Layering Tips

The best thing about cooler weather is being comfortable in layers again. Indeed, layering is the easiest way to add interest and personality to any combination. Adding a scarf, a belt, and a jacket can turn a humble tee and jeans into a great-looking outfit.

The first rule in layering is to keep it simple. The final look will be much more attractive if the foundations and the first layers are smooth and sleek. For example, a cashmere or merino wool sweater or even a simple long-sleeve tee can be the perfect start with a pair of slacks or jeans. Next, foundation garments must work for the layers to look elegant and comfortable.

I have worn the Shapeez Ultimate Pretty bras for a few years. They are the most comfortable, supportive, smoothing bras I’ve ever worn. This bra makes everything I wear fit and look much better.

The Shapeez bra is here.

I buy my sweater size plus my cup size. (For example, Medium-DD.) I put the bra on by rolling the cups forward and pulling it on by the body as I would pantyhose. I never use the straps to pull it up.

The sweater above is here. The most comfortable and warm sweaters I’ve ever worn are simple crew neck cashmere or merino wool ones. A long-sleeved cotton crewneck tee would also do the job. Just be sure it isn’t oversized to avoid the bunching that happens when you add layers.

I wore the layered look below to have lunch with friends on a recent windy and cold Friday. When I removed the layers, I was still dressed appropriately and comfortably in the sweater and pants.

Similar pants are here. My blazer is about three years old, so the most similar blazer I could find is here. A large square scarf is here. A similar belt is here. A similar satchel bag is here. A similar top coat is here.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States!

A summary of recent outfits is here. The looks I share with you often include pieces I’ve had for years. My goal is to encourage you to make wise purchases that also serve you well for a long time. The shopping links I share with you are usually for similar items, and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Thank you Susan for another post with great tips.
    I just wanted to wish you and Mr Mickey a wonderful Thanksgiving !

  2. I love your classic looks using well cut pieces. The length of your pants is always perfect. I don’t ever see any bunching at the ankles or a too short length. Are you lucky enough to find pants that are the perfect length for you, or do you have them shortened to attain the perfect length? Do you only wear certain pants with certain shoes and boots? Is there a formula you use? As a short person, I struggle with this aspect. Thank you for sharing all your fashion tips.

    1. Thank you, Diane. My pants usually need to be shorted by my tailor. However, ankle pants fit without being shortened, and if I wear heels with regular dress slacks or straight-leg jeans, they are OK. I always check the inseam length in the descriptions. Any pants with a 32″ inseam or greater must go to the tailor before I can wear them.

  3. living in Denmark, Scandinavia, I have followed you for several years and learned a lot. I am now 85 and still try to dress – and live – according to your advices. Thank you for efforts!
    Please accept – both you and Mr. Mickey – my deep felt thank you for your service for the freedom of Europe.
    Best regards

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Mickey. I too have followed you for a long time and have appreciated your advice. Thank you for continuing to share your life with us.

  5. If price weren’t a factor, would you carry a colorful Brahmin satchel? I am wondering if the bag might be too memorable.
    I don’t recall ever seeing you with one of their handbags.

  6. Susan, you always look amazing. I love how every day items look so pulled together on you.

    A question regarding the Shapeez bra, is the cup a stiff cup or soft. I currently wear a Wacoal tee shirt bra which is soft but molded and doesn’t show my lady parts. I’ve been eyeing the Shapeez but have been hesitant because of the price. Your thoughts please. Thank you.

  7. AS always, I enjoyed this advice from you. You look marvelous.
    I bought a couple shapeez bras in DDD size for me, however, I find they do not give me enough support, otherwise a great bra if it is only for a short time. .
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may you and Mickey fill full by the end of the day, grin!

    Clara from Iowa

  8. Yay! Color! You are always well-groomed, even in plain black and white; but you look especially good in colors like this. I love the little zing added by the scarf.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to you Susan and Mr. Mickey! I have been wearing the shapeez bras for 3 years now and the sheec socks! Thank you for all the wonderful tips on style, comfort and femininity.

  10. Hi Susan,

    You just look so pretty. I can see you on the cover of a magazine. Maybe they have come calling, but you gracefully declined. It seems like getting to know you your preference may be is to keep a low profile.

    May much love surround you, and Mr. Mickey tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving, you both always look so well groomed.

  11. Susan, was the lunch for a special occasion or at an upscale restaurant? When I go out for lunch with friends, everyone is much more casual, i.e. sweater, jeans/leggings/casual pants with no blazer or topcoat (most wear a puffer jacket or other casual style). Even when having dinner at a nice restaurant, around here most would wear the same combination with a slightly dressier top/sweater. Do most people in your area dress up?

    1. We enjoy dressing up a little for lunch or dinner, and many people here do dress up, but others are very casual. Remember, I am the one who gets dressed up to go to the grocery store! So I look forward to getting dressed for the day, even when I don’t have anything planned.

  12. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Mickey! Wishing you God’s blessings today and always. Thanks for sharing your time and talent with us!

  13. Hi Susan! I would love one of these Shapeeze bras, but they are about $99 each, waaaaay beyond my budget. Are you aware of another supportive bra brand similar to the Shapeeze ones?

  14. Thank you Susan for sharing your fashion tips and your lifestyle insight. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to your loved ones.

  15. Not sure what you mean when you order a sweater and add your cup size. I don’t see that option in the size chart. Also do you wash your cashmere or do you have it dry cleaned?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Mickey!

    1. My sweater size is medium, and my cup size is DD, so I order a Shapeez bra size Medium-DD. You should check the sizing guide here to ensure you order the correct size.

      I hand wash cashmere and merino wool sweaters as needed.

  16. Best regards to you and Mr Mickey and your family on this day of gratitude. We are spending time with family today.

    On a much more self-centered note, I just scored a navy and a grey cashmere sweater at Macys Black Friday sale. They were $39.99 each. The style is the same as the one Susan pictured.

    I think Susan might have mentioned using a silk Tee as a first layer. I have one and really like it.

  17. Thank you Susan! A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Mickey as well. Also thank you for the post showing how to layer in cooler weather!

  18. Hello Susan, have you ever seen the jewelry from Extasia? I think they have some beautiful pieces.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was nice. Thank you for your post! I enjoy them.

  19. Susan, this post shows such lovely layering ideas. Here in Ontario, Canada, layering is a given now due to fluctuating cold temperatures.
    A reader asked about Shapeez bras for hot climates. Our summers are often hot & humid, so I cannot wear my Shapeez Silky Tankee. Instead, I wear Shapeez Silkee Short bras which are so comfortable in the summer & look good under tee shirts and linen blouses. These are not foam cup bras & for me, are so comfortable.
    I really appreciate when you include a summery of recent outfits. It’s a great source for speeding up getting dressed in the morning.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.