Peeling Back the Layers of Style

As the temperature drops, the challenge becomes how to maintain figure flattering style and still remain warm and toasty. Styling with layers can be a challenge when it comes to striking the delicate balance between fashion and comfort. In our earlier piece  Belt it Out, ( ), we looked at how to use a belt with a layered look in order to highlight your waistline, which is the smallest part of the body. With fall layering, the issue arises because of the volume of the outerwear piece that is used to provide warmth.

Avoid the Bulge

Plan your layers carefully. You must maintain the proper flowy to fitted ratio in order to avoid the bulge. If your top layer is bulky or flowy, then you need to pair that piece with a fitted undershirt and a skinny jean. The skinny jean will bring the wanted attention to the waistline and create much the same illusion that the belt does in your summer pieces. Avoid putting two loose items together. If both your top and your bottom are loose and flowing, you run the risk of creating a boxlike shape that is never flattering. If you can find an everyday use outerwear piece that is tailored at the waist or belted then grab it. Those details will help create the hourglass shape every woman is trying to achieve.

Hit the Mark With Length

Length is important with layers because if we fail to choose the right length, then the entire look is in jeopardy. If you start with a short jacket, then choose a secondary piece that hits you below the belt line. Anything shorter than that and the outfit will appear to be too small. If you choose a peacoat as your layering piece, then the coat should brush your hips and your secondary piece will be shorter than that. If you prefer a longer layering piece than a good rule of thumb is to never choose anything that is longer than knee-length. Anything longer than knee-length will make you appear shorter than you are. Shoes are also an important element when it comes to creating height. If your layering piece is hip length or shorter, then selecting a boot as your shoe of choice will not make you look shorter. However, if you choose a knee-length layering piece, flats are best.

Fabric and Fit Make the Day

 When you are styling with layers, fabric and fit are more important than in any other situation. A heavy fabric automatically adds added volume to even the smallest frame. Choose materials with a tight weave that will eliminate some of the bulk without sacrificing the warmth. Look for items that have a tapered waist and can be buttoned for added definition.

In the piece below, the bulky plaid jacket is offset by using a fitted, ruffled undershirt in order to avoid the appearance of bulge. The grey skinny cords help provide the hourglass shape.


Layers are an inevitable part of fall. By following these simple guidelines, anyone can pull off that layered look flawlessly and still remain warm and toasty.


About @mfashforward

I am a fashion obsessed working mom of twin teenagers. I have spent my career in the retail industry dressing others on a daily basis. Now, I must strike a delicate balance by remaining fashion forward and having my teenagers still acknowledge my existence. Follow me on a journey into my fashion world.

Posted on November 4, 2012, in Bargain Shopping, Fall, Fashion, Fashion Trends, Shopping, Style, Stylist and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Great tips here, thanks! And thanks for linking up with Visible Monday.

  2. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

  3. Love fashion! Coming from SITS!

  4. Great tips! My downfall always seems to be the top layer. It’s got to be the most difficult layer to master!

  5. I ADORE this jacket. Love the way you’ve styled it too…good advice!

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life

  6. I love your layering inspiration! It really is all about selecting the right weights, fabrics and lengths. The look you created is beautiful, love the colors!

  7. Haha, I like your description of the delicate balance between remaining fashion forward and having your teenagers acknowledge your existence! I am so in your shoes!

  8. Excellent tips indeed! And that jacket is fab!

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