ways to layer fall outfit

20+ Stylish Ways To Layer Clothes Like a Fashion Pro

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As the seasons start to change and the weather starts to dip, layering becomes a necessity. Whether your climate gets chilly quickly and you need the extra warmth or your cold weather is mild and you just need a few ideas on how to stylishly stay warm, creating a layered look is your answer. Not only that, but layering is a great way to make a fashion statement and look like a fashion pro. Extra layers add extra interest to your outfit and it’s the perfect way to introduce different textures to your look. Simply put, layering is the easiest way to create a stylish outfit. And though mastering the art of layering can be tricky, these 20+ ways to layer clothes will get you started!

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Made Brands. Thank you for supporting the brands that support My Chic Obsession.

Before we dive into the layering ideas, I’ve just got to say that living in the midwest my entire life has taught me a thing or two about layering. It’s not unusual if our weather changes so drastically that we’ve had to turn on both the AC and the heat in the same week.

I like to think that my environment has shaped me into a layering pro, so believe me when I say that Nordstrom made finding great layering pieces so easy! From affordable basics from Caslon to splurge-worthy luxury pieces from Nordstrom Signature, Nordstrom is one of the best places to shop if you want access to countless brands at all different price points to help you build your wardrobe. If you’re looking for a versatile and stylish fall wardrobe, start here!

1. Sweater Around Your Shoulders

This first idea is an easy way to keep an extra clothing item nearby without getting too warm, perfect for those that live in a warm climate or run a hot body temperature.

Tank tops or sleeveless dresses help keep you from overheating, while a sweater tied around your neck keeps this extra handy layer nearby should you need it. The end result is a stylish, preppy, and casual look!

2. Cardigan Over a Dress

If you need something a little more substantial than a light sweater tied around your neck, then add an outer layer to your outfit, such as a chunky cardigan. This top layer is a good idea for both style and warmth. This can be a great way to introduce different colors to your outfit as well!

And if you’re looking for a fun and flirty little black dress, this is the one for you. The length is perfect (IMO), not too short, but just short enough to feel flirty. The sleeveless style makes it easy for layering and the fitted waist flared skirt is very flattering. Plus, the material feels very substantial and is of good quality!

3. Sweater Over a Dress, Belted

Now, button up that cardigan and flip it around to wear it as a sweater. This layering trick may only work with certain styles, but I’ll say that this sweater is worth every penny! It can be worn in 3 different ways, the quality is great, and the design is perfect.

But if you don’t have this particular sweater (though I’d recommend it), then find something with buttons that’s slouchy enough to be worn in different ways. Add a belt to your look to define your waist.

4. Button-Down Shirt Under a Sleeveless Dress (or Shirt)

Pro tip: Wearing a button-down shirt under a sleeveless top or dress is one of the best ways to maximize your wardrobe and allow you to keep wearing your summer clothes into the fall and winter seasons.

Not only is the feeling of a doubled wardrobe reason enough to layer like this, but this preppy look is perfect for the fall season.

5. Long Sleeve Sweater Over Your Outfit

Now for that preppy and stylish finish, add that draped sweater back to your look!

6. Add Outerwear to Your Outfit

Some women may need more than a button-down and a draped sweater to keep them warm. This is when you bring out an extra outerwear piece, whether that’s a leather jacket, denim jacket, teddy coat, or blazer.

7. Belted Cardigan Over a Sleeveless Dress and Button-Down

Oh, how much do I love this cardigan? Let me count the ways. For an ultra-stylish look and a chic way to layer clothes, try this layering idea: a button-down under a sleeveless dress topped off with a belted cardigan.

8 & 9. Dress Over Jeans

If you want to try something a little out of the box, why not try wearing a dress over jeans? This idea isn’t for everyone’s personal style, but it’s a great way to have bottom layers and inject a little bit of a fashion statement into your look! (You can swap out the jeans for tights or leggings too.)

And if your weather is still warm and you need a way to layer clothes without overheating, then drop the cardigan and instead, tie a lightweight sweater with long sleeves around your waist.

Related: Fall Monthly Outfit Calendar | 30+ Outfit Ideas

10. Turtleneck Under Dress

Okay, maybe wearing a dress with jeans is a little out there for you, I get it! If you prefer to add your layers on top instead, then start with thin base layers, such as this tissue-weight turtleneck.

This one is soft and lightweight, perfect for adding thicker items on top. A brighter colored belt can break up all the black so you don’t lose your figure.

11. Sweater Vest Over a Dress

A sweater vest is an unsung hero this time of year. It can work as an outermost layer or as one of your second layers. It can add some much-needed warmth around your midsection without making you feel bulky all over.

12. Sweater Vest Over a Turtleneck

And the best part is, a sweater vest is versatile! It can be worn over dresses or with jeans. I love this particular one for its neutral design. If you only have one that’s too much of a statement, like the infamous houndstooth style of last year, it will be harder to mix and match and it will always make your outfit feel like winter.

13 & 14. Blazer Over a Turtleneck or Button-Down

Not all layering looks have to be “out there” to be stylish! For some simple and chic layering, add a blazer over wardrobe classics like a lightweight turtleneck or button-down.

15. Button-Down Over a Turtleneck

Okay, but for something that is a little more “out there” and unique, try layering a button-down over a turtleneck. The end result is clever without being too bulky!

16 & 17. Sweater Vest Over a Button-Down

Wearing a cropped semi-fitted sweater vest over a slightly oversized button-down creates a nice contrast that in turn creates a stylish and interesting look. Tie a sweater around your shoulders for even more style points!

18. Button-Down Over Sweater Vest

For warmer climates, a sweater vest can be worn on its own and still feel like a fall outfit, but if you want to add that extra layer, then wear a button-down on top. It adds extra interest and this clothing piece is lightweight, ensuring you won’t get too hot.

19. Blazer Over a Button-Down and Sweater Vest

These layers are lightweight, so it works to add more than one. The sweater introduces a thicker, knit material while the others keep it lightweight. The end result is fresh, fun, and stylish!

When layering like this, you can experiment with different lengths too. For example, your button-down could be shorter while your blazer is longer and oversized for extra interest.

20. Cardigan Over a Button-Down

Here’s just another way to think outside of the box! A slouchy sweater with buttons can be worn as a sweater or as a cardigan over a button-down. If you like a classic, timeless aesthetic, then follow this look and pair it with loafers for fall.

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As the weather cools down, use these layering techniques to create different looks and add that stylish element to your outfit! And if you want even more fall outfit ideas, then check out 6 Go-To Classic Fall Outfit Formulas Modeled on Two Different Body Types.

As a bonus, I’ll leave you with 8 more stylish ways to layer clothes!

ways to layer clothes
ways to layer clothes


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making mychicobsession.com a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.