How To Layer Right Now




We haven’t talked about layering in a while, so when Nordstrom asked me to take a look at the latest from Free People, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about.  Free People clothes are made to layer, and I usually keep a piece or two in constant rotation.

I have two simple “rules” for layering:

1.  Apply the Rule of Three – you need three pieces to make an outfit layered.  (A scarf can count as one of those three pieces).

2.  If you peel back each layer, the outfit should still be able to stand on its own.  (Which means those ‘cuddleduds’ – remember those?  Yeah – those silky long-underwear things do. not. count.)

So here are a few formulas (if you will) for layering right now:

Coat + Denim Jacket + Thin Drapey Sweater






Here’s the “real” test.  Let’s peel back those layers….


My hair is helpfully telling us how humid it was that day.




The sweatshirt sleeves of this Free People denim jacket make this a really comfortable layering piece.  I always like the idea of layering jackets, but stuffing a stiff denim sleeve into a coat is not always comfortable – even if the combo looks good.  This?  Was both.




These thin little drapy sweaters are layering gold.  Thank you, Free People.





jacket: old sweatshirt moto…this Trouve jacket is similar, or I also really like this Free People moto (it’s more like a winter coat – very cool)

denim jacket:  Free People Denim and Knit jacket (size S, but I should’ve bought an XS – it stretches to accomodate a bulkier sweater underneath)

sweater: Free People Sadie Sweater in gray (size XS)

jeans: Paige Denim Edgemont Coated Jeans (size 25) – now 40% off!

shoes: classic Vans

bag: old Kate Spade…but this faux-leather satchel by Poverty Flats is seriously cool and under $100, or WOW – this Marc Jacobs Jo Utility Satchel makes my heart beat fast and is on sale (33% off….)

mittens: I bought these at Target, and as much as I love mittens, I can’t hold my phone without dropping it (nevermind actually using it).  How do we feel about handwarmers?  These Topshop fairisle ones are cute….

sunglasses: Classic Ray-bans (50mm)


Interesting Long Sleeve + Sweater Vest + Faux Fur Scarf








And now for the test:















In case you can’t tell, I flipping love this shirt.  Not to harp on the whole “interesting basics” thing again, but they make it a whole lot easier to get dressed.




faux fur scarf: old, but I love this similar Phase 3 Faux Fur Snood (that word just won’t die)

vest:  Free People Stand and Deliver Cape (size XS)  – now 40% off!  And BTW, this piece looks adorable over a silky cami for dress-up…..

interesting long sleeve:  Free People Snow Angel Pullover (size XS)

jeans: my old Rag and Bone standbys….love Rag and Bone’s La Paz wash

boots: Marc Jacobs bootie (only one size left)…BUT….I offer up instead…wedge Sorel boots.  No seriously.  My sister just bought them, and they are fabulous.   They have a lug sole and cool lace up detail and the vibe isn’t all that different from my MJs.  Except, of course, they’re legitimate winter boots.


And now for my favorite part!! THE SHOPPING.  Here are my very favorite Free People pieces, along with notes on how I’d style them.  Enjoy!




A huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.  As always, all product choices, thoughts, and opinions are my own.  (Or as Pax would say, “MINE OWN”.)  Thank you for supporting the retailers who help support The Mom Edit.

photography credit: by Mike Draugelis



  1. I have to admit that I’m starting to feel like the Mom Edit is becoming All Nordstrom All the Time. Kind of boring, even when you put in some nice tips (like layering in this case). I would love to see some more of the old-style shop-your-closet or find-your-style kinds of posts that aren’t advertising-driven. (I totally get that you need to make a living from the time/energy you put into this blog, but the balance just feels like it’s veered so strongly into the sponsored-post end of the spectrum these days).

    Part of it is also that as an international reader, the specific items are generally not available to me (at least not without stupid shipping/customs fees), so the posts on sales and affliated links aren’t really helpful unless you are a US reader. Anyhow, I do love your blog and appreciate the time you put into it, but I wish it didn’t feel like sponsored content is the new focus of the blog.

  2. For the month of November, we’ve done 5 sponsored posts out of 21 total posts (and counting). Sponsored posts are the minority. And I could’ve easily titled this post: “Shop Your Closet – layer your jackets”. (Ironically, I did think about calling it that). I honestly don’t think the content of our sponsored posts is any different than our regular posts (I work really, really hard to make it that way.)

    To go back to the time you’re describing….well, our post rate was 1-2 per week, not 5+. Sponsored posts allow us to blog more frequently. And this time of year IS all about sales…which is why you’ve seen more sale coverage.

    Allison, I do appreciate your long-time readership (and I know you chick…at least I recognize your email, LOL)…I typically get back to the “find your style” and “shop your closet” types of posts after the holiday craziness has died down in Jan.

    • Very true about the increased level of posting and thanks for the thoughtful response. Best wishes for a lovely, stylish holiday season!

      Also, something I secretly would Love to know is your wardrobe size/balance of pieces. You often post outfits with longtime items, which I love as it’s so much more realistic than other fashion blogs that have a ton of “provided” new items. I’d definitely be interested to see an overall wardrobe planning article (a bit like the work capsule wardrobe one you did recently). I have very limited wardrobe space (further impeded by having to store maternity and postpartum/nursing stuff as well as “regular me” stuff), so I’m very interested in versatile pieces.

      • Yes, this! With four kids in a “we didn’t need closets in the 19th century!” house, every inch (of which there are FEW) of the closet I share with my hubby has to WORK. For work and play.

  3. Free People is my JAM. I am 8 months pregnant and bored to tears/sick of maternity wear, but thanks to FP’s slouch and drape I can rock their clothes now AND will feel good in them postpartum to hide lumps n’ bumps.

  4. Shana, I come to your site to get style advise and inspiration. Something geared towards me- not the work to cocktails group magazines seem to always be targeting.
    I appreciate your fashion forward and FUN style. I was standing in Nordy’s looking at that very snow angel sweater and cape today but couldn’t figure out what/how to wear them. Maybe it was the fact I was simultaneously trying to occupy a 2 and 5 year old (they got their uggs), but they would.not.compute.
    I think the Snow Angel will be on my Christmas list.
    I don’t mind a sponsored post because I still hear your voice in the content.

  5. In NEED of that alpine cuff henley…and on SALE? Not sure I can resist…

    S, girlfriend, can we discuss the makeup in the second look photos? Because it pretty much rocks. Deets, pleeeeeeeease?

  6. I don’t think this drapey look would work for me- I know from reading comments that you have at least a few readers who are tall, thin, and have wide hips. I can’t ever find styling tips for my body type- frustrating! You look good though.

  7. I went to Free People today (black friday woot!) and tried on the Snow Angel pullover and the Alpine Cuff Henley from the other post. The Snow Angel feels so great, half knit, half sweatshirt but was totally boxy on me. I tried on an XS and S (I am a firm XS at JCrew fwiw) and the Small was HUGE, the XS fit much better but stood out from my body. It felt so nice that’s it’s still on my Xmas list. The Alpine henley was really softly fitted. I tried a Small and it was curve accentuating but not in a good way. I didn’t feel uncomfortable but I looked like it. I liked the cozy but could only layer it, unlike our childless model in the Nordstrom shot. I am 6′ tall 135lbs and have 4 boys so take all that in when reading my thoughts. I still walked in that store totally confused and had to have someone point me to the pullover.

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