Layers That Your Coat Will Thank You For


Thanksgiving ended not too long ago, and while I’m a huge fan of pumpkin pie, I went with pecan pie this year. All I have to say is, “Where has this been all of my life?” It’s not like it hasn’t been there throughout the years (floating around in holiday conversations and even passing by the table as a dessert option), but I’ve always been the one to not try it. I’ve never been a huge fan of butter pecan ice cream, and I thought for some reason that the pecans in pecan pie would be similar.

I was so wrong. There’s just something about the toasted pecans combined with a glaze of brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup that makes you feel like you could very well eat this pie for the rest of your life! Needless to say, I ended up eating two slices of pecan pie and all of the other traditional food of Thanksgiving. By the end of the day, I was stuffed (and also glad that I wore clothes that were comfortable)!

Leading up to the holidays, I thought a lot about what kind of outfit I should wear for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. My main goals were to dress in layers that were warm enough but also would fit into my coat sleeves. The idea of wearing my cozy knitted sweater poncho (with 3/4-length sleeves) that I had worn two Thanksgivings ago? Definitely out of the question this year.

The struggle of fitting my arms into the sleeves of my coat, with that particular sweater poncho on, was real (and really uncomfortable) and reached the potential danger zone of the seams of my coat bursting. Needless to say, there would be no repeats of that this year (unless the weather ends up being warm enough to not wear a coat)! So, I took to looking at everything else in my closet that I could work with.

While fall and winter are two of my favorite seasons because of the holidays, it also has the best fashion when it comes to endless opportunities to dress in layers. In a better effort to get more use out of the clothes that you already own, I wrote What if Your Closet was a Clothing Store? as a guide to reorganize your closet, create a new atmosphere for your clothing and accessories, and let go of the things that you no longer need.

November and December are two of the biggest holiday shopping months of the year with so many ongoing sales, advertisements in the mail, and television promos. (And can we talk about all of the amazing clothes and accessories that designers are coming out with?) It can be very hard to resist the urge to splurge on new outfits. There’s no shame in buying new clothes or accessories, especially if you’re going to get a lot of use out of them. Realistically, styles change, clothes no longer fit and need to be replaced, things start to show wear and tear that aren’t repairable, or you really want that new sweater at the store (and know it will be the one that got away if you don’t get it now).

If anything, reorganizing my closet and donating things made me become more aware of what I had been buying and how it worked with the rest of the things in my wardrobe. It challenged me to work with the clothes and accessories that I already had to put outfits together, but also to be more mindful of how I would style future purchases in multiple ways with some of the older things in my wardrobe.


The outfit that I put together for Thanksgiving Day had a nod towards the business-casual category, but it was ultimately very comfortable and warm. It was a combination of a navy blue floral shirred peplum top, paired with deep green corduroy pants (both of which I already had in my closet), and a new black knitted pointelle cardigan that I had bought with the remaining balance of a gift card I had gotten for my birthday. My inspiration for the color palette was drawn from one of the pictures that I have hanging on my wall by Vincent van Gogh called Cafe Terrace at Night. It has a deep blue starry night sky, a dark green pine tree off to the side, and a shadowy building in the back (pictured here).

Without the cardigan, I feel that the shirred top would read a little too dressy (for the Thanksgiving I was going to) with its bishop sleeves and expose skin to the cold weather with the square neckline (on the front and back). The cardigan was able to tone the whole outfit down but show a hint of floral print, add an extra layer of warmth, and match the color of the over-the-knee boots. Normally, I would’ve paired an outfit like this with black jeans; however, my six-year-old jeggings have finally reached their end. (It’s a miracle that they lasted as long as they did!) So, I chose to pair the outfit with my deep green corduroy pants which added a nice subtle pop of color.

Aside from the outfit that I wore to Thanksgiving, I came up with two additional outfits from my closet to wear during the holiday season that are quick to throw together last minute. (You may already have something in your own closet that’s similar!) I wanted to keep things very simple and let the colors, patterns, and texture of materials create a statement by themselves without any jewelry.


For the first outfit, I was very much inspired by the style of a friend who was a foreign exchange student who had traveled from Europe to study abroad at the high school that I went to years ago. We went shopping together with a small group of friends to stores like Abercrombie and Hollister, because they were very popular brands where she lived and were less expensive for her in the States. Around that time, Abercrombie and Hollister produced a lot of camisole designs that had gorgeous embellishments; the only problem was that our school dress code stated that we couldn’t wear spaghetti strap tops or tank tops that revealed skin.

Of course, our new fashion friend had an amazing sense of style and figured out a way to work around the school dress code but still work with the styles that she wanted to wear even if they had spaghetti straps or were low cut. What she did was wear a long-sleeved shirt with a loose embroidered Hollister cami over it. Not only did the outfit look cute and have ’90s vibes, but it was able to show off the actual floral design on the front and back strap detail. Sometimes, she would even wrap a scarf around to add that extra layer. Ironically, both of the items that I paired together for my outfit were from Abercrombie; the cami I had kept from my high school days, and the striped mock neck shirt I bought two years ago.


The second outfit, I wanted to go for something that was super-saturated in color and reminiscent of the color-blocking trend. I have this long dark teal knitted cardigan that I wear all of the time with a black cami, but this time I paired it with a dusty rose colored cami with black leggings (that are subbing in for my jeggings) and over-the-knee boots. The two colors paired together kind of remind me of watermelon colors or a creative interpretation of the usual Christmas colors. Both pieces are more of a relaxed fit that makes the outfit so great for the holidays when you know you’re going to eat a lot of food with friends and family.

While these holiday outfit ideas mostly revolve around wearing two-piece basics (such as tops, cardigans, long-sleeve shirts, and pants), that shouldn’t stop you from considering wearing dressier styles (such as a skirt, dress, or jumpsuit). If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to put outfits together from your closet, some of the things that I do (when I get bored with wearing my usual outfit combos) is to look at interior design and home decor pictures on Pinterest for color palette inspiration. It’s helpful to be able to see unexpected color pairings through furniture, lamps, curtains, wall paint or wallpaper, pillows, rugs, and tables. (It doesn’t have the form of clothes to create an expectation of what should go together, which leaves endless opportunities for being creative with your outfits!)


I hope that this helps inspire some new holiday outfit ideas for your own wardrobe!



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P.S. What’s your favorite holiday dessert? Do you have a go-to outfit during the colder weather?

FTC: Not sponsored.








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