The 9 Commandments of Layering Like a Street Style Star

Now that it’s cooling off, we can finally whip out every trendsetter’s greatest trick: layering. While it’s simple in theory, the reality is that there’s an art to mixing and matching garments in a way that feels fresh. The goal is to pair closet staples and statement pieces in ways that don’t add unflattering bulk or leave us feeling frumpy. Luckily we’ve got plenty of inspiration to help guide the way.

Guided by some of fashion’s biggest trendsetters, we’re rounding up the layering rules stylish women swear by. These simple tricks will put your wardrobe in a whole new light and offer up some simple commandments to stick to when trying to figure out exactly how to pile on your staples as the temperatures chill out. Armed with these ideas (along with shopping to help you pull them off), you’ll be ready to tackle the coming months like the fashion girl you are.

Read on for nine lessons in layering you’ll want to employ this fall and forevermore!

Add a Belt

Since layering automatically adds bulk to your frame, utilize the waist-accentuating power of a belt. Cinch it tightly over a coat or bulky sweater to accentuate the narrowest part of your body.

Make a Turtleneck Your #1 Staple

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

If there’s one piece we’d consider the hero of the winter wardrobe, it’s the turtleneck. Layered under dresses, blouses, and jackets, it’s warm, sure, but it also adds just the right amount of contrast.

finish long layers with a crop

One major drawback to piling on layers is that it can add unwanted bulk. One solution is to make sure to vary the length of your layers, with the widest piece being the shortest. That way, slimmer pieces show underneath, helping to create a more flattering line.

try mixing textures

Cool weather is the perfect occasion to break out luxe fabrics like leather, wool, and cashmere. Paired together, not only are they comfy, they also add a little extra intrigue to your look.

play with prints

Print mixing can feel intimidating, but armed with a few key ideas, it’s fairly simple. Try keeping color palettes similar and mixing large and small prints together, and you’ll find it’s easier than you imagined.

use the shoulder shrug

This season, one cool way to show off pieces layered together is by shrugging your outer layers off your shoulders. As long as it’s not too chilly outside, you’ll still be warm while looking totally cool.

think in threes

One easy layering technique that fashionable women employ is to think about pieces in threes, whether it be as simple as pairing a dress, top, and belt or something a little trendier like jeans, a maxi, and a statement coat.

Layer a Blazer over a casual tee

While some of us would gladly spend the time until spring solely in tees and sweatshirts, chances are you’ll need something a little more polished on occasion. The solution: a sleek blazer. Casual staples get an instant dose of polish with just one simple addition.

Wear Long Sleeves Under Everything

Don’t want to retire your summery slip dress? Good news: You don’t have to. Utilizing the power of a long-sleeve top allows you to stay warm, even in your breeziest dress.