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WINTER LAYERS - how to layer with style

Monday, May 07, 2018


Be brave this winter and step out in stylish winter fashion that doesn’t make you look frumpy! Yes, it is possible to dress for winter without looking like the Michelin Man!

The secret: Layers.


Layering up for winter when you live in a climate that regularly drops below 15°C means you need to be prepared.  Melbourne is rumoured to host four seasons in one day, however in Toowoomba, the real problem is the wind chill factor. Relentless winds during the cooler months can prove quite a wardrobe challenge if you aren’t ready for it.

In order to be as comfortable outside as we are inside, you need to adopt the layering technique with your clothing, so you may add or remove as many layers as necessary to feel warm and relaxed.



IMPORTANT:  To begin with, I recommend starting with quality thermal underclothes. By investing in high quality leggings and tops, you’ll be able to wear a thin layer of thermal fabric which doesn’t add bulk to your overall look; plus you’ll ditch one of those puffy outer layers as a bonus. Personally, I have had great success with the high-grade thermals available from camping and outdoor stores, as well as those higher quality items you can find at the family owned and operated Hannas Department Store in Toowoomba.


Next, you’ll need to find as many vests, cardigans and layering pieces as you can that suit your body shape. By experimenting with different cuts and colours, you’ll discover the right option for your unique shape. To ‘Learn how to layer like a pro’, take my workshop on 27th May – for details, go to  Facebook or Eventbrite, and to purchase your ticket for the workshop.



Layering as all about balancing the shape, cut, colour and fabric of your layering pieces in a way that suits your natural body shape. By accentuating your natural features and camouflaging any areas you’d rather keep hidden, you can still look well dressed and stylish in what you choose to wear. There are a number of different body shapes and style categories that we will investigate in the upcoming Body Shape workshop as well. This workshop will enable you to discover what your body shape is, plus how to dress in a way that flatters your unique shape. To experience this for yourself and secure your seat instantly through the online booking portal, view the workshop on either Facebook or Eventbrite for more.

In the ten examples below, you will find many outfits that work together harmoniously. Many of them will work for various shapes, while some are more suited to my personal shape. In any case, I will explain in detail why these outfits work, and give you as many tips as I can to help you choose the right layering options for yourself as well.




Outfit 1.


Witchery navy blue fur wrap ($179.95) over ‘Marigold’ floral dress ($159.95).

This dress and wrap complement each other nicely for several reasons. One piece is print and the other is a solid colour. One piece has texture and the other is flat. One piece is dark and the other is light. There is dark blue within the print of the dress, making it a suitable pairing. Plus, the dress is drawn in with an elastic waist band and therefore gives the wearer shape, allowing the wrap to drape without losing the figure underneath. This could easily be worn during the day, or out to dinner, depending on the venue. Boots or pumps would be a good fit and a pair of silver, gold or yellow earrings and a bracelet or two would complete this outfit.




Outfit 2.


Witchery white and black star blouse ($119.95) beneath black woven fringe vest ($149.95), paired with black high rise leggings ($69.95) and tan belt ($49.95).

Black and white is always in fashion and this quirky look could work for you if you are happy to show off your legs and wear a less structured vest. The bow on the top could easily be removed if you are heavier on top and a long necklace with simple detailing would flatter you more. Alternatively, if you are heavier on the bottom, put your belt on over the top of your vest and add a statement necklace to draw the eye up and highlight your slim waist. Trying different size belts with different thicknesses also changes the way this combo can work; personally, I find that thicker belts work better with my shape. Keep trying different options to see what works for you or if you want to learn more with me one-on-one, invest in a Personal Shop or Body Shape workshop to take your look to the next level.




Outfit 3.


Witchery blush pink cape ($199.95) over navy floral dress ($159.95).

Sometimes, you can get bored with just jackets, blazers and cardigans – enter the cape! There are so many stylish ways you can wear a cape and here is a beautiful combo for you to try. The pretty pink blossoms in the dress make it easy to choose this complementary pink cape as a layering piece. This dress is also drawn in at the waist, therefore the figure of the wearer is not lost in the cape. To make this outfit more suited to a winters day, try wearing stockings and long boots with a dress and cape combo; a cloche or beret hat teamed with a pair of gloves would add some real flair to this look as well. If you aren’t a fan of dresses or skirts in winter, try a cape over fitted pants and a blouse, or it can work over simple, fine woven knits and other layering pieces too. Just keep the bulk down by ensuring you follow my previous recommendation – wear quality underclothes and you’ll swear it’s only the beginning of Autumn. 




Outfit 4.


Witchery white lace top, including undershirt  ($139.95) tucked into black pencil skirt ($89.95).

Black and white is a classic look, but this white lace top has far more visual interest than a plain white blouse. This top is not fitted, however you can highlight the waist by tucking the inner shirt into a skirt or pair of trousers – make sure you keep the lower half fitted though, otherwise you will have a loose top and a loose bottom, and run the risk of looking untidy. Interestingly according to Witchery,100% of the purchase price (ex GST) will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. So, you’d be purchasing more than just a top here. Now, when it comes to layering this outfit further, I would consider a leather jacket – lace looks amazing with leather and ads an edginess to a femme classic. As for the shoes, I must stress that when wearing pencil skirts, heels always look better than flats; whether it’s a boot, pump or sandal, please opt for something with a heel as it will elongate your legs, show off your calves and add more polish to your overall look.

A note on body shape, observe the V-neckline of the slip underneath the top, this is extremely valuable for those why have broad shoulders or a more ample bust. Slips or lace that is cut off in a straight line across the chest does nothing but make this upper area look wider and more square – which is why straight cut off lines across the chest are better suited to those with sloping or narrow set shoulders and smaller busts.




Outfit 5.


Witchery stone cardigan ($199.95) over plum top ($99.95) and floral print skirt ($119.95).


Both the colour of the cardigan and the top work well with the print in the frill skirt here. For those of you who like the ‘comfort’ look and love your soft layers, it is possible to wear long soft layers without looking frumpy. Just remember to keep the waist defined and wear at least one fitted piece. You can easily do this with a skinny or tailored fit dark denim jean, or mini skirt and over the knee boots to show off your legs. Or if you’d prefer to wear fitted on top, tuck in a t-shirt or blouse at your waist, or wear a more structured top with ample darts and panels to highlight your figure. Avoid long skirts with longline cardigans as they can look heavy. For this outfit, I would recommend either a statement necklace or a long pendant necklace, depending on your shape. If you would like to learn more about body shape and what suits you, please consider taking my Body Shape workshop which will uncover your body shape and emphasise what clothing flatters your figure most.




Outfit 6.


Witchery grey knit dress ($149.95) with black leggings ($69.95), plum floral scarf ($49.95) and black cross body bag ($99.95).

This look is so easy to achieve and so comfortable to wear as well! Now grey is too soft for me to wear so I have to add punch with a scarf, hence the plum coloured floral scarf. It actually suits the dress really well because there are also white and grey tones in the floral print. The cross body bag is a cool little touch, but a boho bag or funky tote would work too. Just make sure all your accessories make sense or have something in common – it could be a colour, a theme, or a design feature. When it comes to knits and woven jumpers, opt for knit pieces that are finely woven, as they lend themselves to being easier to layer and accessorise, without adding attention to undesired areas like some larger, more chunky knits do. A floppy hat and tasteful earrings would make this a really put together outfit for wandering through shops or the markets on the weekend. To add extra warmth, a trench coat or heavy jacket would complement a knit dress nicely.




Outfit 7. 


Witchery black jean ($129.95) with grey leopard print top ($59.95) and grey cardigan ($99.95).


This look is effortless, stylish and oh-so-easy to replicate! Find yourself any long cardigan in your favourite colour – I went for this grey one here instead of my usual black – and pair shirts in complementary colours with the cardi, add fitted pants, skinny jeans or high-quality leggings as your bottoms and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get dressed this way. If it’s warm, you can remove the cardi, if it’s cool, you can put on a long sleeveless vest, coat, (or my personal favourite) a short/cropped jacket in the same hue. You could add a scarf here – as long as it sits close to the body and isn’t bulky – or a necklace to draw they eye up or down depending on where you want to draw attention to. Ankle boots are an easy option here, however knee high boots or some chunky pumps would also look good. If you’re like me and have slim wrists, try rolling up your cardi a little and adding a fancy bracelet to draw attention to this point.




Outfit 8.


Witchery navy blue trench ($199.95) over white and navy striped knit ($119.95) and black jean ($129.95).


If you’re out and about and want to keep the wind out, this long trench is made from beautiful fabric and is a dark French navy, which makes it perfect for pairing back with black. Black I hear your say? Yes, black and navy are not as taboo as they used to be and as you can see here, the black coated jeans I am wearing go perfectly well with the white and navy knit and navy trench. I have also pulled up the sleeves of the trench and let the cream peak through a little to lighten my outfit. You could also add a scarf, fun necklace or earrings here to add colour around your face – which is most important. If you feel your look is too simple, too light or too dark, throw in a piece with colour near your face and see if you prefer the result. If you want to wear a trench open to create long slimming lines (something I frequently do), tie the waistband behind you just a little firmly until you get the desired waist definition you’d prefer. With coats, be mindful of the detailing on the front, as they can make your upper half look square and larger than it really is – which may or may not be desirable. Usually military style will have lots of buttons and embroidered embellishments where as others will have large pointed lapels which all draw the eye upwards to that area. If you need help with layering and what suits your body shape, consider one of my workshops or a tailored one-on-one session for are sure-fire way to learn about your unique shape and how best to flatter your figure.




Outfit 9.


Witchery lace top ($99.95) and plum blazer ($279.95) with coated black jean ($129.95).


This blazer is totally chic and a very sassy piece! It deserves something a little fun underneath, which is why I went for the lace top. It is a double-breasted blazer and the eyes are drawn to the buttons, so it is not friendly for those of you trying to hide a tummy, however I would recommend it for someone who is comfortable with detail around the waist. You could easily wear this blazer, or a similar one with a pussy-bow blouse, turtle neck or if you have the courage, on its own buttoned up with a leather skirt for a more playful look. I think it would look great as a work blazer this winter and I would pair it with a super dark denim jean (like these black shiny jeans I’m wearing here), trousers, a pencil skirt, mini skirt and stockings. The black lace top underneath is very versatile as well, although not terribly warm; which is where my very first recommendation comes in, regarding quality thermal underclothes. You could be wearing high grade thermal tights and a top underneath this outfit to stay warm and no one would ever know – you’d just look super chic and slimmer than you would if you were wearing a puffer jacket – which does exactly the same thing. If it was seriously cold outside, you could throw a coat and scarf over this outfit, but I would recommend taking the scarf off once you are indoors, otherwise you would be hiding the feature of the blazer. Always remember to allow the feature of an outfit to shine!




Outfit 10. My Personal Outfit


My personal outfit on this day is a black ruffle dress with a waist tie and black and white geometric print scarf, plus a white cross body bag and black jacket (tied around my bag).

It wasn’t cold enough to warrant wearing my jacket here, but I wanted it somewhere handy in case I needed it, hence why I tied it around my bag. Having short hair, my scarves help my neck stay warm during winter and this cotton scarf with silver thread fits the task well. I tie it specifically around my neck with the corners pointing down to draw the eyes downwards as well. I cannot wear too much bulk up top, yet because the dress I am wearing flares out slightly, I am able to get away with it! As long as there is balance, you will be surprised what you can do with a little know how. We discuss this in my Layering workshop and in one-on-one consultations, going through what will work for you and your unique body shape.



That’s what I have to share with you on layering for winter. I hope you enjoyed my blog and please email or send me a message on my social media networks to let me know what you think of this kind of blog post. I always welcome feedback and would love to talk more with you about all things fashion and style – just let me know what you need!


For more information on any of my services, please click here for womens, here for mens and here for corporate.


My upcoming workshops can be viewed through Facebook here and I welcome you to try one out for yourself and see just how valuable learning about your personal style can be. I promise you will never look at your wardrobe the same way ever again!