The Art of Layering: a California native’s guide to surviving the Spanish winter

As someone who spent most of my life in the most temperate of climates, finding a strategically survivable place for winter travel is a serious task. Imagine my joy when the place at the top of my travel lists: Barcelona, Spain boasted temperatures in the mid-50’s, just a bit lower than good ol’ San Francisco. With that said, the windy seaside air and my wimpy self still forced me to stack up on the layers and to get creative while I’m at it. So, for the strong souls who are bracing tougher weather out there, I’ve compiled three of my looks while I was in Spain that utilizes the crucial art of layering to keep me warm without sacrificing style.

Up first is a grey scale street wear look that gives a nod to the mesmerizing medieval architecture within the city itself.

This look is all about mixing silhouettes and textures. I started with my trusty grey turtleneck, and then layered on a classic, black V-neck tee to create my own interesting neckline. Tying all of it together and giving me a great fitted waist is my knitted corset from Reformation. I love the additional texture and play of lines this little piece creates to elevate the whole look. And who am I kidding, every extra layer helps when you’re cold! Finishing off, I layered on my favorite lightweight puffer-inspired coat, one of my mom’s old duds, and added faux leather pants and black boots.

  1. Turtleneck, t-shirt, and pants: Fast fashion pieces from before my lifestyle change, all of which are now staples in my closet.
  2. Jacket and boots: my mom’s from when she was young(er).
  3. Corset: Reformation, an ethical brand focused on creating ethical, transparent, and environmentally sustainable fashion.

Next up, is it even Winter in 2018 if there is no puffer coat involved? Stand out from the trend by playing with interesting lengths and silhouettes with your layers.

Contrast is the name of the game for this look. A floral midi skirt (thrifted) and a retro, ribbed turtleneck (c/o Grandma) balance out the modern, cyber-esque look of the puffer coat. The unique length and flow of the skirt also create interest. Finish with classic black boots and you’re set! *Pro tip for keeping cozy: add a pair of leggings under your skirt, pulled up to mid calf. (Trust me, no one will know.)

  1. Floral midi skirt: thrifted from Wasteland in San Francisco
  2. Turtleneck and puffer coat: oldies from Grandma

The third and final look is made for navigating the streets in style and comfort.

With this look, we’re mixing the highs and lows of streetwear. Staying cozy with my very first layer, I’m wearing my Everlane wool mockneck top. After throwing on a crisp white pair of trousers for making the red pop, I’m finishing with some high socks and the comfiest of sneakers from Allbirds. (The value of a comfy yet chic sneaker is indispensible when you are walking and exploring for seven hours straight.) For the star of the show, we have the outer layer: a vintage Yves Saint Laurent wool blazer I snagged from a local thrift store in Barcelona. (The city has a many second-hand and vintage stores in El Raval and the Gothic Quarter so if that’s your thing, be sure to check those out if you’re ever in the area!) Finish with the warmest knitted hobo gloves and we. are. set.

  1. Blazer: YSL find from Love Vintage in El Bari Gotic
  2. Sweater: Everlane (ethical brand focused on transparency and environmentalism)
  3. Trousers: Behno (a luxury and minimalist ethical fashion brand based in NYC)
  4. Sneakers: 'Wool Runners' from Allbirds (sustainable wool lifestyle shoe brand)
  5. Hobo gloves: a gift, hand-knitted

Thanks for reading through! Drop a comment down below on your favorite look or go-to winter layering strategy to keep us all cozy this season. If you’d like to recreate some of these looks, I’m attaching links to ethical brands with similar pieces below! You can also find very similar pieces of the others at various thrift stores.