Sister Style: Layers on Layers

Sister Style I know some of you love winter fashion a zillion times more than summertime. We need your tips! Please help.

I am personally really struggling with my winter style. I mean, I love tights and jackets and boots, don't get me wrong. I just feel like it's much more challenging to put together a complete outfit with lots of layers in the wintertime. I feel like my outfits come out either super boring or super crazy. How do you make it work? How do you make it fun? 

Sister StyleThis vintage capelet is my bff. We've been friends for about three years now, and I don't see us parting ways anytime soon. It used to be super long, like past my knees! But I had it taken up, and now it's much more flattering. 

Sister Style  Emma's Wearing: Blazer/J.Crew, Dress/ASOS, shoes c/o Swedish Hasbeens.

Sister Style   Elsie's Wearing: Capelet/Vintage, Skirt and Tights c/o ModCloth, Clogs/ABM x Swedish Hasbeens collab

Sister Style      Cheers! xo. Elsie + Emma 

Credits: Author/ Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

  • One way I try to stretch my work wardrobe in the winter, is to layer a close-fitting black turtleneck underneath a sleeveless sheath dress, which turns it into a fun jumper. With heavy tights and boots I stay cozy all day! (You can layer a blazer or cardigan for even more warmth). I also recently finished knitting a cozy gaiter scarf that I can wear easily indoors or under a coat without feeling too weighed down.

    I always love your Sister Style posts! Happy new year!

  • Loving both pairs of shoes, especially the gold ones <3 Also Elsie’s hair is looking especially stunning in these photos..

  • I come from the land of ice and snow – MINNESOTA! Staying warm is a priority! Adding textured pieces to my winter wardrobe makes a huge difference in my style. I have these awesome sweater leggings from Target that go with so many things. I love classic looking Sorrel boots, with the faux fur. I get tons of compliments of my Keen waterproof riding boots, brightly patterned knee high socks are fashionable and functional. On top, I usually wear a long sleeved tshirt under anything. I’ve also invested in ultra thin black long underwear. Keeps me warm without the bulk. Cable knit sweaters are a way of life – texture again- and I buy them in basic colors like grey, navy or black, then punch them up with a colorful scarf. I end up in leggings and sweaters most days, but the combinations are endless!

  • Love Sister Style, and this week is no exception! And if you’re honestly asking for ideas… Here goes! Elsie you would look great in 1) a Bardot-style look: turtleneck, big necklace, cigarette pants, Hasbeens and BIG sexy hair, or 2) a cute, 40’s/50’s workwear inspired look: rolled up denim, knotted/belted button down shirt with a men’s shirt-jac. Emma, I can totally see you in 1) a Katherine Hepburn look: wide leg pants, long sleeve knit, shunken jacket and Hasbeens or 2) a Shelly Duval in The Shining look: an A Line corduroy/denim skirt with a thin knit top, furry or crochet vest, tights and Frye boots.

  • I love the styling of the tights with the clogs. It’s not anything that would come to mind, but works so well!


  • I love love love your style! I think if ever things feel too crazy it’s because there isn’t enough of a common thread color wise. If Elsie had teal nail polish or teal earrings in this picture, I would have been in love! Then again, Emma, while gorgeous as always, seemed a little boring in comparison. It’s all about the tiny little details in winter…a necklace with teeny antlers, an amazing plaid scarf, or hot pink lips AND gloves…stuff like that can really perk up your wardrobe.

  • I layer up! I wear a lot of loose clothes so I’ve usually got 5 pairs of tights and 5 vests on underneath whatever you’re seeing, lol.
    You both look great O.R.R.

  • You two are so pretty! I love how colorful your outfit is and how you layered everything so nicely.
    <3 Love,Thays <3

  • I just absolutely love that first photo of you guys! To be honest, I think you’re doing great already, Elsie! My suggestion is to stock on solid colour or classic patterns coats so that it won’t look far too theatrical when you wear it with various outfits.

  • You both are looking SO cute! Winter style can be difficult sometimes…what with all the layers hiding some of the fashion pieces…but these looks are so fun! Love the colors and patterns!

  • Your blog and style is my absolute favourite! I find that i love wearing a jumper with a bright pattern and putting a collar over the top of the jumper.

    I love your blue shoes and the black tights together, I wouldn’t normally think of doing that but it looks great! Xx

  • I live in jeans most of the year with a western shirt so I wouldn’t be much good to you in terms of style advice!! You both look super cute!

  • My priority is always warmth. Jeans or pants worn with high density nylons or some sort of thin long johns (this is key to keeping warm, men in the navy used to wear pantyhose to keep warm on deck!), thick socks, winter boots. Or a thick A-line skirt, half slip with sweater tights, socks, and winter boots. If indoors switch out boots for (crochet) slippers, leave the socks on. On top is usually a sweater with tank top/tee shirt/ thin long sleeve thermal layer with a (crochet) shawl/cowl/scarf added to keep my neck and upper chest warm and add more color and interest. As most of my clothes are solid colors they mix well together and work great with my stash of handmade crochet items.

  • I think adding more fun accessories with basic neutral clothes would make the winter styles much more interesting… love the capelet…


  • I go with simple shirt and pants, then crazy scarf or cardigan. Also, gotta rock the lumpy knit sweaters. Especially if you can pull off a belt or necklace with it =}

    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

  • I like to wear monochrome colors and add a colorful wrap, cape or coa/jacket as accent.
    Here’s an all white look with a chunky sweater and skinny jeans and a grey/silver/burgundy Burberry plaid wrap:


  • I live in Michigan, and i think booties are adorable with any outfit! Scarves and various vests can definitely add color and depth to an outfit! I also have a huge coat collection and love my leather and vegan leather! Oh and hats too!!

  • Ain’t it always such a bother trying to conjure up the perfect Winter outfit?? I love having a rustic and folksy edge to my outfits, so tribal ponchos, tunics, cardigans, with green or light blue jeans and boots or moccasins is always the way to go. Combined with a simple lace undershirt, a simple and yet cute outfit is made! Any peasant dress or crochet shawl with sweater tights and a cardigan totally works too! But, the biggest aspect of the outfit is the hat I always add to it 🙂 I love thrifting or buying Modcloth hats that are earthy in tone and 70’s in style 😀 It adds up the perfect spice to an outfit as an element that doesn’t disregard style, and yet assures me that I’m not going over the top! For the record, you two lovely ladies always make my day! You both look totally unique and gorgeous, so thank you for brightening up each and every one of our lives!!

  • You ladies both look great! I’ve been lucky because we’re having a fairly mild winter (so far – knock on wood!) so I’ve been able to wear a lot of my summer dresses with warm tights, tall boots, and some nice sweaters/cardigans. I’ll be iinterested in hearing other people’s tips for this time of year!

    xx Kathryn

  • Can y’all do a post on “camera ready” makeup?? If you haven’t already. You take lots of pics so you probably have a good idea on what looks good in photography! Thanks!!

  • I love layering, stocking socks under leggings ( if not wearing boots)flowing Midi skirts, many from summer, allays wear a tight cami or singlet for warmth and then layer on loose black long-sleeve(fabric depending on weather), then something sleeveless eg knee length waist coat or over size singlet/tunic, a good quality scarf is capable of so many looks, and an unusual cut black coat close at hand serves me well for winter. Colour is all important, every one has colours that will make them shine or look drab.

  • It looks like you have a good start! i love over the knee socks with sheer tights.

    I always wear a long sleeve opaque blouse (with a fun print) under a cozy cream colored knit sweater with a long oversized dark grey coat. If it’s really cold, i wear a thermal under the long sleeve blouse. You could even do that with the cape you’re wearing, with a neutral colored blouse. It is hard for me to add a lot of color.

    As for bottoms, a thick short skirt or thinner longer skirt with tights always works for me (tights are a good way to add color if the top part of your outfit doesn’t have much). Then I wear SmartWool (any wool really) socks with some black short boots! The coat and socks are the most important, imho. oh and a scarf! big chunky scarves are my favorite.

    Anyway, i’ve been following your blog for a long time and i love it! Hope you have a good winter 🙂

  • Looooove the layers! I’m an absolute winter fiend and am finding that now we (in the southern hemisphere) are in summer, Im finding it hard to dress for the warmer weather! My winter look usually includes loads of patterns, different textures (mm, leather and wool), chunky knits and splashes of rich colour!

  • as usual, you are wearing great outfits. However i cant help thinking: open shoes?! in winter ?! really ?!

  • Oh, boy. I’m not a big fashionista, but my cowboy boots always make a winter outfit more fun. (I wear them in summer, too–with cutoff shorts or cute dresses.) Also riding boots are always great paired with skinny jeans, and you can throw on a fun cap to carry the look a little farther. Plaid shirts are cozy, and great for layering–I tend to buy mine big and tie them up in front. And you mentioned tights–have you checked out Zohhara’s art tights? They are out of Israel, and SO fun. I bought a couple pairs, you can check them out here on my blog:
    Love your blog, and you give me so many more fun fashion ideas than I could ever give you! Thanks!!!

  • Layering is really tough! I invested in a good pair of black boots and cognac colored boots, and black vest with some neutral colored accents. I find between those pieces I have a lot of flexibility to mix up my leggings/skirts/shirts/scarves without being too over the top. I honestly try to just stick to one patterned/colored item and then mix with everything else basic. Otherwise I end up with striped tights and a polka dot shirt or something!

  • I totally agree with you! It’s so much easier to throw on a sundress then to try and match a bunch of different layers together, luckily Florida doesn’t get much of a winter anyway 🙂

  • My (super long) 2 cents: I’ve found that if you’re going to go with prints, make sure they are in a similar color scheme, and that there is one extra bold print to catch the eye, while the others subtly compliment the print with color/texture, without competing with it.

    If you want to wear, say, a polka dot dress with a chunky sweater over top with a collared shirt underneath, either choose a sweater that has a contrasting print (like flowers or stripes) and a shirt that matches one of the colors in the sweater, or go with a more solid sweater and a more boldly printed shirt underneath. Balance is definitely key! You have to choose which piece is going to be your statement piece, and which pieces will accent it (just like any other outfit, except you’re working with more layers!).

    Here’s a Modcloth outfit I think would be cute: The Postcard Haste Dress (black with small white polka dots), Hare-est of Them All Sweater (light pink with a black and white bunny on the lower corner) and All Eyes on Cute Top (similar pink as the sweater with a small black polka dot and black cuffs and neck bow). It’s all in the same color scheme and even though you have two sets of polka dots, they’re both small, and there aren’t so many overall that they clash or compete.

    I also find that muted and soft tones work better when you’re going to be mixing prints, it’s easier on the eyes (unless you’re specifically going for a clashy 80’s neon look, then by all means, go for it!). Bold black and white works great with almost anything, you just have to make sure you either match the tones perfectly with other white and black accents, or choose just colors as your accents so the black and white print is what stands out (black and white is so bold it always draws the eye, so anything else you wear with it should be less bold so it won’t compete).

    Ok, done! After all of that: I think you two always look thoughtfully dressed and beautiful in everything you wear!

    ~Laura 🙂

  • Elise, I love how you styled the tights with the clogs! Normally I wouldn’t think that pairing would work, but they look adorable! The bright turquoise works especially well against the black.


  • Uh, layers. I usually try to stay warm during winter and it´s not always important for me to look pretty.

    I like to wear my summer clothes during winter too. I might wear a longer top under a t-shirt (colors should match) and a cardagian or sweat jacket over that and pants or jeans, with a pair of tights underneath (if I go out) and thick socks. When I want to wear a dress do I wear a top underneath too, with tights (two pairs or wollen ones, those with fleece are also great) and a cardigan if the dress is a summer dress or has short arms. Maybe socks. I never care whether my socks match my outfit.

    And I think winter is a great opportunity to really use all my scarfs (and hats).

  • You both look super cute in your outfits! I´m absolutely in love with your sister style posts, it´s always very interesting to see how differently you combine your outfits.
    I often have the same problem when it´s getting colder : On the one hand wearing just a pullover and some skinnies is too boring – but other combinations seem to be too crazy.
    But then again I just throw the pieces on I want to wear this day and then get the party started.

  • You two always brighten up my day when I visit your blog! Love the layers….although in CA its a
    Ready warming up again! :/


  • I also struggle with winter clothes because you have to wear alot of layers to be warm. The problem I have is I love pattern and colour and my outfits end up crazy. I try to limit them now to one or two patterned layers and the rest a block colour. Keeps it interesting without tipping it over the edge. Tricky though. Happy Christmas! Zoe

  • I think adding large jewelry pieces, fun scarves and boot socks can really make a difference! I’m in college and can’t really afford to buy new clothes often, so changing the color combinations and accessories help me to look cute and stay warm during winter.

  • Super cute! In the winter, I tend to stick with neutrals and black so that I can wear many layers without being overwhelming.

  • Oh I have the same outfit troubles in winter too! I recently purchased a tartan Cape from Zara and I’m so in love with it! I’m wearing it to death recently with the cold weather here in the uk!

    Lovely outfits choices & I just love your shoes! 🙂

    Lulu xx

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