How to Layer and Style Winter Clothing

 

How to Layer and Style Winter Clothing

19 August 2020

It's the season of frosted windows and foggy mornings. For winter, we look to cosy pieces that will ward off the cool-weather blues. One question we’re always asked: how should I layer clothes for winter? So we’ve popped together a little guide that shows you how to build a winter wardrobe - from base layers, right through to accessories. 

Part 1 | Building an enviable winter wardrobe 

Step 1: back to basics 

The key to building a practical winter wardrobe is starting with the perfect base layers. Let's kickstart your wardrobe refresh by exploring the five essential winter base layers. 

 

Quick styling tip: stick to neutrals

We recommend investing in a variety of pieces in neutral hues. These tones have timeless appeal and style effortlessly with outer layers and accessories. Look to neutrals like black and grey or earthy tones, including camel and beige. Add splashes of colour and seasonal prints in moderation - think moody winter florals and paisley prints, and shades of emerald, rust and dusty blue. 

Knits to know 

When you're gathering your base layers, knitwear should be your starting point. Knit tops and skivvies style perfectly with midi skirts, tailored pants and worn-in denim. For maximum comfort, indulge in knit jumpers, cardigans and ponchos. Cable-knit ponchos are ideal for casual styling, while blouson-sleeve jumpers and waterfall cardigans are perfect for work and smart casual occasions. These knits are the ultimate layering pieces; simply add a blazer, faux fur coat or puffer - but more on these layers later. 

In denim, we trust 

Every winter wardrobe needs a selection of reliable and comfy jeans that promise the perfect fit. Sculpt and shape with high-rise denim styles, or slip into straight jeans for a roomier feel. Bring your jeans into winter by styling with sock boots and a cosy knit. A bonus? Jeans will mix and match effortlessly with every outer layer. 

The perfect pair 

Take on the week feeling polished in tailored pants. Slim leg and cropped styles will flatter every silhouette and pair perfectly with mules. Looking for a stand-out style? Wide-leg pants are the way to go. This silhouette is both modern and feminine, working from desk to dinner. 

Luxurious skirts 

Winter skirts will create variation with your wardrobe bases. It’s a chance to indulge in luxe fabrics – think faux leather, suedette and boucle. For a timelessly feminine look, pleated and tiered midi skirts are romantic choices.

Say yes to a dress 

When it comes to winter dresses, long sleeve styles reign. They'll keep you warm while offering a sophisticated look. Look to smock styles and knit fabrications during winter days, and sequinned, silk or metallic wrap dresses for after-dark glamour. 

Step 2: In between styles

After giving these above base layers a new home in your wardrobe, it's time to move your attention to the middle layers. These are the pieces you'll wear under heavy-duty jackets & coats when outdoors, and on their own when indoors. Hint: they're transeasonal styles, so you'll wear them as outer layers in warmer months. 

Faux leather love

It's the jacket that's trending season after season. A faux leather jacket will be your most reached-for item, no matter the weather or occasion. Opt for the classic leather biker jacket to give every outfit a chic finish, or step out in a waterfall leather jacket for a softer look. The best part? Our faux leather jackets are registered with the Vegan Society and completely free of animal products, by-products or derivatives. 

Something sophisticated 

Feminine and elevated, a waterfall jacket is the perfect mid-layer during winter. With draped lapels and a relaxed fit, this style exudes elegance.

For a more structured look, a blazer is a year-round wardrobe staple. In winter, we look to wool-blend and boucle styles for a cool weather-ready feel. Layer under a luxurious coat for chilly commutes to work or weekend brunches, and make it your outer-layer when you arrive. 

Step 3: Winter’s main attraction 

Now to our winter wardrobe heroes: the outer layers. With everything from faux fur-collared maxi coats to cropped puffer jackets, there are styles for every silhouette and every occasion. Below, we explore the jackets and coats that will keep you cosy and chic as the temperature falls.

Cool-weather wonders 

Puffer and parka jackets will keep you equipped to brave the cool-season elements. With wind and water-resistant shelling, quilted padding and responsibly-sourced down filling, our puffer and parka jackets belong in winter landscapes. If you prefer a utility design, go for a parka jacket. Parka jackets commonly feature multiple functional pockets, zips and drawcords. 

Maxi moment

For an outer layer that will elevate, opt for a maxi coat. With a polished longline shape, this coat is the perfect option to go from boardroom meetings to weekend lunches with girlfriends. If you're wary about overwhelming your figure, go for a maxi coat with a self-tie belt that will cinch in your waist and give shape to your silhouette.  

The classics 

We love the timeless, structured design of double-breasted coats and pea coats. Exude old-world elegance with notched lapels and mirrored button panels. As for length, the choice is yours. Cropped pea coats can be easily styled back for casual occasions, while longline double-breasted designs are a more formal option. 

All wrapped up 

The coat with 'wear-it-anywhere' appeal. A wrap coat will layer over any winter outfit with minimal fuss. Simple and chic, oversized lapels and a self-tie belt are its hallmark features. We recommend opting for classic cool-weather hues such as khaki, camel, beige and black. Styling tip: layer your wrap coat over a fitted knit dress for a sophisticated look. 

Forever feminine

For a classically feminine silhouette, we love dolly coats and fit and flare coats. Dolly coats offer a tailored, slim fit that will give you shape, while the fit and flare silhouette delivers a vintage-femme appeal. Layer yours effortlessly over everything from roll-neck jumpers and denim to occasion dresses. 

Faux fur focus 

For the most daring among us, a faux fur coat is the most glamorous of winter coats. A faux fur coat is the ultimate luxury piece and will make an impact at every evening event. Look to opulent hues such as blush pink, beige and emerald.

The permanent piece 

The trench coat returns year after year, reminding us that this transeasonal style deserves a permanent spot in our wardrobes. With a structured silhouette and utility design, the trench coat works from desk to dinner. Style with midi dresses during spring and wool-blend knits in winter. 

Quick Styling Tip: Silhouettes 

 

Good things, small packages 

For petite frames, avoid overwhelming your figure by opting for cropped jackets and coats - think styles that finish above the thigh. Cropped wrap coats, fit and flare styles and short puffer jackets will elongate your silhouette and sculpt your body with ease. 

 

Curated for curves 

If you're curvy, wrap and dolly coats will fit and flatter your figure in all the right places. Designs with belts sculpt and shape effortlessly and layer well over winter basics. Khaki and burgundy hues will add a splash of colour to your winter palette. 

 

Tailored & Tall 

Embrace your height with jackets and coats that accentuate your silhouette. Maxi coats and longline designs are perfect for tall frames, particularly when exaggerated lapels are involved. Pair with skinny-fit denim and pointed toe boots for a chic finish. 

Part 2 | Now, we layer  

With your winter wardrobe complete, it's time to answer the burning question: how do I layer my winter outfits? Our layering guide explores how to put together a chic (and warm!) winter look for every occasion. 

Days off-duty 

When comfort is the priority 

Weekend errands call for comfy, understatedly chic outfits. A chunky roll-neck knit is the ideal base layer that styles effortlessly with worn-in jeans and white sneakers. Layer this casual look with a puffer or parka jacket. Our tip? Add a beanie when it's extra cold. 

 

On-trend edge  

A longline double-breasted coat is the trending style to know. Look to checked patterns or camel, black and grey hues. For a daring street-style look, select black denim and a knit as your base layers, a blazer as your middle layer and for the finishing touch: drape the coat over your shoulders. 

 

Modern-feminine look

If a modern-femme look appeals to you, start by matching a fitted knit with a tiered midi skirt. One of these pieces should be neutral while the other plays with colour, for example, a black midi skirt with a blush knit. As for the outer layer, a wrap or fit and flare coat in a soft grey colourway exudes feminine chic. Pair this look with pointed toe sock boots and a scarf for a polished finish. 

Somewhere Special 

Out for the evening 

Heading out for dinner? We love teaming a ribbed skivvy with kick-flare pants and mules. Elevated and chic, this look will see you from early evening drinks to dinner with ease. In the depths of winter, add a leather jacket as your middle layer, then a wrap coat to finish. 

 

Dancefloor approved 

When it comes to winter parties, play with luxurious fabrications. We envision long-sleeved bodysuits teamed with faux leather or suedette mini skirts. As for the perfect party jacket? Look no further than a faux-fur coat to see you through the night with a touch of glamour. 

 

Best dressed wedding guest 

Long-sleeve midi dresses are winter wedding wonders. Experiment with seasonal prints and blooms or silk and metallic fabrications. As for the outer layer, a maxi coat is a wedding-ready choice that will complement your midi dress perfectly. Hint: beige tones will impress from ceremony to reception. 

Weekdays at Work

Corporate Offices

For the most formal of office dress codes, your layering should be polished and professional. Start with a cuff-sleeve blouse and tailored pants (Hint: our coveted Grace Pants will deliver the perfect fit). Next, channel modern suiting by layering with a blazer or waterfall jacket. For your commute, add a maxi coat to keep your look elevated and work-appropriate. 

 

Casual Offices

When the dress code is more relaxed, look to sophisticated separates. Our favourite combination? A puff sleeve knit for modern appeal, paired with a classic pleated skirt and boots. Experiment with dark blooms and earthy tones for winter. Layer with a longline dolly or double-breasted coat to complete the look.  

 

Creative Offices

Let your imagination roam when styling for a creative workplace. Experiment with floating midi dresses, balloon sleeve blouses and tiered midi skirts adorned with vibrant prints. Accessorise with a scarf for a nod to the season. As for your outer-layer, trench coats and fit & flare styles are our top picks. 

Part 3 | Putting your best foot forward 

Your coat’s best friend

While coats are winter's decided style hero, boots are a strong runner-up. Block heel boots will keep things classic, while stiletto sock boots are the ultimate trend-piece. The bonus? You can wear them with everything.  

 

A glamorous finish

Your winter heels should complement your layering pieces, so opt for black and beige tones. For added seasonal appeal, burgundy heels are perfect. These will pair particularly well with faux-fur coats on evenings out. 

 

City-ready styling 

Sneakers are a must for relaxed weekends in winter. Pair light-wash denim with a roll-neck knit, puffer jacket and white sneakers for a comfy and cosy look. 

Part 4 | Finishing Touches   

 

Don't be afraid to play with winter accessories - they'll bring your look together. Our styling tip: if your winter coat is beige, black or grey, add a splash of brightness with a colour block scarf or beanie. If your outer-layer makes a colourful statement, style back with neutral accessories. Gloves will add a touch of glamour to every winter outfit. Our favourite winter-chic look? A longline biker jacket paired with black jeans, sock boots and faux-leather gloves.