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Fall and winter months always make you feel like piling on the sweaters or wearing layers upon layers of clothing to insulate your body from the cold. This year we will again be doing it because it has continued to be on trend.

The mannequins in our favorite boutiques are piled high in layers and always look so chic! The problem is most mannequins are model-thin and look good no matter how much you throw on top of them!

For most of us living beings, the way we layer is not so easy because our height and weight are key factors in a bulky appearance.

Layering Petite Figures

It's easy to get carried away and pile on the bulk when you're height challenged. The problem is you can appear stocky. Visually you appear shorter and rounder so you definitely want to tone it down. Do this by selecting finer knits and blazers with minimal texture. Choose finer weaves in turtlenecks and crew neck sweater-style tops, then layer them with finer knit cardigans. If your base layers are less bulky, you can layer thicker knits on top. Just don't go overboard when layering more than one. Also, try to avoid those extra-long cardigan sweaters that sweep the floor if you are under 5' 4", as they tend to draw you down with them! Choose instead something above the knee.

Layering the Pear Figure

The Pear, or Triangle figure is a common figure type in women and can be tricky to layer in the winter. Because you carry most of your weight in the mid-section, you ideally want to draw the eye up and away from this area. You can do this quite effectively by wearing sweaters containing a lot of detail high above the waist area. The neck and decollete are the best places to add detail and can be done by selecting large, cowl-neck turtleneck styles. Sweaters with bling in the shoulder area work as well. Ensuring any bulk or detail sits at chest height or higher is key for a flattering appearance for a pear figure.

Layering the Apple Figure

The Apple or Round figure is also very common in women and challenging for those who love to bundle up in the cold. Unfortunately, any type of bulk in a sweater or top is never a good choice for this figure type. Rather than choosing one bulky sweater, it's best to choose two or more finely knit pieces for insulating. The benefit to this is you have more to remove when you get back indoors, rather than one thick, bulky sweater that can't be shed.

Layering the Rectangle Figure

The Rectangle figure is challenged in the "curvature" department so any bulk can actually be a plus for them. Taller women with rectangle figures have to be careful about appearing top-heavy, however. To balance out the figure, wear extra-long cardigans that have a consistent thick weave head-to-toe, avoiding too much bulk in one area alone. As soft curves are ideally what you want to add here, finer knits and vertical weaves won't be as flattering for this figure.

Layering the Hourglass Figure

This is the figure we all want, to be sure but most of us aren't fortunate enough to have it! A perfectly proportioned body can wear pretty much anything but there are still some things to be wary of. To maintain that hourglass silhouette the waist must always be visible, which means anything sitting near it must be cinched. Any belt will achieve this but the width must be tailored to the bulkiness of the knit. A thicker knit requires a wider belt. A finer knit not so much. Of course, height will play into this as well. Tall women with hourglass figures can get away with any width of belt. Short women must keep the width to a minimum to be flattering.

Layering can be effective for camouflaging figure flaws you don't want others to see. If you pay attention to the elements of height and proportion, layering can be immensely flattering. Play around with different knits and textures and you'll see what I mean!

Bliss & Bling Blog: Layer It On!

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