Putting together an on-point outfit once cold weather hits is a true test of patience, as well as a challenge for your sartorial sensibilities. While your closet might be filled with super chic pieces, there’s still the question of warmth to consider. Style and comfort might seem at odds with one another, but they *can* totally work together in harmony. All you need are a few clever layering essentials to pull it off. From discreet puffer jackets to warm, wooly cardigans, these 11 understated closet essentials are all you need to stay on top of your style game this season.
1. BDG Ellie Everyday Cardigan ($39): A colorful cardigan is a piece that packs some serious utility. Worn over a simple tee and a pair of jeans or a favorite dress, it allows you to stay warm without dozens of heavy layers, but it also comes in handy when you really need to bundle up.
2. Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Compact Quilted Jacket ($30): This super lightweight, snug shell allows you to rock that chic boyfriend coat or faux fur topper all season long — wind, rain, snow and all. Just layer it under your go-to outerwear and you’re ready to take on whatever weather comes your way in style. Weather totally out of whack? The versatile piece can be folded up into a sac small enough to fit in your purse.
3. Madewell Flannel Ex-Boyfriend Shirt ($82): What’s fall without a little buffalo-check flannel anyway? Rock it as an unexpected outer layer instead of a classic cardigan, pair it up with a leather-look midi and chunky knit or layer it under a sophisticated shift dress. The options are endless.
4. ASOS Sweater in Brushed Yarn with High Neck and Side Splits ($69): Side-split tunics with elongated silhouettes will keep you both cozy and looking fly this season. Toss one on with next-level leggings and a structured vest for a pulled-together look or give a go-to dress a cold-weather-ready edge.
5. Hansel from Basel Space Block Tights ($15): Whether you layer them under your favorite wide legs or a pleated midi skirt, these wool tights won’t let your sartorial sensibilities down. They’re also ideal for wearing under jeans when the temperatures take a major dive.
6. ASOS Oversized Square Scarf in Blown Up Check ($33): Consider oversized scarves your BFF this season. Style it as poncho or wrap with an elevated belt for an extra layer of warmth and style.
7. Old Navy V-Neck Sweater Dress ($40): Fall’s answer to one-and-done-dressing, the sweater dress is the solution to all of your cold-weather worries. Pair it up with leather-look leggings or flared jeans and a boyfriend coat or, for a work-appropriate getup, wear it over a pleated midi and ankle boots.
8. Mango Zipped Hem Trousers ($50): On those days when tights (even the heavy-duty variety) aren’t going to cut it, just toss on a pair of leather leggings and watch as everything from tunics to work-appropriate dresses and everything in between transform into sartorial gold.
9. Urban Outfitters Colorblock Stripe Crew Sock ($14): Frozen toes are about to become a thing of the past. Warm woolen socks mean your favorite pair of ankle or knee-high boots — heck, even those lace-up flats — will be getting a lot more wear this season.
10. Le Fou by Wilfred Olivie Sweater ($195): A cozier version of your standard blazer vest, this soft merino wool number will keep you looking polished without compromising on comfort. Style it with a sleek midi dress or tailored trousers and top.
11. J.Crew Striped Tissue Turtleneck T-Shirt ($45): Tissue tees are a layering must-have, especially on days when the temps ride the line between freezing and polar vortex. Solids are a classic choice, but striped layers will add dimension and depth to your look, while keep you warm and cozy.
What layers do you need to make it through fall? Tell us in the comments below.