How to Layer for Your Body Type

In the fashion world, there are many style tips and tricks that can look awesome in experienced hands, but on a novice… not so great. Layering is one of these tricky styles; it’s super cute (and cozy), but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can easily look sloppy.

Believe it or not, every woman (and I mean every woman) can look incredible in a layered look! The key is to create a look that’s both flowy and flattering — and the key to that is understanding your body type. Here are a few easy tips to get you started:


Pear-Shaped Bodies

Ladies with pear-shaped bodies tend to have a wide lower half (particularly in the hips) with a smaller bust, arms, and shoulders. This shape can make you appear shorter than you are — and piling on loads of layers won’t help! The goal here is to elongate your shape with layering.

When a pear-shaped lady layers up, the skin she shows is just as important as the skin she covers up. For example, try layering with a skirt or maxi dress with slits on one or either side; this little peek of your leg will give the illusion of length. Also, look for outerwear the hits below the hips to balance you out and create a more balanced and proportionate shape.


Hourglass Shaped Bodies

Hourglass shapes come in all sizes, but they all have one thing in common: a curvy body with a well-defined waist. It’s not always easy to create a layered look that maintains this silhouette, but it is possible if you know what kind of clothing and accessories to look for.

Look for garments that will flatter your shape and highlight your waist, like belted coats or fit and flare dresses. You can also opt for a look with shorter layers — wear a cropped jacket with a high-waisted skirt and you can show off your shape beautifully. And of course, if you don’t have any cinched in clothing, you can always reach for a handy belt for some DIY layering fashion!

Apple-Shaped Bodies

An apple-shaped body generally refers to someone with a larger bust and torso with more narrow hips. Layering can be a real challenge for an apple-shaped body, as long, flowy garments tend to hang off the upper half and swallow up the hips and legs. How can you avoid that?

The key to layering an apple-shaped woman is to focus on structured layers. For example, an overcoat with ruffles, buttons, or other detailing down the middle can help break up the body, creating a longer look with a more defined waist. Look for coats that hit at the hip or even the knee — these items were born for apple-shaped figures. And don’t forget to put on a flattering v-neck underneath!


Athletic Bodies

The shoulder and hip measurements on ladies with athletic bodies tend to be about the same, which means that these women have a figure that’s more straight than curvy. Here, the trick to layering is all about using fitted pieces that balance the body and help to accentuate the waistline.

Wrap tops and dresses, particularly ones with a v-neck help define the waist and bring attention to the hips and legs (which minimizes the shoulders, creating balance). Athletic bodies also look great in fitted outerwear, so don’t be afraid to reach for a statement coat. Partner a flowy wrap top with skinny jeans, throw on a chic peacoat or bomber for some extra flair (and warmth), and you’ll look fantastic!

With these tips, you’ll be able to wear layers like a pro — no matter what shape or size you are!

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