The Ultimate Guide to Winter Layering for Petites

As a Petite, you'll know all too well the perils of layering. Whilst your tall friends casually throw on item over item this winter (and still look absolutely effortless), you're stuck feeling a little overwhelmed. Literally, and figuratively. Don't worry, though! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can layer your clothes like a pro and stay warm without sacrificing style. 

1. Start with a Slim Base Layer

The key to layering clothes without adding bulk is to start with a non-bulky base layer. Opt for slim, fitted tops and bottoms that will provide warmth without adding extra volume. Look for materials which are both insulating and breathable.

Our High-Waisted Stirrup Leggings (£70) and Long-Sleeved Bodysuit (£85) are the perfect combination.

2. Don't Shy Away from Thermic Underwear

When the temperature drops below freezing point, it can be a good idea to wear thermic underwear. This is both thin enough and breathable, so you'll keep warm without feeling bulky. A great tip is to replace your normal tights with thermic leggings, for instance. No one will notice, except you!

These fleece-lined tights from Amazon (£12.99) are a god-send.

3. Layer with a Vest or Gilet

Down for It All Vest

An easy way to keep your ams looking slim is to add a thin gilet underneath your coat. This will also feel more comfortable than layering with an entire jumper.

We like the Down For It All Vest from Lululemon (£148) which is super lightweight, warm, and has a slim waist.

4. Get Warmth Without Bulk with Wool

Thick materials may sound warm, but they can also shorten Petites. We love wool as it is naturally super warm, breathable, and water-repellent. All without the bulk. Opt for a wool coat in a slim cut for the best result. It will hold up come rain or snow, and will look absolutely effortless. Note that synthetic wools, or the "teddy-effect" coats may not be as warm, and may shorten your appearance.

Our Belted Wool Coat (£225) ticks all the boxes. It is warm, slim, belted and fully lined.

5. Accentuate Your Waist

Textbook tip for Petite dressing - belt or accentuate the waist. This keeps your proportions in check, and gives a lengthening effect. When layering, you can do this in 2 ways. Either belt your coat (bonus points for a belt in the same material or colour as your coat), or wear a cropped jacket. We love puffer jackets, but often find them too overwhelming for Petite frames. How to fix this? Wear a cropped puffer. It will make your legs look longer, and keep you looking sleek.

We love our Cropped Puffer (£165), which is water-resistant, warm, and just the right length.

6. Stick to Monochromatic or Tonal Looks

To create a streamlined and elongating effect, stick to monochromatic or tonal looks when layering. Choose pieces in similar shades or varying tones of the same color. This will create a cohesive and visually slimming outfit that flatters your petite frame. Avoid any large prints on either your coat or base layer - as these will have the opposite effect.

Here, we are pairing our High-Waisted Stirrup Leggings (£70) and Long-Sleeved Bodysuit (£85) with the  Cropped Puffer (£165).

7. Choose the Right Length and Cut

You have to balance the width and length of your coat. You can rock a bulky material if you keep it cropped (think: puffers or thick knits). For slimmer fabrics, opt for a coat that hits you either close to the ankles (for the duster look) or just above the knee. Anything that hits you mid-thigh or mid-calves will look awkward.

8. Accessorise Like a Pro


GANNI Soft Wool Scarf in Volcanic Ash | Women's

A long, thin scarf is a Petite's best friend. Wear it loose over a knee-length coat for a warm, elegant ensemble. Avoid anything printed or overly thick. Your shoes are also crucial for the outfit - opt for boots in the same or similar tone to your base layer or tights.

The Ganni Wool Scarf (£69) is one of our favourites.

9. Bonus Tips 

  • When choosing your coat, avoid anything double breasted. This creates a wide horizontal line that will shrink you.
  • Tailored, structured coats are the best option. Choose Petite versions, where the shoulders are designed for your size.
  • The best coats for Petites are those without too much detailing. Metal trimmings, buttons, patterns and frills will not be as flattering as a plain coat.
  • Sleeve lengths make a huge difference! An outfit will look big on you regardless of length, as long as the sleeves are dragging.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently layer your clothes as a Petite and stay warm without looking bulky. Remember, it's all about the right base layer, the correct fabrics, and the right length. Stay cozy and stylish all winter long!


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