Welcome to The Golden Girl–a real girl approach to living your best life! (Because the internet needed a happy medium between real life and the highlight reel.)

learn more >

currently loving

shop all favorites

How to Look Chic (Not Bulky!) in Winter Layers

Nov 29, 2017

Coat: Canada Goose Shelburne Parka (comes in lot’s of colors!) // Sweater: Halogen ($89!)–comes in grey, burgundy, and black as well! // Velvet Leggings (also styled here and here): SPANX, Turtleneck: J.Crew tissue turtleneck via Nordstrom (come in so many colors! I stocked up on more this past Cyber Monday!) // Booties: 1.State (only $59!) I also own this pair (I have black, but they come in tan) if you want a similar look with a flat heel! They’re also on sale for $89! // Scarf: Accessory collective (only $24!) I’m also obsessed with this similar chunkier knit version for $26 as well as this white one with grey and blush plaid! 

Happy Wednesday guys!

How has your week been?

So, it’s been pretty low-key here, just getting back into the swing of things from Thanksgiving. I woke up with a cold on Monday so I haven’t honestly been out of the house much. I just started The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt on Netflix. Which I will admit I had VERY low expectations for but it’s actually kind of hilarious!? I needed a new “girly” show that I could binge without Neal being jealous and getting FOMO (you know, now that I finished Grace and Frankie. So sad. I can’t believe it’s over.) Have you watched either?!

Anyway, back with another outfit post we shot at the lake! We took this right before we left to go out to dinner and it was the perfect casual cozy outfit for the occasion! As the temperatures have started to get chilly I’ve started getting questions on layering–particularly, how to layer without looking frumpy and bulky.

So, I thought today would be a good day for a lesson 😉

How To Style Winter Layers:

Lesson #1: Pick form fitting under layers

I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it again, everyone needs one of these turtleneck tees! When you’re adding a ton of layers on and don’t want to look too bulky, it really makes a big difference if you start with form-fitting base layers. The reason for this is that they show off the shape of your body (so you don’t look like a box) but also add warmth, so when you add a loose cardigan (we’ll go into this one in a minute!) over the top, you can still see your figure underneath!

Shop turtleneck tees: 

The same goes for pants (again, more on those below)–the more baggy your layers are on top, the more form-fitting your bottom-half should be. As a good rule of thumb, your tops and bottoms should be opposites. For example: 

Tight on top and tight on the bottom= “floozie,” as my mom would say.

Baggy on top and baggy on bottom= Stacy and Kent’s latest What Not To Wear Victim (“OH MY GOSH she’s got a figure under there!? Who knew!”)

See? Obviously the answer is, like most things in life–finding the appropriate balance.

Now–back to the cardigan–it is SO. SO. Soft. I love that it’s longer in length–which is beautiful both aesthetically, and also helps to add a ton of warmth! The great part is that it’s only $89, and it comes in other colors too! I believe this is the first “oatmeal” colored sweater I’ve ever purchased, and I think it’s so pretty! (A nice mix between the only two colors I seem to wear lately, cream and camel ?) For height reference, I’m 5’6 and it hits right at my knee.

Shop my cardi in all colors: 

And, for the pants. Are you getting sick of seeing these velvet leggings yet? You told me you didn’t understand how to style them, so maybe I’ve taken it overboard with three recent posts in a row wearing them?! But the truth is, I never really take them off.  ? I truthfully believe they’re more versatile even than regular leggings because they look like real pants, and therefore, can be dressed up for ton’s of different occasions, or dressed down, as you see here! They are also as comfortable as pajamas, and warmer than regular leggings, too. Sizing: run TTS.

Lesson #2: Choose footwear consciously

Let’s call it what it is–sometimes you can feel like the more layers you add on, the frumpier you look. This is the sad but unfortunate truth of living in a colder climate. It’s harder to not look like an old cat lady when you go outside. (Not that I’m knocking old cat ladies.)

Here’s a trick that I use and I hope that it helps you too–opt for footwear with a bit of a pointed toe.

(What? Why? That’s so random.)

Yes, I know. But stick with me. It goes back to what I was saying above. Had I chosen a chunky, rounder toed riding boot here, for example, that came out past my calf, it would’ve added more bulk. But these booties (which are only $59 on sale, by the way) actually make the outfit look more chic and sophisticated because the pointed toes and bit of heel goes a long way to elongate the leg. In a way, they’re more “form-fitting” shoes, if you will.

Additionally, another reason that ankle booties work well here is because the cardigan comes down to my knees, so wearing a boot that hit right at the knee would’ve made my legs look substantially shorter and cut off. (The exception to this rule? Over the Knee boots–which, because they come up so high, also help to elongate the legs.)

[one-half-first][/one-half-first][one-half]

[/one-half]

Lesson #3: Pick one color scheme

This lesson took so long for me to learn. For the longest time, I owned very few scarves–maybe one in a cute-but-doesn’t-go-with-anything-pink pattern and one in plain black. (Functional but boring.) I never looked at scarves as a way to add to my outfit. They were always an after-thought. Solely to keep warm–much like my beanies and gloves. Which obviously never matched my scarves or the rest of my outfit for that matter. As a result, I may have had a pretty outfit on underneath, but I always looked so schleppy and thrown together whenever I had to go outside. I dreaded getting dressed for winter because it made me look like a “What Not to Wear” victim.

Tip: Invest a little money upfront on a a handful of versatile accessories in different neutral colors and patterns–you really don’t need that many! This scarf, for example,  is a great one because it’s very neutral and matches so many different outfits, but it’s still a cute, interesting pattern. (That, and it’s only $25!) I also have a few different pom pom beanies that I rotate between (black, cream, and camel are the most versatile) and same with gloves or mittens! Also, for scarf styling tips see how to wear a scarf multiple ways.

When you do this, you’ll actually look forward to bundling up, because you’ll still feel a lot more confident and stylish when your accessories actually go with your outfit!

Shop neutral accessories: 

[one-half-first][/one-half-first][one-half]

how to style winter layers

[/one-half]

Lesson #4: Find a form-fitting (not marshmallowy) puffer

There is a laundry list of reasons why I love my Canada Goose coat, but aside from being the warmest coat I’ve ever found (reason #1) I love that it truly isn’t bulky like most other puffer coats out there. I have the Shelburne Parka, which designed to be form-fitting, and it’s a true treat to not look like a marshmallow every day from November through March.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Canada Goose coats and whether or not they’re worth it, so I did a whole post diving into the specific reasons why I love the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka in this post. I won’t go into them all again here, but in short, it has so many features that other coats don’t have that ensure you stay as warm as possible. I never knew how warm I could feel in negative temps until I got this coat. It TRULY does make a difference.

It’s definitely one of the most expensive items that I own. Honestly though, when you break it down to how many times per year I wear it, coupled with the fact that it will last for well over a decade–that breaks down into a pretttttyy cheap cost per wear–and well-worth it when you live somewhere that transforms into an arctic tundra each winter.

If you’re wondering about sizing, they run true to size! I’m wearing an XS, because I like my coats to be fitted. I rarely wear too many layers under them (well, never more than you see me wearing here) because the coat is so warm you really don’t need any extra layers with it!

Nordstrom has a huge selection of Canada Goose coats (and also happens to stock everything else I’m wearing in this post ?) The best part about making big purchases like winter coats there is that their return policy is incredible (plus free shipping both ways!) so you don’t have to worry about making an investment and not being 110% happy with it!

Shop my parka: 

how to style winter layers

Shop this post: 

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Thanks to Nordstrom, one of my favorite retailers, for partnering on this post! 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Keep reading...