How To Wear Layers Without Looking Like A Crazy Bag Lady

This article is in response to the lovely S.’s question, which was phrased something like, “how do I wear layers without looking mental?”.

With the entire world in a strange limbo, season-wise, getting dressed every morning kind be a trial. The weather is changing so radically that no one knows whether to wear sandals or boots, dresses or coats. If you layer your clothing, you can avoid this to a degree.

There are some places where you really need layers, like London in winter. It is so bitterly cold outside, but on the flipside, the tube is so bloody hot that you don’t know what to do with yourself. You could just bundle on three sweaters & be done with it, but the problem is that you’ll look like an American football player, & I don’t think many of us are aiming for that. “Gridiron Chic” has a long way to go.

When layering up, there are three key things you need to consider:


If you have three tops which end at the same place, you’re going to look a bit dowdy. Likewise if you have three tops which are all the same thickness, or all the same fabric. If you’re wearing a whole lot of tops in the same fabric, you will find they don’t sit well against each other, they will kind of stick & bundle, therefore annoying you. If you can throw some silk or cashmere in with your cotton, you’ll be much happier. All of these factors need to be mixed up in order for this to work effectively. So you might try putting on these items:

Baby Rib Tank ($16)

Baby Rib 8-Button Pullover ($34)

Fleece Sleeveless Hoody ($30)

Long Tunic Cardigan ($29)

Wool Check Bomber Jacket (£45)

Grey Pencil Skirt (£20)

Cotton Spandex Jersey Leggings ($26)

Legwarmers ($14)

This is a very simple outfit, all solid colours except for the bomber jacket which breaks it up a bit. Everything here is from either American Apparel, Urban Outfitters or TopShop.

As you can see, these things are all different lengths. The dress & hoody are both sleeveless, which means you’re not going to have a huge bulky arm or be wearing five seams in your armpit — three (baby rib, cardigan, jacket) are enough. I’ve put legwarmers over leggings (which tend to be warmer than stockings unless they’re wool) because it’s far more flattering than two pairs of tights or the other option, which is pants tucked into ugg boots. (DON’T DO IT!) You could throw on any kind of shoes you liked with this outfit, since it’s kind of slouchy but stylish — sneakers, flats or heels would work equally well. I am an absolute nut for wearing legwarmers over wedges, it makes me feel all cloven-hooved, which I love.

Hope I helped!