The only 10 wardrobe layering essentials you need, along with tips on how to layer properly!
Fall is in full swing and winter just around the corner. So when it comes to dressing for this time of year, it’s all about layering.
Layering is one of the most useful strategies to dressing fashionably while staying comfortable. I find the weather can be particularly finicky in the fall with chilly mornings and warm afternoons.
Layering to ensure you can be comfortable when the weather is being fickle. And when winter rolls around you definitely need all the layers you can get!
How to layer your clothes is quite the art. And with the warm days of summer, one that’s easy to forget. But with fall here with winter just around the corner, it’s start to think about how to layer your clothes.
In this post I’m sharing some of my favourite fall and winter layered outfits along with 10 key basics for layering that are essential for the cold weather season.
10 Layering Essentials for Winter
Here are some of my personal tips on how to layer for fall and winter…
When it comes to layering for warmth, I go by the 3 layer method:
- Base layer – a lightweight layer like a camisole or t-shirt
- Mid layer – a warm layer such sweater or cardigan
- Outer layer – a protective outerwear layer like a coat or jacket
Using this method, you should be able to add and remove layers as need. through your day to remain comfortable.
10 Layering Essentials Clothing Pieces for Fall & Winter
These are favourite wardrobe basics for layering.
- Blazer – mid or outer layer
- Sweater dress – mid layer
- White Tank Top – base layer
- Shacket – mid or outer layer
- Button Down Shirt – mid layer
- Cardigan – mid layer
- Turtleneck – base layer
- Sweater vest – mid layer
- Leather jacket – mid or outer layer
- Camisole – base layer
All these pieces are wardrobe staples, and definitely clothes you’ll want to invest in. To find out where to shop for best quality basics basics, check out this post for my favourite brands for clothing basics made to last.
Must Have Layering Essentials for Fall & Winter
1. The Blazer
Blazers are an all around wardrobe staple and a layering essential. They can be worn on top of a button up shirt, t-shirt, turtlenecks and even sweaters as an outerlayer to make any outfit look more polished.
Even though they are considered a jacket, the blazers doesn’t always have to be your top layer, especially as things start to get cold!
Blazers can easily be layered under a coat for some extra warmth, and are often a great way to add some colour and texture to a fall or winter ensemble. Plus it’s an easy way to dress up an outfit to look more professional.
Here’s one of my first fall blazer looks of this season with a houndstooth blazer that I wore to the office.
2. The Sweater Dress
Sweater dresses are one of my favourite fall clothing pieces for feeling cozy in the cold weather.
They’re great for layering over cami’s and tees and under your jackets as a warm middle layer. I love the extra length too, that just makes you feel extra cozy.
My favourite length for sweater dresses is just above the knee. I find it’s most versatile at this length. Where you can wear it as a dress, but still as an oversized sweater with jeans or pants on colder days.
When it gets cold, I like to wear my sweater dresses in outfits with tights or OTK boots and then throwing on a furry coat. They’d also look great with a moto jackets, trenches, or wool coats as well!
3. The White Tank Top
I know it’s fall, but the white tank top is the trend of the moment! It just so happens that’s great wardrobe staple, in addition to being a great layering essential as well.
On it’s own it’s great for the warmer seasons, and when the weather starts cooling down it makes a great base layer.
If you’re interested in some different ways I style a tank, check out this style post on how to style a tee for your work from home days!
My favourite tank is this Pima Micro-Rib Tank from Everlane. It’s a little bit pricier but I love the quality and fit. It stays soft through the washes and keeps it shape really well over time. It’s such a classic and flattering cut too, where it’s not boxy and but not too fitted either.
4. The Button Down Shirt
The button down shirt is a wardrobe you’ve probably already had on high rotation since summer. But this is one piece that just won’t quit! It’s also a great layering essential for fall and winter.
Button down shirts are great for mid layering in the fall and winter. Wear it over a dress like I’ve done in the first pic above, or as a top where you can add more layers on top. I’ve even worn a button down shirt with a turtleneck underneath and I love the look of it!
4. The Shacket
The shacket, yes it’s an awful name, but excellent layering piece! Part a shirt and part jacket, the shacket has turned from trendy piece to a wardrobe staple.
The shacket is a versatile mid and outer layer. On most fall days, it’s a layering essential that’s warm enough to be worn on its own, yet slim enough to fit under a coat which makes it fantastic for layering in the winter.
On milder days, I like wearing it open over a simple basic like a classic crew t-shirt, this season fave basic – the white tank top. Then when it starts getting cooler, you can start layering it with turtlenecks and long sleeves shirts, and for added warmth throw on a cozy scarf.
And if you’re shopping for fall and winter jackets and coats, check out:
5. The Cardigan
Cardigans are one of the most versatile pieces you’ll ever own. You can wear them almost year round and it’s a great layering essential for fall and winter.
Cardigans make a great mid layer piece that that can go over dresses, camis, and your base layers to keep your cozy.
I love both long and shorter cardigans and think that both are great to have as part of your wardrobe.
6. The Turtleneck
Turtlenecks one of my favourite layering essentials for winter months. They’re great base layer that’s provides a lot of versatility, and you can wear under a variety of pieces.
My most worn item last winter was probably a white knit turtleneck (2nd pic above). I wore it under my dresses, alone with a pair of jeans, and even under button down shirts. It’s such a simple piece, but a chic and versatile one!
If you’re looking to make it a base layer, make sure the material isn’t too bulky! Plus, make sure to pick something breathable to keep things comfortable when it gets warm.
6. The Sweater Vest
Sweater vests are another versatile piece that make a great layering essential.
You can easily wear long cardigans over t-shirts, blouses, dresses as an outer layer in the fall. And it can be a mid layer for winter months under your coats as well.
There are a variety of options out there from cropped ones to longer ones like the one I’m wearing here. Personally, I love how the extra length gives you added warmth!
7. The Leather Jacket
To me, the (faux) leather motorcycle jacket is synonymous with fall fashion. It’s a classic wardrobe staple that never seems to go out of style, plus it makes a great layering piece.
You can wear it as an outerwear piece on the warmer days, but also a mid layer once it start getting colder.
My favourite way to wear leather jackets is layering on top of summer dresses to make them more wearable in the fall. Plus they add that cool factor to almost every outfit.
8. The Camisole
Camisoles make a great base layer to wear layered under your sweaters and tops during the fall and winter months.
Layering your camis under cardigans and other warmer layers are a great way to continue wearing your favourite summer camis and tanks into the fall.
I think they make such a pretty layer too that’s adds more dimension and depth to any outfit.
Plus they add a layer of warm to your outfit since sweaters can feel a little breezy sometime.
What are some of your favourite layering essentials for fall and winter?
Let me know in the comments below!
The article was first published on September 25, 2022, and updated on October 31, 2023, to update sold-out items and add new items.
More fall and winter style posts for you:
- 5 Fall Trends I’m Loving, and 3 I’m Passing On
- Cute Fall Outfit ideas to Try Now
- Best Winter Coat Brands from Canada
- Summer Trends to Transition to Fall
- 5 Fall Fashion Staples For Your Closet
- Best Winter Boots for Women
- How to Winterize Your Wardrobe