How to Layer Like a Pro This Fall

women's fall layered outfit


Fall is in full swing. The familiar chilly nights and cool days signal that it’s time to trade in short-sleeved-anything for thoughtfully layered looks (remember those?) Piling on clothes is practical, yes, but a just-right combination of sweaters, dresses, tops, jackets and coats can take your style to seriously chic new levels, too. It’s all about adding depth with textures, proportions, and colors without spending an hour getting dressed in the morning—which is easier said than done, we know. 

That’s where our expert Stylists come in with brilliant fall outfit formulas (often as easy as 1, 2, 3) to help you layer up and look great faster than you can say “brrrr”. Ready? Let’s get to layering for cold weather before forecasts hit single digits.

                       women's fall outfit layered with tailored blazer and vest

The season’s smartest layers 

At the top of the style class this fall is the collegiate-chic trend. With tailored blazers, poplin shirting & preppy vests making their return, the scholarly look lends itself effortlessly to layering for cold weather. If you’re new to layering 101, this combination is an easy ace: crisp button-up + printed longline blazer + striped knit (drape it around your shoulders for extra style cred). But there’s no need to stick to a strict formula here—when it comes to mixing & matching scholastic pieces, Stitch Fix Stylist Alicia L. suggests putting your personal spin on it: “With a range of classic to sporty aesthetics, and fitted to oversized silhouettes, you can really make the collegiate look your own.” 


women's fall outfit featuring summer dress and jacket

How to layer summer (yes, summer) dresses 

Sure, throwing on a dress becomes a little more challenging when temps start to dip, but don’t count out your favorite sunny-day silhouette just yet. Warm, textural layers will bring a floaty mini, midi or maxi into this season—it’s as easy as throwing a chunky knit and chic wool coat on top. Reach for belted outerwear to give all those layers some definition and shape. Next, a pair of chic boots will really step up the fall vibes. Ankle silhouettes are always a no-brainer, but a knee-skimming pair will add instant polish and keep you feeling toasty (a win-win in our book). 

women's fall outfit featuring blouse, jacket, and slim-cut jeans

Fall’s très chic layer players 

If you find yourself in a layering limbo, just take a page from the Parisians’ style playbook. Nothing says “layering pro” quite like a well-balanced combination of colors, silhouettes and textures, and stylish French women have it down to a science. Nail the effortlessly-chic aesthetic by starting with a sleek base: a floaty blouse and dark slim-cut jeans will do the trick. Then as any fashionable Parisian would do, tie it all together with cool-girl outerwear. A shearling jacket adds an eclectic edge, and cut in a versatile neutral, it’ll become the pièce de résistance of every fall outfit.

women's fall layered outfit with sweater and jacket

Pile on the texture

Sweaters! Jackets! Coats! Scarves! Fall fashion is all about swaddling up in these chill-combatting pieces. But when the goal is “stylish & cool” and not “the one where Joey wears all of Chandler’s clothes”, layering for cold weather without introducing bulk can get tricky. According to Stitch Fix Stylist Alicia L., “the key is thin, fitted base layers to avoid bulkiness and overheating during fall’s ever-changing forecasts”. Once you have your foundation down, it’s time to indulge in the season’s textural delights: cozy sherpas, sleek leathers, classic denim and nubby knits all play well together. Just be sure to ground the look in a cohesive color palette (you can’t go wrong with rich, warm neutrals). 

Get styled by Stitch Fix this fall

Wondering how to layer for the season? Let our Stylists help you beat the chill. Take your style quiz, schedule a Fix and get ready to receive an array of cute layers that fit your unique taste. Try on your new cold-weather looks in the comfort of your own home. Pay for what you love, and send back the rest. Shipping and returns are always free, and there’s no subscription required. You stay warm out there, we’ll take care of the shopping.

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