Fall Style: How to Layer Without Adding Bulk

When I think of fall fashion, I automatically think of layers. That’s one of the things I love most about fall, the layering options. However, despite how easy the J.Crew models make it look, adding layers without bulk can sometimes be tricky.

Because fall weather can vary quite a bit, I put together three layered fall looks for early, mid-, and late-fall. I used the same base layer in all of my looks, a chambray shirt and these “girlfriend” jeans from Gap. (By the way… I’m not sure how these are supposed to look, but they’re pretty much just slightly more relaxed skinny jeans on me.)

How to layer without adding bulk. | www.shealennon.com


Look 1: Early Fall


This look works perfectly for the type of weather we’ve been having. It’s slightly cool in the morning, but it heats up to summer-like temps quickly. My cargo vest adds a layer without adding much warmth. 

Early fall layers | www.shealennon.com

Early fall outfit idea | www.shealennon.com

Chambray shirt: Madewell | cargo vest: Old Navy (similar) | girlfriend jeans: Gap (darker wash) | lace-up flats: Topshop

Look 2: Mid-fall


When it starts to cool off a little, I’ll swap out my vest for my favorite cargo jacket and add a lightweight scarf.

outfit idea for mid-fall | www.shealennon.com

mid-fall layers | www.shealennon.com

Chambray shirt: Madewell | girlfriend jeans: Gap (distressed version) | cargo jacket: Old Navy (similar) | scarf: c/o Ross (similar) | sneakers: Converse


Look 3: Late-fall


Finally, when it’s downright cold out I’ll keep the jacket but add a sweater and ankle boots for warmth.

late fall outfit idea | www.shealennon.com

late-fall layers | www.shealennon.com

Chambray shirt: Madewell | gray sweater: Gap (similar) | girlfriend jeans: Gap (distressed version) | cargo jacket: Old Navy (similar) | ankle boots: Crown Vintage (similar)


Tips for layering without bulk:


{one} Think about proportion and balance. What I mean is, if you have a looser-fitting top layer, like this “boyfriend” style chambray shirt, keep your bottom layer more fitted. Alternatively, if your bottom half has the fuller layer, such as jeans are the relaxed-style boyfriend jeans, keep your top layer more fitted.

{two} Vary your hemlines. If you have a long outer layer (hits at the hip rather than the waist), make your legs look longer by choosing a shorter inner layer (or tucking it in, see below).

{three} Experiment with tucking and cuffing. If the proportions still don’t look right and the layers still feel bulky or unflattering, try tucking in your shirt. Sometimes I just tuck the front in, and it really does make a difference and makes your leg-line look so much longer. Similarly, a cuffing your sleeves or your jeans can also make for a more flattering look. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find an overall look you like.

{four} Fit is everything. I know so many people who say “I can’t wear [insert trend here] because of [insert their perceived flaw here].” While it may be true that some trends really don’t work for everyone, I would say most things work for most people if they fit correctly. The same is true of layering; layers that fit well will seldom look bulky. So be picky when you’re shopping—if you don’t love the way it fits, either get it altered or leave it at the store!

Shop fall layers:




Do you have any layering tips to add? What are your favorite fall layers?

Linking with Hello Monday, Mingle Monday, Mix it Mondays, A Lovely Little a la Mode, Let it Shine, "Meet my Boyfriend" at the Creative Closet, On Trend Tuesdays, Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me, Confident Twosday, and Just Jacq

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