As temperatures reach the ultimate winter lows, staying stylish may present a challenge. Instead of reaching for our ski attire — and we’ll want to — it’s time to take up the delicate art of winter layering. It takes some smart planning and a keen eye to put together a cohesive outfit featuring what can sometimes be up to ten layers of garments. When browsing famous street style blogs, you’ll notice that the people most photographed are the ones that appear to be experts at layering: they know how to balance proportions by mixing different silhouettes; how to avoid looking winter drab by incorporating colour and prints; how to put their perennial mainstays to good use; and, perhaps most importantly, how to accessorize.

1. Winter fashion tips: Balance proportions
Multiple layers tend to add a lot of bulk to one’s appearance, so it’s important to balance out proportions. Pair your chunky sweaters, cardigans, or bulky fur pieces with slimmer bottom silhouettes. Items like cigarette pants, slim-cut jeans, or leather leggings — leather is ideal for warmth — can really show off your figure underneath the layers. Or on the opposite end, wear your favourite wide-legged trousers (great for hiding long johns underneath) with a slim wool coat to elongate the silhouette.

2. Winter fashion tips: Mix in colour
In winter – especially when layering – we tend to gravitate towards a monochromatic palette of black and grey. While those shades are easy to mix and match, the final ensemble might end up looking greyer than the dreariest of winter clouds. Add some colour to your day by mixing in one bright item into your outfit, whether it’s a sunny yellow sweater, a printed scarf, or even scrapping your everyday black pump for coloured ones.

3. Winter fashion tips: Invest in a wool cape

A cape is a key item when it comes to layering. Its generous width allows for multiple layers to be work underneath, be it cardigan, a blazer, or both. Not only is this comfortable and cozy, but it’s one of those perpetually chic staples every woman should have in her closet. It makes a wonderful companion to both sporty and dressy ensembles, since it could be paired with anything from jeans to evening gowns.

Learn how to pile on the layers with more of our winter fashion tips on the next page…

4. Winter fashion tips: Incorporate spring items to mix up textures

Wearing all knits for months on end can get pretty monotonous. If you are getting eager to bring back your favorite spring garments into the mix — or to introduce some new ones — you can do so by layering with your warmest attire. For example, wear your little denim jacket under your wool coat or with a fur (or faux fur) gilet, bring your floral silk dress out of the “summer box” and layer it under a chunky knit cardigan or, if you are really adventurous, pair your open toe booties with thick wool socks.

5. Winter fashion tips: Have fun with accessories

In wintertime, accessories are plentiful: scarves, snoods, earmuffs, headbands, toques, hats – the possibilities are endless. If wearing a wrist-exposing cape, invest in a great pair of knit or leather opera gloves — you can embellish them with chunky bangles that are easy to slip on and off. An oversized chunky scarf or shawl can add an amazing amount of warmth, so much so that you can ditch that heavy winter jacket for a lighter leather one. Top it all off with a stylish topper, whether it’s a knit toque, a felt fedora, or colourful earmuffs, because these are the pieces that really allow you to express your personal style.

Read more:
The best winter brights
Great necklaces for any season
Knitted pieces for the cold weather

Winter fashion tips: How to be comfy and chic