The Ultimate Feminine Guide To Layering In The Winter

I love winter. The first snowfall, the holiday season, cozy sweaters – it’s all so joyful! Just like any season, winter style can be super cute. But does layering up to stay warm ever make you feel bulky?

By Diana Clarke2 min read

Staying warm isn’t such a difficult task, but we don’t want to look like a sack of potatoes while doing so. It’s possible to take a strategic approach to layering that keeps you warm and flatters your shape. For those of us in cooler climates (um, hello Canadian winters), here are some tips on how to layer for winter without looking bulky. 

Base Layer

A thermal base layer to wear over your undergarments and under your clothes is the key to staying warm without looking bulky. A merino wool base layer is a natural fiber product that will regulate your heat, keeping you warm without making you sweat.

For your top, this could be a neutral colored long sleeve to layer under a sweater. A bodysuit is a great option because it fits close to the body and doesn’t add volume to your waistline – the last thing a girl wants! 

For your bottoms, tights will do the trick (as long as it’s not too cold). Tights have a slimming effect and can be worn under pants, skirts, and dresses. For those extra cold winter days, a pair of fleece tights or even swapping your tights for thermal leggings will keep you warm.

Bottom Layer

After your base layer comes your bottom layer. You’re going to want to choose a warm sweater for your top. If you’re planning on wearing a coat as your top layer, choose a fitted sweater or else you might end up looking bulky. A cashmere turtleneck might just do the trick – it will keep you warm while still flattering your body. 

For your bottoms, pants, a skirt, or even a dress is perfect. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that dresses and skirts are only for warmer weather! Warm materials such as wool or cashmere allow you to stay warm while still looking cute. When wearing a skirt or dress in the winter, over the knee boots or even leg warmers are essential because they provide maximum coverage. 

Mid Layer

A mid layer is optional, but it’s something you might want to consider for extra chilly days! A great middle layer could be a cardigan, a blazer, or even a light jacket. This extra layer might seem like overkill, but you can always remove a layer if you get too warm.

Top Layer

Finally, it’s time for a long and warm winter coat. If you want to stay warm while still keeping your shape, choose a coat with a belt or a defined waistband. You can always keep it feminine by selecting a coat in a lighter color such as a grey, camel, or blush pink. 


Accessories can bring so much life to your winter outfit. And is there anything cuter than a matching hat and mitts? And if after all those layers your neck is still exposed, a wool scarf will do wonders to keep you warm. 

Color Palette

A final tip that is a must for all seasons: choose a color palette. Sticking to a color palette will make your outfit look more cohesive, less bulky, and it will elongate your silhouette. You can even take this a step farther by creating a monochromatic look. 

Closing Thoughts

This winter, there’s no need to dread the cold. When you plan your layers properly, you’ll stay warm while looking cute all winter long. 

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