As temperatures start dropping, the layers starting piling on. While practicality and staying warm are always top priority, you don’t have to sacrifice looking flattering and chic to do so.

Dressing for the cooler weather all boils down to knowing your body type and focusing on the most flattering cuts for you — in cold weather fabrics. My motto for my style coaching clients is no more marshmallow or “Michelin Man” looks. Only sleek and chic this season! But how do you stay warm and look like your best self? I have five simple style tips for you to incorporate into your fall/winter wardrobe that will help you achieve these goals with ease.

Tip #1: Know your body type.

There is a lot of information out there right now on body type. If you scroll through Pinterest alone, you might see countless images on this topic. All you need to know are the four main body types: hourglass, inverted triangle, triangle and rectangle. There are varying degrees of each body type based on height and weight, and know that typically your body type does not change, even if your weight does.

Once you know your silhouette, then you know the proper cuts to select in order to flatter your figure. For example, if you are an hourglass, then you should focus on tailored coats, jackets, sweaters and tops that have princess seams and accentuate your more defined waist. If you wear layers that are boxy, double-breasted (like a peacoat) or swing in shape then you will end up looking bulky.

RELATED: The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Fall Fashion

These princess seams are flattering on every body — and bonus points for a bright color like this one! Image: J.Crew

This cropped blazer with princess seams accentuates the waist. Image: Bloomingdale’s

To learn your real body type once and for all, I invite you to check out my Style Yourself Chic Society membership site. Upon joining the SYC Society you will gain access to my body type guide where you can learn what your body type is and the best silhouettes for your shape. To learn more and join click here.

Tip #2: Cut is everything.

The goal for every body type is to select items that keep your silhouette looking elongated, balanced and feminine. This means focusing on vests, coats and even sweaters that have great drape and possibly also princess seams. A princess seam mimics an hourglass shape to define a waist (even if you don’t have one!), and drape simply means that the garment is not boxy but follows the lines of your silhouette without being clingy. Keep these two style rules in mind when purchasing fall/winter garments.

Vests are an easy way to layer without adding bulk! Image: Belk

Tip #3: Light layering is a powerful tool this time of year.

When the weather is chilly in the morning, warmer in the afternoon and then chilly again at night, you need outfits that transition with you throughout the day. This is also a great packing technique for any time you travel. A style coaching client of mine recently told me how nice it was having light layers for her trip to Europe as she always was comfortable temperature-wise without sacrificing a chic and pulled-together look.

Some light layers to focus on are knit blazers, cashmere moto jackets, denim jackets, lightweight bombers, thin leather jackets and vests of all kinds. These are items to slowly add to your wardrobe as you want to make sure you add in the right light layering pieces that will be versatile and flattering.

RELATED: The 10 Under-$100 Sweaters You Need This Season

A classic crew neck cashmere sweater is the perfect bottom layer for chilly days. Image: J.Crew

When the day’s weather will fluctuate, lighter layers like denim jackets are the way to go. Image: Madewell

Tip #4: Thicker does not always mean warmer.

Just because you have a super thick puffer jacket does not necessarily mean it’ll be any warmer than a good quality thin puffer jacket. Technology with coats has created puffers and other coats that are both warm and sleek. If your coat is a thicker material, do make sure it has princess seams and bonus points for a sash or belt at the waist.

This puffer jacket gets extra points for its figure-flattering cinched waist. Image: Athleta

This puffer jacket gets extra points for its figure-flattering cinched waist. Image: Athleta

Many puffer jackets are made with technology that keeps you as warm as the thicker variety … in a thinner version! Image: J.McLaughlin

Tip #5: Show a little skin.

What I mean by this is always roll up or push up the sleeves on your light layers or sweaters to show some skin at your forearm. Another trick is to opt for v-neck or scoop neck tops and layers to show some skin at your neckline. These subtle yet powerful tricks will instantly make you look more flattered and less frumpy and bulky.

Show a little skin — whether in the form of a v-neck or just pushing your sweater sleeves up — to look less frumpy. Image: Neiman Marcus

I use these exact style tips on my fabulous style coaching clients, as having a light layered look is not only practical but also key in looking polished for all occasions. Now it’s your time to implement my five favorite tips to ensure this is your most stylish and flattering season yet!

To learn more about Megan LaRussa, or to view style-coaching options, book an appointment or sign up for Megan’s newsletter or the Style Yourself Chic Society, visit


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