You probably think we mean that extra ten pounds everyone tends to pack on during the holiday season. Not so. We’re talking about the inevitable bulk that comes with the cold. You’re bundled up and wearing three extra layers beneath your jacket. So how do you avoid looking like the abominable snowman? How can you stay warm and chic, simultaneously? Here are some tricks.

Don’t bulk up top and down below. Although scientists have long debunked the myth that we lose eighty percent of our heart through our feet and through our head, there is no reason to bulk up top and down below. If you aren’t on the slopes, you don’t need to be wearing insulated pants. Avoiding the bulk is about balance. You can wear a slim legged pant, boots with high (and warm) socks and throw on a chunky cashmere sweater (with a long sleeve underneath if need be) on top. Layer your jacket, hat and gloves as needed. You’re good to go.

Layer reasonably. Start with a long sleeve tee, toss a thin sweater on top, a cute flannel, and then a leather jacket. If you need a heavy coat on top of that, obviously add. When you’re walking you can zip and button everything up, but when you get to where you’re going, the key to layering is unzipping, so that each layer peaks through just the right amount. Think about the perfect sandwich (odd we know), but you get just a peak of all the elements inside. Try and unzip or unbutton your layers as such, mixed with a little ‘I just threw this on.’ The other great part about layers—you can remove them. Make sure you carry a slightly larger tote on the winter days, so you have something to throw your discarded pieces into.

-Arianna Schioldager

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