13 Unexpected Ways to Layer Fall Clothes

Stay warm, look cool

The best way to upgrade your wardrobe doesn’t require buying a ton of new pieces. It just requiresa creative approach to using the pieces you already own. This fall, we’re taking inspiration from these 13 seriously stylish ladies to breathe new life into the shirts, skirts, dresses and jackets we thought we’d grown tired of.

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Wear A Trench Over A Leather Moto Jacket

You normally associate a trench coat with classic elegance. Toughen up the typically reserved style by wearing it over a cool moto (and quilted leather pants, if that’s your thing).

Get the look: T Tahari trench ($68); BlankNYC jacket ($98)

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Wear A Ribbed Tank Over A Turtleneck

A tissue-thin turtleneck is the ultimate fall and winter layering piece. And those newly popular ribbed tank tops can act as a sweater vest in this instance.

Get the look: LNA tank ($68); J.Crew turtleneck ($35)

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Wear A Party Dress Over A Turtleneck

See? Turtlenecks are a total godsend in colder weather, especially when you don’t want to retire your favorite fun, fancy summer dress. A turtleneck also makes a bold dress look way more casual, meaning you can totally wear it during the day.

Get the look: Ella Moss dress ($179); Old Navy turtleneck ($17)

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Wear A Pencil Skirt Over Skinny Pants

We’ve always been a little skeptical of the skirt-over-pants thing, but this thoroughly modern and chic version—pairing a fun pencil with leather skinnies—has totally changed our mind.

Get the look: Kendall + Kylie skirt ($111); Ann Taylor leggings ($98)

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Layer A Shearling Coat Over A Buttoned Vest

This combo is perfect if the look you’re going for is “Ralph Lauren fever dream.”

Get the look: ASOS coat ($113); Antonio Melani vest ($119)

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Wear A Longer Vest Over A Shorter Jacket

The conundrum: You have an amazing, faux-fur-trimmed vest that you’re dying to wear, but it’s a touch too cold to rock it with just a shirt underneath. The answer: a shorter coat for visual balance.

Get the look: MICHAEL Michael Kors vest ($195); H&M jacket ($40)

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Wear A Bomber Jacket Over A Dress With Jeans

The season’s hottest jacket can be worn with pretty much anything, but we’re loving it with this modern take on the late-’90s dress-over-jeans trend.

Get the look: RD Style bomber ($92); Anthropologie dress ($148); Madewell jeans ($80)

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Wear A Jean Jacket Over A Shirtdress And Jeans

Think of this as a preppier take on the previous look, featuring what should be a mainstay in your wardrobe—your trusty jean jacket.

Get the look: Levi's jacket ($50); Everlane dress ($78); AG jeans ($168)

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Wear A Maxi Dress With A Turtleneck And Moto Jacket

Boho beauty at its fall finest. Try topping a flowy maxi with a tough leather moto jacket and adding a turtleneck underneath for good measure.

Get the look: Loft dress ($90); Gap turtleneck ($35); Silence + Noise jacket ($139)

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Wear A Midi Skirt With A Long Sweater

A skirt can be tougher to pull off as it gets colder. Sure, you can add tights or high boots, but you still might be chilly. To stay warm, top it with a long sweater that hits around mid-thigh. Create a nice long line by sticking with a sweater that skims your body but doesn’t hug it too tightly. 

Get the look: Kenzo skirt ($540); H&M sweater ($50)

RELATED: 6 Chic Ways to Wear Skirts in the Fall


Wear A Kimono Over A Turtleneck

A kimono seems fairly summery until you wear it over a seasonally appropriate sweater. The resulting look is unexpected and so cool.

Get the look: Current/Elliott kimono ($135); J.Crew turtleneck ($20)

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Wear A Wool Overcoat Over A Suede Moto Jacket

To keep double jackets looking chic and intentional, mix materials and pair, say, wool with suede or leather with faux fur. When layering jackets it’s also important to consider proportions: The first layer should fit snugly, while the second should be more oversized.

Get the look: MICHAEL Michael Kors coat ($347); Calvin Klein Jeans jacket ($75)

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Wear A Belt Over A Sweatshirt

Well, isn’t this fun? A graphic sweatshirt is cheeky and not for more modest dressers, but if you’re gonna go for it, might we suggest cinching it? A skinny belt defines your shape despite the fact that you’re covered in the coziest material ever.

Get the look: The Limited belt ($16); Bow & Drape sweatshirt ($59)

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...