The Art of Layering
It takes talent to layer up properly, and we’ve got the key.
People are like onions and so are their clothes. Layer upon layer we build upon the foundations we are given to create something that is less like us and more the way we want others to see us. Layers in clothing do exactly that: they hide away wobbly bits, elongate our torsos and keep us feeling warm and safe.
Layering is something all of us do when getting dressed, but there is an art to it. Mixing and matching colours, fabrics, textures and patterns is much harder to get right than most people think. Thankfully, we have come up with a guide - for gals and guys - on how to do it properly.
Weight: Wait, whose weight? Your clothes’ weight, of course! Layering is primarily about looking stylish, but it’s also about being comfortable. Proper layering is done using a variety of fabrics that look good and go well together. Woollen jumpers are to be layered with silk, cotton or polyester but never with more wool. Why? They’d be too bulky and would make you look like a descendent of Frosty the Snowman. Use the heaviest garment as a pivot and work around it. With lightweight fabrics, such as the aforementioned silk, cotton and polyester, you can afford to layer together; with knitwear, however, opt for canvas coats or leather jackets (latest fashion trend, in fact) as they will shelter you from the elements without being too bulky.
Texture: The way things feel affects the way they look, and layering really brings out this property. Think tweed and jacquard, can you seriously imagine them going well together? When layering, remember that plain woven fabrics (cotton, silk) go well together, but textured fabrics (velvet, corduroy) don’t. For the best effect, layer different plain woven fabrics with ONE textured fabric to give your outfit depth and character.
Colour: While no definite rules apply for this, there are some guidelines that can help you steer away from a faux pas. Blue and green, black and brown, orange and pink, and blue and black are some of the hardest colours to get right together. This is really your call, but chocolate brown and black never really look nice, tan on the other hand is different. Orange will outshine a lighter shade of pink, defeating the purpose of layering as one garment will be taking precedence.
Pattern: Check and stripes? Might work, but are you bold enough to try it? Some simple ways of matching patterns is to: firstly, match the colours of your block colours with the colours of the patterns - this will help you avoid looking like a crayon box threw up on you; secondly, wear different patterns that complement each other, horizontal and vertical stripes look fab together; check and paisley? Probably not so much! Finally, use colour-blocking (wearing clothes that are only one colour) to frame patterns as this will help give you a more constructed look.
Cut: I’m sure you’d agree that there is no point in wearing four round neck t-shirts on top of each other, that spells loser not layering. Make sure your clothes have different cuts and lengths.
Accessories: Use necklaces, broaches, ties, socks, scarves and pocket scarves to make your outfit more three-dimensional.
Came up with a fab outfit? Post your ideas in the comments space below!