How to Layer Without Looking Like a Michelin Man

By Kristine Aleksandrovica and Wendy Zhen
Photography by Sydney Lerner

“I LOVE DRESSING FOR THE COLD,” said no university student ever. Although it all looks cute and cozy on Pinterest, dressing for cold weather can be challenging. It can take a lot of courage to break away from the same old jeans and sweaters. However, with the help of a few pieces of thermal layers and statement accessories, you have the potential to express your unique style without sacrificing comfort.

Before we begin, there are a few key pieces that make up the foundation of any winter outfit: thermal under layers. The HeatTech range from Uniqlo is especially renowned for its cutting edge Japanese technology that maintains body temperature without bulky materials. But any thin t-shirt or legging can be substituted to achieve the desired effect.

The first outfit is a perfect example of how versatile you can be with winter fashion and how summer pieces can be utilized with appropriate layering. To get the look started, put on a basic long sleeve turtleneck and thermal leggings — stick to black for a sleek outline. Add tights or knee-high socks on top of the thermal leggings for additional warmth. Then throw on your favorite floral dress, and maybe a black belt with a gold accent to create more shape. I’d recommend adding a cool oversized blazer to modernize and add a masculine edge to the feminine print of the dress, and to make your outfit more interesting. This combination allows you to appear put together without compromising on style. To finish everything up, throw on a coat and scarf to keep you extra warm and safe from the wind.

  • HeatTech turtleneck (Uniqlo)

  • HeatTech leggings (Uniqlo)

  • Tights

  • Floral dress (Old Zara)

  • Belt (Thrifted)

  • Blazer (Old Zara)

  • (Boots)

  • Coat

  • (Scarf)

If you’re trying to go for a more casual look, you might be interested in this one. The first layer will be the same HeatTech leggings and turtleneck. If that’s not enough, you might want to put on some tights underneath the leggings and a tank top underneath the turtleneck. Next, throw on some of your favorite jeans or fabric trousers — with all the layers you’ll be warm even in those super thin ones. For your upper body, you can go for a blouse or one of your favorite sweaters. To make your outfit extra warm, add the puffiest coat you have, a beanie and a scarf. To prevent those toes from freezing, put on some thick socks underneath your boots.

  • Tights

  • HeatTech leggings (Uniqlo)

  • pants/ jeans

  • Tank top

  • HeatTech turtleneck (Uniqlo)

  • Sweater

  • Jacket

  • (Beanie)

  • Warm socks

  • Boots

With these outfits, you’re guaranteed to stay warm and be fashionable without looking like the Michelin Man. But let’s be honest, I’d totally wear a puffy white jacket like that. There are only a few more weeks of cold weather to go, you got this!