Layering your clothes is a skill and an amazing work of art that when done right can come out elegant and sophisticated yet, so many are afraid to try it out with the fear of looking too bulky or constricted. Layering sure takes time to figure out by finding what works best for you, depending on your clothing items and sense of style. Being an art that is both practical and creative, there are so many unique ways you can incorporate your layering. Style is an innate sense of what works together- the ability of mixing and matching prints, patterns, textures and accessories to achieve a stylish outfit. However, this is not a secret that is available to only a few but it is a matter of common sense and smart dressing: a subtle art of layering! Until recently, the knowledge of layering clothes in a functional and fashionable way was limited as far as everyone was concerned, piling on different layers of clothes was a means of survival in frigid weather conditions and not a fashion statement but imagine the surprise of finally knowing that everyone can be warm and still look cute too.
What makes layering sustainable?
Layering is one of the best ways to make the most out of your wardrobes especially to reinvigorate your clothes. Experimenting with your wardrobe with clothes you already have and giving them a new lease of life is pretty exciting. With the different weather changes we experience, layering can easily be adapted to suit WHATEVER climate thereby putting a stop to unnecessary purchases.
Not to forget that layering your clothes helps to bring your outfit to life making it more interesting and versatile giving you the opportunity to play around with the pieces you already own so, give yourself the permission to experiment with different fabrics, textures, weights, patterns and colors and your outfit possibilities will be truly endless.
Before you get started with mastering the art of layering, there are style tips and rules to consider to help you gain perspective:
Getting the base right
When planning an outfit, something so many people forget to think about and put into consideration is pairing on the right base. This is one layer that you will be wearing the whole day so make sure it is comfortable and sits snugly against your skin. The goal for the base layer is to provide the right amount of climate protection. There is really no such thing as a bad weather if you are wearing the right base.
Explore layered looks as your formula
The formula is the breakdown of clothing pieces put together to create a layered look. Start by picking out and having a favorite formula in mind and plan your wardrobe accordingly. Find a layered look online you love or that of a friend and break down the look by its elements and then recreate yours from it. For instance, a basic t-shirt, blazer and pendant necklace are ideal for a simple yet smart layering formula and knowing this, you may decide to keep a few different t-shirts and blazers in different colors and fabrics.
The rule of three
If you are not sure where to start with layering then stick to the rule of three and pick three items to create your outfit with. Two items are usually not enough for a true layered look while four or five can sometimes look chaotic or bulky. There are also certain materials that always tend to look right next to each other such as denim and leather so, be keen to try out complementing fabrics
Get some quality basic Tees
Tees are a staple item that can form the first layer of many great layered looks. Buying quality tees that are 100% cotton in a variety of colors and neckline type will provide comfort and fun alternatives and will likely fit better than cheaper options.
One bulky item
This is not to say you should only wear one jacket or jumper since two jackets or jumpers are above all super practical for warmth in colder months however, the key is to combine light and heavy fabrics so as not to swamp your body. You can add to your layering option a knitted vest to add an extra layer of warmth without bulk.
Focus on the fabrics
Texture within layering is essential especially if your outfit is a monochrome outfit that is all in one color. Varying texture for instance will help add depth and contrast to avoid looking flat or bulky. Consider mixing heavy and soft textures. The middle layer particularly is usually a great piece for a contrasting texture.
Keep to one or two color families
When layering your clothes, it is best to work with two colors or blend similar shades and hues to make your outfit look more put together. Black and white are essential pairs however, if you like a splash of color, there are many bold combinations that will not clash examples are red and blue, tan and maroon or pale blue and pale pink
Accessories like jewelries, belts and scarves etc. can complete and freshen your look. You can explore the options of wearing different necklace length which has become the new way of making a statement. Also belts are great to cinch your silhouette with practically any item of clothing.
Play with lengths
Trying out various lengths can go a long way and if done right, can elongate your figure. Layering the top half is often way easier than the bottom which is where the importance of length comes to play because you do not want to look heavy on the top. There has to be a balance.
Do not be afraid of patterns
Don’t be afraid to style different patterns to express your personality. If you are wearing a pattern, ensure to match the overall base color with other items. This can look great as a main statement piece especially as a middle layer.
Most importantly there is really no right or wrong way to layer it is about adding interest, creating a sense of drama and about confidence in your style. Remember style is different from fashion and once you find something that works for you, own it. And while owning what works for you, get guided in it because even the most creative need guidelines. Know your body type and what works for you, understand proportion, be confident with colors, understand prints and patterns know your textures and be strategic with accessories but most importantly, tune up your confidence. If you feel good in what you wear, you will exude confidence. Regardless of how trendy an outfit is, it may never feel right if you don’t feel comfortable in it. There really is no reason why you can’t be stylish; all it takes is a little imagination, experimentation and the passion to bring it all together. Cheers!