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How To Wear Layers In The Winter Without Looking Bulky

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When fall turns into winter, multiple layers become mandatory and this can be hard to style. But, just because it’s freezing outside, doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel good. It just means you need to be a little more creative when styling winter clothing so that it doesn’t look bulky. Layering is extremely practical when dressing warm during the winter season. Even during winter’s darkest days, great style is possible. Here, a few of my tips and tricks for dressing when it’s cold outside. 

The First Layer

Any warm winter outfit should start with a base layer. The base layer should be well fitting, light and hug your body, like a thermal, fitted, long sleeve turtle neck top. The purpose of the base layer is to move sweat away from your skin to keep it dry, a defense against the cold. Try to avoid cotton because it actually holds moisture. Rather, stick with natural fibers, like wool, or materials that absorb sweat.

The Mid Layer

The mid-layer is all about retaining heat and breathability. A sweater or a fleece are great choices for the second layer. While I love a chunky sweater, while layering, your sweater should be thin enough to allow for more layering.

Thin mid layers will keep your outfit looking chic instead of bulky. If you’re not sure how think your sweater should be, so how yours feels with a layer on top of it. If it is uncomfortable, life if your sweater is bunched at your elbows, then it is probably too thick.

The Additional Mid Layer

On those extra cold days, opt for an additional mid layer. I find that the additional mid layer works best if it is a different texture than the layer below it. For example, a thin jacket vest. Remember to keep this layer thin and roomy to make sure it doesn’t feel or look bulky.

The Outer Layer

The outer layer is the outfit staple that ties everything together. Your outer layer should fit a tad oversized so that it comfortably fits over your layers. This should also be the heaviest and largest layer, such as a puffer coat or trench coat.

Here’s a quick tip, grab a belt and secure it around the waist of your coat. It’s a very chic look, while making your figure look great.

Layering Pants

Don’t ignore your legs this winter. Layering clothes on the bottom half of your body is just as important as layer your top half. Again, avoid a thick pair, which will add bulk. Leggings are the best base layer. Leggings are thin, warm, and allow space for an additional layer. Your top layer should be stretchy to allow room for layer, such as straight leg jeans.

Layering Accessories

For quick and easy cold-weather style hacks, small accessories are key. You can layer your socks, gloves, and hats on those extremely cold days, and then finish off the look with a chunky scarf. Then, throw on your favorite boots and you are good to go!

Elevate your Layers

Remember, layers can still look stylish. Madeline Fass from Vogue gives a layering style tip, stating, “street-style stars have demonstrated layering brightly colored and patterned turtlenecks for many seasons now, proving that there are multiple ways to incorporate the statement piece into your winter outfits. Sneak one under a button-up shirt or wrap jacket for a chic pop of color or let the turtleneck do all the talking under an open blazer or coat.”

Now you’re layering like a pro. With these layering tips, you can look chic and put-together, even in your warmest outfit.

Meredith is a recent college graduate and PR professional who loves writing about all things beauty, lifestyle, health, wellness, and pop-culture. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can catch her going on long walks, playing with her two dachshunds, or catching up on her latest TV obsession, Law and Order.