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December 02, 2020 4 min read

Is your closet ready for cold weather? Your winter wardrobe requires a lot of thought and consideration. A good outfit should keep you cozy, comfortable, and classy wherever you go. Fashion gets a bit more complicated when the weather turns cold, but the right layering techniques can help you achieve incredible looks all season long. Layering can also help keep you safe and warm when you head out into the snow for some winter fun. Whether you’re looking for extreme style or extreme sports, we’ve got you covered with these top tips for layering your clothing the right way.

Layer for Winter Fashion

The main challenge of winter fashion is staying warm without ruining your outfit. Winter layers incorporate many pieces, and the wrong color or pattern can throw off your entire style. That being said, don’t be afraid to experiment. With these expert tips, you can mix and match your clothing until you find a look that brightens even the dreariest winter day.

Find Your Color Scheme

Just like any other season, you want to choose colors and patterns that complement each other. Pay attention to every layer in your outfit—including accessories—so that you don’t end up with a look that clashes. You can lean on neutrals and jewel tones, which are great for the winter season. Alternatively, you can choose one bold color or pattern and build the rest of your outfit to complement it. You should also be careful not to make your overall outfit too light or too dark. This can cause the individual pieces to blend together. The right color balance will help your style stand out while keeping your overall look classy and chic.

Play With Textures

Textures can become muddled, just like colors. If you only use one type of fabric in your outfit, the individual garments won’t stand out. Try playing around with a few different textures throughout your layers. A lighter cotton top balances well with a chunky cardigan. A long wool coat sits nicely over denim pants. Experiment with the various textures and fabrics at your disposal. As with colors, you don’t want to go too crazy with what you include. However, a little diversity helps each piece stand out while still making for a balanced outfit.

Avoid the Bulk

Winter brings a lot of the heavier pieces out of your closet: warm sweaters, waterproof coats, and even heavy accessories like your favorite oversized scarf. While you want to take advantage of these items while you can, a lot of bulk can make an outfit unflattering or cumbersome. If you can’t move your arms, you’ve gone a little too far. Try to stick to a single big item. If you pull on that large knit cardigan, pair it with a slimmer jacket. That massive scarf will look incredible over your more form-fitting tops. For those particularly glacial days when you need to drag the large coat out of your closet, use mid-weight pieces that will keep you both warm and comfortable underneath.

Layer for Winter Fun

While some winter days call for style, others call for safety. Skiing, snowboarding, camping, and other outdoor activities require layers that can keep you warm and dry even when you’re trekking through extreme winter weather. If a snowy adventure is on your horizon, make sure you prepare with these top tips for layering your clothes the right way.

Base Layer

If your day consists of running through the cold, staying upright on skis, or hiking up a mountainside, you’re going to work up a sweat. Being cold and wet is much more dangerous than being cold and dry. That’s why a moisture-wicking base layer is crucial for any winter sports outfit. Choose soft, breathable fabrics that will help keep moisture off your skin. Synthetics or wool are great, while cotton is an absolute no. Be sure to match your base layer’s weight to the overall temperature. Slightly warmer conditions call for a lighter base layer that won’t add excess bulk to your outfit. For colder temperatures, though, you’ll want a heavier base layer to provide extra insulation and warmth.

Middle Layer

The middle layer of a winter sports outfit is all about insulation. A fleece top or cozy sweatshirt will keep you warm and toasty even in fierce winds or heavy snow. Once again, you should consider the specific conditions you’ll face when choosing a middle layer. If you plan on doing some hard exercise or if you’re trekking through wet conditions, puffy jackets or other synthetic pieces will help moisture evaporate away from your body. On the other hand, less extreme conditions will call for a lighter middle layer, such as your favorite Colorado t-shirt. The middle layer allows you to shed pieces as you go, helping you stay comfortable throughout the day. If you step inside or spend a while out in the sun, you might want to take off that heavy outer coat. In these circumstances, a middle layer helps you stay warm without overheating.

Outer Layer

When you’re racing down ski slopes or dodging snowballs, you need an outer layer that will keep out the worst of the elements. A waterproof coat and pants will keep snow and ice away from your body, helping you stay warm no matter how extreme the sport gets. This outer layer will also keep you warm even in fierce wind. If you get caught in poor conditions during a hike or camping trip, you’ll need a reliable outer layer to stay safe. While durability is key to this layer, you also want something flexible. Winter activities often require a lot of movement. You don’t want to get left behind because your coat makes it hard to move. Choose layers that allow you a full range of motion so that you can keep up with the fun.

No matter what kind of outfit you choose, these tips can help you stay functional and fashionable everywhere you go. Fill your wardrobe with layers and options that will help you make the perfect outfit for every occasion in the winter season.

Top Tips for Layering Your Clothing the Right Way

Paige Pesko
Paige Pesko


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