It is time to play by the rules of fall and get out your best layering gear. As the temperatures drop, practice your hand at creating great looking, weather-ready ensembles. Now this isn’t to suggest that you bundle up in as many pieces as possible (e.g. Randy from “A Christmas Story”.) The key is to consider each layer as an option to wear as a standalone piece. Considering each layer ensures comfort with the overall goal of creating a great looking outfit. To help you get started, here are a few pointers as you put together your layered look.
The lightest piece of clothing should be the first to go on. Keep in mind the basics: t-shirts, thermals, fitted tanks, etc. Think thinnest to thickest while you put together your look. Choose easy-to-breathe natural fabrics such as 100% cotton, linen, cashmere or rayon. Don’t forget to consider special technological features such as moisture wicking or dry absorbing garments to guard against excessive perspiration. Avoid heavier fabrics such as corduroy, flannel and nylon. Some of these fabrics may sound comfortable but are not ideal for what you want as the first layer against your skin to set the framework for a breathable, layered outfit.
Less Can Be More.
If you’re comfortable in several layers, go for it but don’t aim too high. Keep in mind your daily routine and consider your best options. You want to be comfortable and this cannot be achieved if you’re not able to move (remember the Randy reference!). Use your best judgment and pick layers that evoke a loose fit feel. Your second layer can be a shirt, sweater, cardigan, button up, flannel or vest. This is where you can think creatively. Choosing a mid-layer may mean going for the heavier fabrics partial to the winter seasons such as flannel, corduroy, wool and cashmere. Remember to picture each item as a standalone piece. If you shed your final layer, say a jacket, will you still be comfortable in your mid-layer?
Color Inside the Lines.
Be creative in mixing patterns and colors but don’t go overboard and make yourself an optical illusion. The key is to tie in subtle portions of each layer. Plaid shirts are a great option because they can have several colors, making it easy to pair with solid colors. If you decide to pair a vest or sweater with a button up shirt, bring in the first layer’s color. Make sure that your collar or first layer shirt is also visible. This will add a subtle pop of color, completing your color story. Another color tip is to pick colors that are best suited for your physical traits. You can do this by considering your eyes. Choose a color that is opposite of the color wheel to your eyes. For example, a fella with dark brown eyes might want to wear olive green or caramel brown.
All Together Now!
Sum it up with a jacket, blazer or coat. This is a great time to play with accessories if you’re up for it. Adding a subtle scarf, hat, watch or even the right sunglasses can bring your look together. Though these aren’t necessarily “layered” pieces, they certainly add a bit of charm to the compilation. Again, comfort is key. Wear a heavier jacket if you will be going out in the elements or if it’s a cooler day, aim for a blazer. Consider wearing something with an attached hoodie for that extra bit of warmth on a cool day. This also gives the illusion that you are wearing a hoodie without the added weight.
Now that you’re done step back and make sure you’re able to move comfortably. Layering can take practice but once you’ve got it down, experiment with adding various colors, accessories and pieces. Layering can echo your personal style which may change day-to-day. Now it’s time to update your wardrobe with this season’s hottest styles.