31 Outfits To Inspire All Of Your Winter Layering

If you live somewhere that tends to get frigid during the winter, you probably already know about the fashion hack that can keep you from turning into a popsicle when you venture outside: layering. Though layering your outfits is essential to staying warm in the colder months, improper or excessive layering can leave you feeling like a puffed-up marshmallow. If this is a struggle you experience every time winter rolls around, or if you're simply looking to step up your layering game, you're in the right place. 

Before you embark on your layering journey, you'll want to make sure you have a few staple layering pieces in your closet, like a trenchcoat, a few button-up shirts, cardigans, scarves, tights, and knee-high socks. As you layer pieces together, try to make your innermost pieces visible under your outer layers. For example, a trenchcoat worn open in the front can show off a cardigan, which, if left open, can also show off your base layer shirt. Feel free to play around with lengths as well — try pairing a trenchcoat with a mini skirt and tights or a cropped coat with a longer button-down and maxi skirt. There are several ways to pull off the layered look, and with the right styling tips and some outfit inspo, you'll ace it in no time.

Neutral layers can keep you looking cohesive

When it comes to layering, you may be worried about mixing and matching a bunch of different pieces to create a cohesive look. An easy way to solve this dilemma is by wearing a full neutral outfit. You don't have to stick to a single color; instead, try wearing beige and black together or pair brown and cream. However you do it, sticking to neutral pieces can help you create a put-together layered 'fit every time. 

A button-down is great for layering in milder weather

Sometimes, you get those random winter days that are, for whatever reason, pretty mild. On days you don't have to dress for frigid temperatures, a button-down makes for a great lighter layering piece. It'll give you that extra bit of insulation from the winter breeze without making you hot, and it lets you show off whatever you're wearing underneath, too. 

Let a hood drape over your top layer

If you don't already have a timeless camel trenchcoat in your wardrobe, it's high time you added one, even if simply for the multitude of layering options it offers you during the winter months. One of our favorite casual trenchcoat looks is a hoodie under the trench with the hood draped over the back. This look gives you an easy option to cover your head if it gets too cold, and we love how it can tone down what may otherwise be a sophisticated trenchcoat. 

Go schoolgirl chic with a tie and trench

Another excellent thing about trenchcoats is that they add a long layer to your outfit, allowing you to wear shorter layers underneath — as in the above schoolgirl chic outfit. To pull off a look like this, you'll definitely want to add a statement tie to your outfit, and it's a good idea to incorporate a plaid pattern via a blazer or skirt. Knee-high socks can help you stay warm, and if you need more warmth for your legs, add a pair of nude tights. 

Drape a cardigan over your shoulders

Sometimes, you don't even need to wear an extra layer, but having one around feels like a welcome security blanket of sorts. When this is your vibe, go simple and just drape a cardigan over your shoulders for the day. A draped cardigan offers a sophisticated look, not to mention that it offers you the option to put on another layer should it be unexpectedly cold out. 

Wear your fave strappy bodysuit over a turtleneck

Do you have pieces you love that simply aren't suitable for the colder months? You shouldn't have to put them in a box while you wait for summer to roll back around. Instead, go ahead and wear that strappy bodysuit or your favorite tank top — simply wear it over a warm piece, like a form-fitting turtleneck. 

Or your flashiest graphic tee

Honestly, the same goes for your T-shirts — don't feel like you have to hide them under bulky layers or save them for spring weather. Just wear your favorite graphic T-shirts over a long-sleeved shirt or a turtleneck. This way, you can still show them off, but you won't freeze to death in the process. 

Baggy layers give carefree vibes

Though some of us may like to mix structured and baggy pieces in our layered outfits, there's a certain carefree vibe that you can give off if you choose to layer a bunch of baggy clothes together. To achieve this look, it's a good idea to pick pieces of different lengths. Try keeping your outermost layer the shortest, and make each subsequent layer longer. 

Add layers over a knit dress

Dress gals, we hope you know you don't have to forfeit your love for the breezy staple piece just because it's chilly out. Sweater dresses are a winter staple we love to see, and they make for a fantastic layering piece. Layer your sweater dress over some high boots and under a blazer — and throw on a trenchcoat on colder days. 

Let a button-up peek out

If you love crop tops or low-rise jeans, you may constantly have a sliver of skin that peeks out in the cold, which can be annoying, to say the least. To nip this problem in the bud, style your button-up shirt by layering it under a sweater. Even if the sweater is a pullover and doesn't open in the front, having a button-up peek out of the bottom still makes for a cute look. 

A structured jacket can make the whole outfit

If you don't already have a neutral-colored structured jacket in your wardrobe, go out and get one ASAP. A structured jacket can pull together almost any outfit, as in the photo above. Though the top tucked into the skirt would look stunning on its own, the structured jacket helps amp up the outfit's sophistication while keeping you cozy and warm. 

A flannel is a great layering piece

Who doesn't love flannels? Personally, we don't think the classic flannel shirt trend will ever go away, making this a great piece to stock up on when the colder months roll around. Flannels are perfect for layering under or over other pieces, so they're versatile no matter what the weather may throw your way. Wear one over a cropped T-shirt on warmer days, and add a trench or puffer coat when it's chillier. 

Incorporate florals to beckon in spring

We get it — you're not really a winter girly, but you'll suffer through it until spring hits. If you need to keep your mood up and integrate some phantom warmth into your day, head out in a floral piece or two. A floral skirt layered over tights or knee-high boots can be enough to remind you of spring, even in the bitter cold. Throw on a pretty purple puffer for extra warmth and color. 

Layer leather for some edge

This one is for all the chicks out there who like to sport some edge. You may already have several leather pieces in your closet, so just layer them together for extra edginess. A leather trench over leather leggings and a leather corset would look stunning, as would a leather trench over a leather maxi dress. For bonus points, throw on an accessory of a different texture, like a knit scarf. 

Ribbed pieces add texture to an outfit

If you want to make your outfits extra visually appealing, incorporating texture is always a good idea. Don't worry about finding large open knits or capitalizing on sherpa; instead, keep it simple and add a ribbed long-sleeved T-shirt under your favorite graphic T-shirt or tank top. 

Layer with light neutrals

For effortlessly sophisticated vibes, try layering lighter, neutral pieces together when you head out this winter. Stay away from bright whites to tone down your look a little, and stick to a palette of cream and beige shades. You'll also want to stick to fitted pieces (except for your outerwear) for maximum sophistication. 

Go sexy with layered lingerie

Lingerie lovers: Now's your time to shine, and take the lingerie out of the bedroom for a change. Layering can be a lot of help here, so get your favorite turtleneck handy, too. Wear your lingerie over a turtleneck for a sexy look that will still keep you warm. Bonus points for layering some necklaces over your turtleneck for extra glam. 

Yes, you can combine plaid and houndstooth

Worried about mixing and matching similar patterns? Don't be. Layering outfits in the winter is a great opportunity to exercise some maximalism with your patterns, so don't be afraid to go really wild, like layering plaid with houndstooth. You're sure to stay warm and get a lot of attention as you're out and about. 

Stay warm while showing some leg

If your legs are your favorite feature, you might dread covering up in the winter months. We have some good news — you don't have to! Sheer pantyhose can help keep your legs warm, as can covering up with some long layers, like a trenchcoat and knee-high boots. For those extra-chilly days, layer a neutral-toned puffer vest under your trench. 

Pantyhose and knee-high socks layer well together

Sometimes, it's simply too cold out for a pair of sheer tights to keep you warm, but you still want to show off a little leg. On those days, go ahead and supplement your tights with a pair of knee-high socks. Top it all off with some knee-high boots, some layered tops, and a trench for an effortlessly chic outfit.

Don't forget to wear sherpa

Sherpa has to be the ultimate cozy winter fabric, and honestly, we think you should capitalize on it whenever you can. Layer a sherpa coat over a cardigan and T-shirt on super cold days, but you may also be okay wearing it over a single layer, depending on the weather. 

Try a denim jacket under a trench

Your vibes are super casual, and you want your layered outfits to reflect that, so we think you should take this opportunity to layer your favorite denim pieces with your other winter wear. When it's sunny out, you can probably get away with a denim jacket over a sweatshirt; on colder days, try topping that look off with a trenchcoat or puffer jacket. 

Tie it all together with a belt

Occasionally, you want to show off your curves, but dressing under a bunch of layers leaves you feeling a little too bulky. Use this as an opportunity to cinch yourself in at the waist by wrapping a belt around your outfit, coat and all. If you want, you can leave your coat out of the belt and simply belt the pieces you're wearing underneath. 

Step up your scarf game

So you don't want to wear layers upon layers, but you still need something to give you that extra little bit of warmth before you venture out into the cold. Take this as a sign to show off your scarf collection by donning your biggest, brightest, coziest scarf. You could simply loop it around your neck, but if your scarf is big enough, it could also function as a shawl or head wrap if it gets really cold. 

You can match your trenchcoat to your shirt

Want to exercise your monochromatic outfit muscles? Donning a monochromatic 'fit is a great way to ensure you look put-together, and if you happen to have multiple pieces in the same bright color, it's a great way to brighten up some of the gloomiest winter days. We love this bright trench that matches the shirt underneath — perfect for a frigid Valentine's Day or just any day that calls for a little extra love. 

Layer vests over dresses

Sweater vests are no longer grandpa-only pieces, and we've loved seeing how the style has been updated over the years to fit into many fashionistas' wardrobes. If your vibe is screaming "grandpa-girly-casual," snag a baggy sweater vest and layer it over a shirt dress. To ensure you stay warm, top off your 'fit with a pair of knee- or thigh-high boots. 

You can wear a trenchcoat over a maxi skirt

Though there will be days you'll want to vary the length of your pieces for visual interest, there's nothing wrong with sticking to pieces of the same length when you feel like it. To create a single, long-form silhouette, pair your favorite maxi skirt with a trenchcoat. To give your outfit some shape, tuck a sweater into your skirt at the waist or throw a belt over it. 

Why not layer two dresses?

If you're really feeling like being over-dressed (pun intended), why not put on two of your favorite dresses? Layer a summer dress over a long-sleeve dress that provides more coverage to keep you from getting too cold. After all, two-layered dresses really are better than one. 

Make your outermost layer your standout piece

The beauty of layering is that not all your pieces have to match — in fact, your outermost layer provides a great opportunity to make it a standout piece that doesn't necessarily match the rest of your 'fit. It can be an especially striking statement when the rest of your outfit is color-coordinated, as in the photo above. The bold green pieces complement each other perfectly and are a great palette that allows the cream sherpa coat to take center stage. 

Utilize a matching set

Lovers of matching sets, this one's for you: Finding a matching set that includes a layering piece will make it easy to stay coordinated during the winter months. A matching jacket and skirt is simple yet striking and will make the process of putting together a layered outfit nearly brainless. 

Bring back dresses over pants

Who says you can't wear dresses over pants? Certainly not us. We say, feel free to wear layer upon layer — dresses and pants included. For a simpler look, a pair of leggings would suffice as your bottom layer, but if you're feeling more daring, try layering a dress over a pair of trousers or jeans.