How to Layer for Winter According to Instagram

Woman wearing warm-toned layered outfit with scarf.

Layering can be your bestie or your worst enemy. On one hand, layering garments staves off the chills and gives you creative freedom to use old pieces in new ways. But layering gone wrong? You end up feeling like a marshmallow with no style sense.

Well I say, no marshmallow for you! Let’s keep the layering game on point. Here are the 10 ultimate rules of winter layering, each demonstrated by an amazing layered look from Instagram.

The 10 Rules of Layering

1. Pair animal prints and neutrals.

You know that animal print coat or kimono you have in the closet, the one that’s way more aggressive than your normal, everyday style? Put that piece to work by slipping it on underneath a neutral overcoat. Just like that, you’re a style genius.

2. Two coats are better than one.

You can pair motos and blazers, double up on sweaters and even wear two complementary overcoats at the same time. Your success here lies in the order of the garments: fitted coats and very bold, patterned coats shine as under-layers. Top those pieces off with a solid-color trench or overcoat.

3. Do wear a collared top.

Try and visualize the outfit below without the white top. It’s decidedly less interesting that way, right? The contrasting white collar, hemline and sleeves provide structure so that the ensemble looks put together, and not thrown together.

The takeaway is this: a white, collared top with a sweater always works. Add a structured coat if you feel too puffy.

4. Use textures to add interest.

Textures work as hard as colors to add interest to an outfit. So even if your winter wardrobe consists of basics, you can (and you will) combine them into unique, stylish combos — just by playing on textural differences. See the outfit by @mylovestyled below. She matches up two different ribbed knits, torn denim, leather plus metal zippers, and it all works beautifully!

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on, and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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