How To Layer Without Looking Bulky In Winter (Complete Guide) 

We want to look stylish even in winter but we want to be warm and cozy as well. What’s the best way to do that? Layering! You might be thinking, “But it makes me look thick and bulky and ruins the whole outfit”. It’s because you’re doing it wrong. I’ll show you how to layer without looking bulky in winter. So keep reading. 

How not to look fat with layers in winter:

Let’s divide the layering process into the following 3 layers. And let me tell you this is the best way to layer in cold weather.

Base layer: 

This is the innermost layer of the outfit. For the base layer go with something fitted both at the top and bottom. This will allow you to layer without looking fat or bulky. Also, choose lightweight fabric which is not itchy and is comfortable and smooth because it’ll be in direct contact with your skin. Merino wool and cashmere are excellent options. 

Make sure your top has full sleeves. Heavy and loose sweaters are totally not for this layer. They’ll make you look bulky if you wear something over them.  

For the bottom, you can go with fleece tights, leggings, or yoga pants. Skin-coloured tights are also great as they allow you to wear skirts, sweater dresses, and even ripped jeans in winter without getting cold. 

Middle layer:

This is the part where you can try various fabrics and fittings. You can wear oversized, loose-fitting sweaters and turtle necks at the top. For the bottom you can go with jeans or straight pants, they both will keep you warm as we already have a base layer under it.

Since we kept our base layer light and fitted you won’t look frumpy now. It won’t even look like you’re wearing something underneath.  

How to dress warm but not bulky in winter


Top Layer: 

This is going to be the last layer of our outfit where we’ll add long coats, jackets, blazers, and cardigans. You can also add a scarf here to protect your neck from cold. 

And this is how you dress warm but not bulky. The most important layer is the base layer, which provides warmth without adding any bulkiness to the outfit. 

Tip: Keep these 3 layers in mind while shopping and buy fabrics of different thicknesses so you can layer the right way.  

How to layer without looking fat 


4 Layering mistakes in winter that make you look bulky: 

  1. Wearing thick and loose-fitting clothes as the base layer: 

We just talked about how important the base layer is. It sets the foundation for your overall outfit. Get it wrong and your layering will ruin your whole style. And how can you get this layer wrong? By wearing loose-fitting shirts or heavy sweaters. 

Always wear fitted shirts and thin fabric as the base layer. 

  1. Too many layers and sweat:

When you wear the wrong fabrics and layer a lot, you get sweaty after some time. Under so many layers your base layer gets sweaty and makes you uncomfortable. And this is the most irritating thing.

Your base layer should be a quality fabric that stays warm and dry thus making you comfortable throughout the day. 

Tip: Always layer in such a way that it’s easy to remove if you feel warm. 

  1. Not testing the outfit: 

This is the biggest mistake you can make to ruin your look and your mood as well. We usually don’t try the outfit before, we create it at the end moment when we actually have to go. What happens then is we don’t have enough time to mix and match different pieces to see what’s working and what’s not. And if the outfit didn’t turn out well our whole day gets ruined. 

This is why you should always wear the whole outfit one time before you actually have to wear it. You can experiment with different colours, fabrics, and pieces to create the best look. 

Layering mistakes to avoid in winter that make you look bulky


  1. Going monochrome: 

Monochromes are in trend and they look classy as well but not with layers. If you’re wearing a black trench coat or jacket with black bottoms your top should be of a different colour. In the same way if your top and bottom are monochrome add a different-coloured coat or scarf to your outfit. 

With so many layers a pinch of some colour can make your outfit pop. 

Winter layering mistake: going monochrome


How to know if you’re wearing too many layers? 

Try this simple trick to know if you’re wearing too many layers. 

Move a little and see if you’re comfortable or not. If you can’t move your arms or body smoothly then you’re wearing way too many layers or you might have selected the wrong fabrics. Remove a layer or replace one layer with a little thin fabric to see if it works. 


Layering is the easiest way to look chic in winter but it can make you look bulky if not done right. This article was dedicated to showing you how to layer without looking bulky in winter. We also discussed the layering mistakes that make you look fat. 

Now you know how to dress warm but not bulky in winter.


Shanzay Aziz