Layering Just Got Real

When the weather drops and the only solution to your problems is to layer a thin collared shirt that hardly protects your skin from the fatal cold under a barely-there sweater with paper-thin jeans and maybe, just maybe you can survive without that heavy coat that is a pain in the ass to carry around -- mission failed. That's what we think winter layering is. But when it's almost freezing with icy pellets of rain falling from the sky with a high chance of snow coming in later tonight, in Georgia, of all places, and the indoors feel like a million degrees and that you just exited an icy hell into the true fiery pits of hell, real layering had to be done. I mean the real stuff where you're wearing more than five articles of clothing, and that's excluding underwear and shoes. The real stuff where a winter coat isn't even necessary because who wants to deal with the hassle of tugging around 10 pounds of down insulation? So I accepted the challenge of making myself comfortable and stylish in this icy abyss of winter, coat not included.

To be quite honest, this was a challenging task. It took me five days to plan this -- I bought the dress on Monday, and since then I've been mentally preparing how I could work the piece into a post about what I like to call the "updated version" of layering (thanks to Man Repeller's recent post, yes, just already hold an intervention for me because I am obsessed). I followed her rules: keep layering until it's impossible to add another piece of fabric on your body. However, I followed a different route -- who says you can't layer for the cold with dresses?  It's best to start with a thin (or thick, but not bulky) turtleneck, preferably colorful or patterned like my striped one above to add some fun to a dull winter day. Then top that with anything that includes a collar -- your favorite flannel, a simple peter-pan collared blouse, or even better, a denim button-up dress that's meant to be worn in the spring but can totally be worn year-round, at least in my book. Outfit complete, right? Nope. Not even close. Bring out those tights, because it's a myth that fashionistas never get cold. Then layer your legs even more by adding your favorite pair of thigh highs, black on black if you want to keep things neutral, or go for red if you're feeling spicy (cue the dearly missed Stefon from SNL saying spicy, we all know the reference). No, you're still not done. Put on your most layerable (I swear that's a word) sweater that matches with everything you've put on, or maybe doesn't, along with your favorite boots (chelsea rain boots for this dreary weather, anyone?) with a breath of relief, because you're done. That was a lot of work, right? 

I'm walking in the freezing rain, feeling my face turn a crimson red and my fingers becoming numb, then I walk inside and my face is still red, but that's because the depths of the frozen tundra became the depths of the blistering sun. I shrug off the problem, strip off my black sweater, and bam a denim dress appears. School girl chic turns into cool girl chic. Layering is definitely convenient, but it sure is fun to surprise people by changing your look with just one article of clothing. 

The first thing I heard today was when I walked into school and someone said "You really went overboard on the layering today." Well, my dear friend, that was exactly my goal. And it totally worked, no matter how "overboard" my layers were. I fought back with the cold, and a thin shirt and sweater would have never won that war. Thanks to the ol' faithful turtleneck, I survived the cold (I think it's fairly obvious that turtlenecks saved my life). Maybe I was in a mix of icy and literal hell, but eternal suffering is so much more enjoyable when you look cute.

Turtleneck by Aerie. Dress by Urban Outfitters. Sweater by Madewell. Shoes by Sam Edelman.
Photos shot by yours truly

Comment below how you cope with the cold, in regards to fashion, and how you prefer to layer.

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