03/03/2014 04:56 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Layer Without Looking Bulky

By Katherine Hahn, Beauty & Style Editor for

Layering keeps you toasty when the world turns into a freezer, but it can also make you look like a walrus saving up for the winter. Lucky for us, it's totally possible to dress warm without your figure disappearing completely. We've asked personal shopper and expert stylist Jennifer Sanzo to show us how it's done! Here's what she had to say:

1. Think Thin

Thin, light layers add warmth without creating bulk, Sanzo says. "Try a thin tee under a fine-knit boyfriend cardigan, and add a chunky scarf." For a preppier look, wear a thin collared shirt under a lightweight cashmere sweater, and top it off with a blazer.


Banana Republic, $69.50

2. Play with Patterns

"Add visual interest with color and pattern," she recommends. Try mixing prints, adding an unexpected pop of color or playing with metallic sheen or texture.


H&M, $34.95

3. Pile on the Jewelry

"Layering jewelry has never been hotter," Sanzo says. Try three necklaces in varying lengths and a big stack of bracelets. "Don't be afraid to mix metals and styles," she says. "It's a great way to infuse your personal style into even the simplest of outfits."


Nasty Gal, $30

4. Make a Statement

"Invest in a statement layering piece," she says. A great faux-fur vest, plaid blanket scarf or structured coat in a bright color or feminine pastel will keep you warm and on-trend.


Loft, $128

5. Balance

If you're doing a baggy top, go with skinny jeans or leggings, she says. Maintaining a balance between fitting and loose will keep you from losing your shape under all those clothes.


Forever 21, $11.80

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