The Coolest Way to Drown In Layers This Winter

Feb 25, 2015


Volume on volume can be a scary thing. Images of Marie Antoinette outfits come to mind, where a person would have to turn sideways just to make it through the doorway in their big hoop skirt. Since most of us can't pull off a powdered wig like we used to, we usually stay away from the full skirts paired with the full shirts paired with the paper sail boats in our up-do-ed hair. But just because we do, doesn't mean we should. What if there's a way to wear all that bulk and not look, well, bulky? I think I've figured out just how. Read on to see!


The trick, I've found, is to define the waist. You can have skirts and sweaters and lengths tumbling all over each other this way and that, but it all makes sense as long as your eye has a definite waist to land on. It's like your anchoring point: if there's a divide that clearly lets the eye know "this is what we decided is the middle!" the rest sort of starts to make sense around it.


This realization came to me when I started to play with this full black midi skirt from Sheinside. It was one of those pieces that I just needed in my wardrobe (I mean, when doesn't a black skirt come in handy?) but once I had it I had absolutely nothing to pair it with. It turns out that I don't like the color black. Everything I threw at it was either a) too fancy or b) looked uninspired against the dark hue. I was verging on pouting, people. 

But then I had a crazy thought: what if...well, God, okay. What if I paired this very poofy skirt with- um- a very intense turtleneck? 

I frowned as I glanced at my closet, testing. It wouldn't work. There'd be no way that a heavy knit would look good with such a full skirt. But what's the harm in trying? Humoring myself, I slipped it on.

And immediately got hearts in my eyes. This is now one of my favorite winter looks: just a classic, full skirt, a tucked in cable-knit, and a pompom cap. So simple, yet so, so good. It's classic but still interesting. Cozy but polished. 

And now I'm curious: have you ever paired two pieces together just knowing they'd be a disaster, but ended up pleasantly surprised? I'd love to hear!


PS: If you'd like more full skirt styling tips, why don't you read:

outfit details
SKIRT: c/o Sheinside (only $20!)
POM POM CAP: TJ Maxx, originally from BCBG

 photo divider_zps9a1dedc9.jpg


  1. I think I mostly steer clear of volume on volume not because of vision of Marie Antoinette turning sideways scenarios, but because I'm petite... and even a bit too much volume can accentuate that in a pretty serious way. I do love the trick of tucking an oversized top in just a little bit to conceal that volume, though - it works wonders and looks perfect the way you've done it here!

  2. I'm in love with your sweater and you're totally nailing this volume-on-volume concept!


  3. I love that sweater! You look so cute!
    Melanie @

  4. I think this works really well!

  5. Wow, who would've guessed? So glad you decided to humor yourself and try this combination out! I never would've thought to test it. Love that intense cable knit turtleneck :D

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  6. Ha...the queen of layering has struck again! You're absolutely right about defining the middle. If you hadn't tucked in that one corner of your jumper the outfit wouldn't have worked. But this one little tweak made the look whole! It's genius...

    Jasmin xx

  7. This is such a cute look on you! I love the idea of tucking in the sweater a little to define the waist - you're right, it really makes all the difference and is a great way to layer bulky pieces. Hmm, you've inspired me to see what I can do with some pieces I'd normally never pair together now! xxx

  8. This is amazing, I'm always so inspired by your styling! I want to start playing around more with different silhouettes this year <3

    Andini xx | Adventures of an Anglophile

  9. Really cool combo Marlen! I really like how you tucked the sweater in for only a little part!

  10. You look amazing here lovely, love the whole half tucked in vibe you've got going on here :)


  11. That sweater is brilliant on you girl! Also pretty are your eyes?! I love the color!


  12. I think you're wearing a voluminous look perfectly! Love the chunky knit :)


  13. I love when this happens! I always let myself try on whatever crazy combos I come up with and sometimes they turn out perfect. Other times...

  14. Great tip! During the winter months I always pile on the layers, and my photos end up making me look bulkier than I actually am. Next time I may use a skinny belt or something to define my waist!

    I'm also loving how cozy your sweater looks :) Turtlenecks are my current obsession right now!

  15. I love this look on you - its not something I would've picked out but thats why I love reading your blog - I also nee to give midi skirts a try, they're so adorable!

    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  16. so good:) xx

  17. I've browsed SheInside and haven't ordered anything from their site yet.. but this skirt is super tempting! You look beautiful, Marlen!

  18. I love playing around with this styling. I think key is a loose top with a tight bottom. Whether it's skirts, pants, etc. I'm busty so the belt at the waist thing looks a bit off at times. But the more I layer the more I learn. (: Plus I'd totally dress like Marie Antoinette if the opportunity presented itself. (;

  19. i love how this turned out, the skirt and the jumper look amazing together even though they both seem really voluminous! and the jumper in general just looks so lovely and warm:-) i wish i could tuck jumpers in a skirt like that, but every time i try i feel like i just end up looking like a big lump, haha! but i do love it when unexpected combinations work really well. xx

  20. Ahhh that sweater! Love it, love it! The way you tucked it is so perfect. I've been trying to figure out how to do that with my sweaters and I can't seem to achieve the asymmetric patterns I want. Definitely harder than it looks!

    - Anna

  21. I really dig this! The shapes are great, and I love the subdued, but not boring, color palette.

  22. Lovely. It reminds me of Anya in the cartoon movie Anastasia

  23. I love a simple and classic look with a little "twist" - this is so chic and that sweater looks ridiculously comfy!

  24. You are such an expert layer-er! I love that sweater so much and I'm convinced I'll still look like I'm drowning in it, but I still wanna try!


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