Slimming Ways of Layering Clothes
Layering clothes is a way of life if you live anywhere it gets cold. Yet the biggest concern besides staying warm is about finding slimming tricks.
Quote of the day: “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castaneda
Thanks to a reader for asking about styling outerwear without looking bulky. The three of us will be incorporating different ideas with this theme in mind.
And the quote may not be directed to fashion, but I can interpret it appropriately for this idea in 2 ways.
1-You have to get dressed every day. Whether you are staying at home or going out, we all put on clothing. So why not have it be an outfit that makes you look and feel better about yourself?
2-The other thought is to create a focal point with your styling or accessories. It’s no different than a magician creating a distraction so he can pull a rabbit from his hat. Use your pieces to your advantage.
How do you find slimming ways of layering clothes for the colder months? Lots of practice, and take our advice. All three of us have lived in Colorado for over 100 combined years. Our wisdom is based on experience.
Lesley’s Tips for Slimming Ways of Layering Clothes
Warmth without bulk is how Lesley likes to describe it.
- Clothing materials, The material of our clothing makes a difference in how we stay cool or warm. You want items that provide warmth without creating width. Two of Lesley’s favorites are cashmere and boiled wool (also called felted).
Insider tip: If you might be sweating, it’s important to consider moisture-wicking materials for your underlayers. For example, this would be essential if you are skiing or hiking in the winter.
- Scarves. Knit scarves not only help with the aestetic portion of the outfit, but are adding a layer to the areas you want to keep warm.
- Underneath. Don’t forget that a tight camisole can add necessary heat to the core of your body.
- Color. Don’t forget to add in colorful items. Color is a huge psychological factor that can make you feel better and other people react to you in a more positive light. You may not think that makes a difference for appearing slimmer. YET confidence plays an important role is how we feel.
- Perfectly imperfect. And the hugest takeaway is that it’s more important to be comfortable and warm than looking slim. As I like to say, who decided that it’s better to look slim anyways? That’s not what makes us a good person.
Insider tip: Trying to dress any kind of “er” (taller, thinner, etc) leads to a never-ending road. As discussed in my Perfectly Imperfect article, having fun with our style makes us happier.
Jeans: Style & Co~~ Cardigan: Alfini~~ Top: Cashmere~~ Shoes: Ann Klein~~ Scarf: Steinmart
A Boiled Wool/Felted Long Cardigan
A long cardigan obviously covers more surface area of your body and thus will keep you warmer. The three of us recently styled these longer cardigans in different ways here.
Unlike a traditional puffer jacket, boiled wool or felted sweater does not create as much bulk to your silhouette.
Insider tip: There are puffer jackets that are less bulky. Look for:
1-Packable down coats,
2-Coats where the fill power is higher (talked about in this article by Mountain Warehouse)
3-Print puffer coats
4-Diagonal designs of the sections
What is boiled wool? If you’ve ever shrunk a sweater, then you created your own boiled wool or felted sweater. This material means the yarn is much denser which creates an item that keeps the heat in and the cold out.
These kinds of sweaters will help with the idea of layering clothes in a slimming way.
BEWARE: These are not water-resistant unless they have been treated, so they aren’t ideal for rain or snow days.
Layering Clothes With Your Scarf
A knit scarf is the perfect accessory to help keep you warm. Lesley tied this plaid knit scarf once so it would sit in the middle of the open cardigan.
The scarf gives warmth to the neck and front of the body this way.
The idea of a scarf worn this way adds a vertical element to the overall look. If you are looking for slimming tips, that’s one of the big ones.
Why this works:
1-The scarf is a lighter color and adds a bright contrast to the sweater and top underneath. This makes your eye stop on it and travel down the length of the scarf.
2- If the cardigan was closed shut, it would break up the big expanse of charcoal grey. It’s no different than leaving a cardigan open to show off the column of color underneath it. But this way you have the warmth of the scarf.
Too many times we get concerned about how to “tie” our scarves. These are magical pieces of material that can be twisted and tied in more ways than you can count.
But don’t fret about how to tie it. The reason most scarves are a beautiful print is to be the focal point. People notice the scarf, not how you tied it.
But just in case you would want different options, this scarf could be worn in many other ways with this look:
1-Drape it around the collar of the cardigan so both ends hang down the front. Lesley used this trick with her summer scarf here.
2-Throw one end over your shoulder and let the other end hang down. All three of us styled scarves this way with our plaid scarves.
Insider tip: If you want to keep your scarf in place, pin it with either a safety pin or decorative brooch.
3-You can knot the ends to make it an infinity scarf and wrap it twice around your neck. Very similar to my scarf here.
4-Or wrap it around your head and neck for extra warmth. Lesley showcased this with a silk version.
The Under Layer
For this outfit, Lesley chose a cashmere sweater to layer under the boiled wool cardigan. The fact that cashmere is a material made from the fleece of goats found in extremely cold areas, makes it much warmer than wool.
Cashmere is also soft due to the fineness and shape of the fibers as compared to wool.
Insider tip: That being said, not all cashmere is created equal. You want to make sure
1-It’s not TOO soft at first. Some companies treat their cashmere with softeners which can lead to it wearing out sooner.
2-Some cashmere sweaters are blended with other fibers to lower the price.
3-The source of the goats for the cashmere makes a difference in quality too, however, it’s not always easy to determine. If you can find the information, look for Mongolian cashmere.
One of the tricks with layering clothes to stay warm yet keep slim is to have fitted pieces especially for the under layers. When you have a tighter piece of clothing it doesn’t allow the air to circulate and thus can keep you warmer.
Also, it’s good to have a contrasting color under the top layer to again create that column in the front of your body. If Lesley needed to take off her scarf, she would still have a band of color under the cardigan.
Insider tip: In fact, this could be one reason to keep a “too tight” top or sweater so you can use it as a layering piece.
Slim Cut Jeans
Lesley also chose a slim-cut pair of jeans so that the outfit would not appear bulky. These jeans are medium-wash denim with an almost straight leg. Or you could make the case that the leg is slightly tapered. Either way, you are counteracting the heavier items on the top half of the outfit.
What Shoes to Wear With Jeans
Lesley picked a bright and vibrant shoe to wear with her jeans and boiled wool cardigan.
If you are layering clothes to keep warm, you may not want to expose any bare body parts. However, the advantage of the tricks with the warmer materials that Lesley wore, is they really work and keep you warm. So you might be able to have some exposed foot and not be cold.
Having footwear that is colorful is a wonderful change of focus trick. Because your eye moves to her feet to check out those marvelous shoes, you don’t concentrate on other parts of the body.
So make sure to have winter shoes and boots that catch people’s eyes. You will get a ton of compliments on them. You can see how we have styled red boots in the past.
Insider tip: Wearing no-show socks can help keep your feet warm. They add another layer to your feet and your feet don’t sweat inside of your shoes. My favorites in ballet flats and loafers are the Sheec socks.
Other Slimming Ways for Style
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about slimming ways for styling our outfits. In all of the blog posts below, there are at least two visual options for comparison.
- Instructive Ideas of Outfits for Weight Gain in the Midsection. Lesley shows 2 different ways.
- Easy Adjustments for Slimming Your Top Half. The original models show jacket ideas.
- Which Pants are more Slimming? Changing out the bottom half for the original models.
- Revisited Busty Women’s Fashion- 2 Options to Minimize the Boobs. Showing 2 options after I added padding to my bra.
- Stylish Way of How to Layer Outfits Without Looking Bulky. Charlotte showcased a leather jacket.
- Polished Style: How to Layer With a Vest Spruce up any vest to make it look polished.
Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what others think.
My hope is that you get ideas and inspiration from Charlotte, Lesley, and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?
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