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Winter wardrobe: How to layer for cold weather

3 min read

Winter wardrobe: How to layer for cold weather
As we look for ways to stay both warm and stylish in the winter weather, PrettyLittleThing stylist Sophie O'Neil shares a five-step fool proof guide to layering
As we enter January, we’ll all be looking for winter outfits that keep us warm. But how can you layer up and look put together at the same time? Sophie O’Neil, senior stylist at PrettyLittleThing shares her five-step fool proof layering formula to help you stay warm and cosy this winter.

1. Start with a light base layer

Woman wearing black tank top - how to layer for winter
Start with a light base layer you can build on for a comfortable foundation to your outfit. It’s always best to start with thin layers and build up with thicker, looser fitting layers to create a cohesive look. For example, if you’re looking to make a knitted jumper dress a warmer option, add a bodysuit or a long-sleeved vest underneath. For baggier jumpers and relaxed fits, a light cotton blouse or your favourite comfy tee is a great option.
"Start with a light base layer you can build on for a comfortable foundation to your outfit"
Choose layers in block colours like white, black and cream as they can be paired with many other colours and are incredibly versatile. Whether paired with jeans, a skirt or a smart pair of trousers, they’ll look effortlessly stylish and are easy to accessorise.

2. Consider the weight of your knitwear

Woman wearing knitted sweater - how to layer for winter
It’s no surprise that knitwear will be your best friend during January and the winter months. But when choosing which knitwear to wear, it’s important to consider the weight and thickness of your pieces—as well as your outerwear—to avoid your outfits becoming bulky. 
For example, if you’re styling a knitted jumper dress, consider choosing one with a cowl or turtle neck for extra warmth, rather than a chunky scarf to avoid additional layers. 
For more figure-hugging pieces such as a jumpsuit, there is room to add layers on top, without it looking heavy. Depending on the weather, add an oversized shirt or relaxed knitted cardigan over the top before opting for a puffer jacket and snuggly accessories. 

3. Choose the right outerwear

Woman wearing a trench coat - how to layer for winter
We all know that the British weather can be unpredictable. It’s therefore good to be prepared with a couple of different outerwear choices so you’ll always have the right one to hand.
Trench coats are the ultimate go-with-everything coat that can be dressed up or down. Wear with jeans and trainers when running errands, or pair with a dress and boots for a more sophisticated look.
"Opt for neutral colours that’ll go with pretty much everything in your wardrobe"
A rain mac is always ideal for those wetter days, while a cosy puffer or bomber jacket is both warm and waterproof for relaxed vibes.
Opt for neutral colours like beige, black, brown and cream that’ll go with pretty much everything in your wardrobe. And when buying, always go a little oversized to allow room underneath for thicker sweaters and knits.

4. Experiment with textures and proportions

Woman wearing a cropped puffer jacket - how to layer for winter
Layering up might seem like it obscures your outfit, but it can actually make it. Experimenting with different textures and proportions can help create a diversified, visually interesting look.
For example, try pairing a chunky knit with a silky blouse, or a faux leather jacket with a soft cotton tee. Other textures and patterns to bring in could include plaid, stripes or florals—but be sure to keep the colour palette simple and avoid too many clashing patterns.
Playing with proportions, such as adding a cropped jacket over a long shirt or wearing a long trench coat with a cropped top will also help maintain a dynamic look.

5. Finish your look with accessories

Woman wearing a warm cosy scarf - how to layer for winter
Accessories can bring your final look to life as well as adding extra elements of interest and warmth. Add some statement jewellery, a hat, or a stylish belt to cinch in your layers—this works particularly well with oversized sweaters or dresses.
"Accessories can bring your final look to life"
Scarves can also be a great accessory to add an extra pop of colour or pattern. They can be wrapped or draped in all kinds of ways depending on the look you’d like to create.
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