Jessie Bush shows in winter you can layer up different checks and houndstooth.
Reformation York Double-Breasted Checked Woven Coat (£335)
16Arlington Clint Checked Crepe Flared Pants (£385)
5. Pile on the Accessories Too
Style Notes: We love how Anna Vitiello doesn't only layer up her outwear but also piles on the chain necklaces. It makes the outfit look more considered rather than like you're pulling a Joey Tribbiani and wearing all your clothes at once.
Missoma Gold Chain Necklace (£169)
Missoma x Lucy Williams Gold T-Bar Chunky Necklace (£295)
6. Layer Up Knitwear
Style Notes: One of our favourite layering tricks is to pile on as much knitwear as you can physically fit on your body. We love how Brittany Bathgate wears a knitted skirt, jumper and another jumper knotted around her shoulders.
Uniqlo Cashmere Jumper (£70)
Uniqlo Jumper (£25)
Uniqlo Flared Skirt (£15)
7. Tuck Skinny Jeans Into Knee-High Boots
Style Notes: One way to add an extra layer of warmth is to tuck your trousers or jeans into your leather knee-high boots.
Topshop Mid Blue Abraided Hem Jamie Jeans (£40)
Arket Knee-High Slouch Leather Boots (£235)
8. A Black Roll-Neck Will Work Under Almost Anything
Style Notes: A fine black roll-neck is a layering staple that you can wear under everything from dresses to shirts to cardigans.
Arket Merino Roll-Neck Jumper (£59)
9. Wear a Bib
Style Notes: One way to add layers to your look without feeling bulky is to invest in a knitted bib that you can layer under other jumpers or jackets.
Arket Half-Zip Merino Bib (£69)
Arket Alpaca Bib Neck (£59)
Arket Chunky Cable-Knit Bib (£69)
10. Wear a Jacket Under Your Coat
Style Notes: Ada Oguntodu shows how you can double up on coats and outerwear: by layering a blazer under a trench coat.
Frankie Shop Double-Breasted Glossed Faux Textured-Leather Trench Coat (£397)
Maje Valilo Checked Tweed Blazer (£370)
11. Layer A Cardigan Under A Blazer
Style Notes: Layering a wool cardigan between your favourite top and blazer is a foolproof way to keep cosy.
Topshop Black Double Breasted Blazer (£49)
Arket Wool Blend Cardigan (£69)
H&M Long-Sleeved Jersey Top (£9)
12.A Blanket Scarf Will Be Your Best Friend
Style Notes: While you can't acceptably leave the house wearing a giant duvet around your shoulders, an oversized wrap scarf is the next best option.
Loewe Leather-Trimmed Fringed Striped Mohair-Blend Wrap (£725)
13. Two Jumpers Are Better Than One
Style Notes: When all else fails, try layering a thin jumper underneath a bulker one. When it comes to winter warmth, two jumpers are definitely better than one.
Raey Oversized Ribbed Wool-Blend Sweater (£395)
Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Wool Jumper (£25)
14. Invest In A Playful Puffer
Style Notes: While often puffers are created in drab shades of black or grey, investing in a fun, playfully-patterned one will give you all the more incentive to actually wear it.
Saks Potts Star Down Puffer Jacket (£506)
Stine Goya Magdalena Striped Knitted Sweater (£112)
15. Elevate Your Favourite Hoodie With A Structured Coat
Style Notes: While your favourite hoodie might be reserved for trips to the gym or days spent on the couch, pairing it with a structured coat and jeans will elevate the look and keep you warm.
Mint Velvet Wool Blend Boyfriend Coat (£89)
& Other Stories Oversized Boxy Hooded Sweatshirt (£55)
Next up, see our guide to the key trends for winter 2020.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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