Tips For Layering With Dresses In Every Season

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If you have a wardrobe full of dresses and often wonder how to keep wearing through all the seasons, you’ve come to the right place. Mastering the art of layering with dresses is a trick that can transform your wardrobe, unlocking a world of new outfit possibilities. 

From layering your favourite dress over a trusty polo-neck, to getting creative with pieces like oversized blazers or faux fur gilets, we’ve got lots of inspiration when it comes to improving your layering prowess. All of which means you’ll be able to make the most of your favourite wardrobe pieces, getting more longevity and variety out of them. If you like the sound of that, read on.


Benefits of Layering with Dresses

Let’s kick things off by talking about why layering with dresses is a game-changer. Imagine creating a wardrobe full of new outfits with the addition of just a few key pieces. That’s the beauty of layering – it gives you the power to switch up your style effortlessly.

One of the best things about layering with dresses is the increased versatility it brings you. Whether you’re rocking a summer sundress or a cosy winter knit, layering allows you to create different looks (chameleon-style) with the same dress.

And let’s not forget the seasonal adaptability. With the right layers, you can take your favourite dresses from summer to winter without missing a beat. It’s all about being a style ninja and adapting your outfit to the weather.

alexa-black-military-faux-fur-trim-maxi-coat
Alexa Black Military Faux Fur Trim Maxi Coat By De La Creme Fashions | £125.00

Essential Layering Pieces

Now, let’s talk about the MVPs (Most Valuable Pieces) of layering. These are the items that will take your dress game to the next level.

Light Jackets and Cardigans

Picture this – a flowy summer dress paired with a light denim jacket. Instant cool-girl vibes, right? Light jackets and cardigans are the unsung heroes of layering. They add that extra touch without stealing the spotlight.

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Light Blue Lightweight Denim Jacket by AX Paris | £38

Teddy, Wool & Longline Coats

Perfect for winter styling, a cosy coat in a plush wool blend or fuzzy teddy-style fabric will look gorgeous layered over your dress of choice. Pair with over-knee or knee-high boots in leather or suede, and a cross-body bag to complete your outfit.

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Khaki Longline Teddy Coat & Black Longline Teddy Coat By Gini London | £55.00

Cosy Gilets

A furry gilet looks especially good layered over a knitted dress and ankle boots in the winter time. Play with proportions to mix up your look and create interest – try contrasting an oversized blazer by layering over a fitted mini dress with knee high boots.

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Black Diagonal Cut Sleeveless Faux Fur Gilet By Gini London | £22

 Blazers 

A blazer in a slightly oversized fit will lend a smart, polished vibe to your dress. In the summer, go for a cream or neutral blazer layered over a midi dress (very Wimbledon-goer). In winter, try throwing a slouchy black blazer layered over a ribbed knitted dress (a versatile combo for work-to-wine plans). You can explore our blazers here. 

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Shop Blazers & Oversized Blazers at SilkFred

Polo-necks and Long Sleeve Tops

Layering your dress over a fitted ribbed polo-neck or long sleeve top is one of the easiest ways of winter-proofing it for the cold season. This look works particularly well with shirt dresses. Go for complimentary colour combinations to create a seamless look, and experiment with different styles of tops depending on the dress. A long sleeve mesh top could look amazing under a strappy LBD, for instance.

Accessories and Extras To Consider

Leggings and Tights 

We’ve all been there – you find the perfect dress, but it’s a bit too short for comfort. Enter leggings and tights. Not only do they solve the length issue, but they also add a layer of intrigue to your ensemble.

Belts and Waist Accessories 

Want to show off that waistline? Cinch it with a stylish belt. Whether it’s a statement piece or a subtle accessory, it adds a whole new dimension to your dress.

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Black and Gold Buckle Pu Belt by Femme Luxe | £15.99

Scarves and Shawls 

For the days when you want to elevate your look, scarves and shawls are your best friends. Throw on a chunky knit scarf over a simple dress, and suddenly you’re the style icon of the day.


Seasonal Layering Ideas

Spring-Summer 

When the sun is shining and the outdoors is calling, it’s all about light and breezy layers that complement your favourite dress.

  • Throw on cropped jacket in denim or leather over your favourite sundress. It’s the perfect way to add a pop of style without overheating.
  • Experiment with lighter knits – these are perfect for take-on-and-off layering for in-between weather during the springtime.
  • Add an oversized blazer for a cool, smart-casual vibe. 
dotty-day-dress-beige-polka-dot
Dotty Day Dress Beige Polka Dot By Pretty Lavish | £55.00

Autumn-Winter 

If you’re wondering: what do I wear under a dress in winter? We’ve got you! As the temperature drops, it’s time to bring out the big guns.

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Jacqueline Oversized Teddy Coat In Beige By De La Creme Fashions | £35.00
  • Base Layer: For warmth and comfort, start with a thin, form-fitting layer like a turtleneck or long-sleeved tee. Merino wool, silk, or a thermal blend are ideal for breathability and insulation.
  • Tights and Leggings: Your winter besties! Opaque tights in classic colours like black, grey, or navy are versatile staples. If you live in a particularly cold climate, consider investing in thermal tights or leggings for an extra layer of warmth that’s still invisible under your dress.

How can I stay warm in a dress without looking bulky?

  • Warm Accessories: Scarves, hats, and gloves can make a big difference without adding bulk to your outfit. Choose chunky knit scarves, wool berets, or leather gloves for extra warmth and style.
  • Thin Layers: Layering strategically is key! Opt for thin, fitted layers like a turtleneck under a sweater vest or a light cardigan over your dress. Avoid thick bulky knits that can add unwanted volume.
  • Footwear: Knee-high boots are fantastic for warmth and add instant polish. However, ankle boots or even sneakers with wool socks can also be stylish and warm choices.

Styling Tips for Different Dress Types

Maxi Dresses 

Embrace the boho vibes by layering a maxi dress with a denim jacket, kimono, cardigan or light shawl. It’s effortlessly chic, and you’ll feel like you just stepped off a Pinterest board.

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Kayla – Button Through Blue Maxi Dress By Blue Vanilla | £38.00

Mini Dresses 

For those leg-baring moments, add some flair with sheer tights, leggings, or a pair of suede knee high boots. If your hemline is short, you might want to create contrast with a longer coat, jacket or blazer over the top (especially if it’s cold).

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Teagan Mini Dress in Black by Dancing Leopard | £33.60

Midi Dresses 

The versatility of midi dresses is unmatched. Play around with different layers – a cropped sweater, a leather jacket, or even a long chunky cardigan. The possibilities are endless.

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Billie Ribbed Racer Midi Dress Olive By Pretty Lavish | £55.00

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