If fashion is a way of life, layering clothes is the one mantra that every fashionista swears by. However, many women still feel intimidated by the thought of layering their clothes, afraid that they will cross the fine line between looking fashionable and looking like they are about to go climb Mt. Everest. Other women are afraid that the layers might be too bulky and too constraining on their movements.
But if you have ever seen the hood of a sweatshirt casually coming from underneath a coat or the cuff of a shirt peeking out from under a blazer, you know that layering is an art. You can up your style game by multitudes just by figuring out the elements that are already in your wardrobe and pairing them correctly!
If you want to see the difference that layering makes and some ideas for layering clothes, you should check out how Sirin Kale previously got help from the Guardian’s styling editor Melanie Wilkinson to heighten her style through layers! Here are our top seven tips on how to master the art of layering that every woman should know:
Fashion and style is an important reason for layering but let’s not forget the main reasoning behind layering clothes: their function. To understand how to layer well, you need to know what each layer does so you can pick the correct pieces to work with.
When it comes to women’s clothes, this is what each layer is supposed to do for you:The base layer: To wick moisture from your skin The middle layer: To retain your body heat to protect you from cold The outer layer: To shield you from environmental factors like wind and rain
Since the base layer is supposed to take care of the moisture, it does its best when it is actually in contact with your skin. For the first piece of your outfit, you want something with a snug fit, something that is comfortable to touch and is not itchy or scratchy.
The job of a mid-layer is to trap your body heat so it is essential to pick something that can give you that warmth.
The outermost layer is the piece that is exposed to harsh environmental elements. Go for something that is actually durable and sturdy enough to do that.
Start from the base layer with thinner materials and work your way outwards onto thicker fabrics. Save the tweed blazer for the outer layer and don’t wear the chunky sweater under the slim tee!
Remember that your base layer’s job is not to keep you warm but to keep you dry, it does not need to be the warmest fabric. For your middle layer, check the weather: if you are in the Scottish Highlands, you will need a different piece of clothing than if you are in Southern Texas! The same rule also applies to your outer layer, in some places you might be able to make do with a light duster coat but in others, you might need a puffer jacket.
Try to stick with only one bulky item. If you pair a bulky piece with another one, you will start drowning in your clothes or appear much larger than you really are. If you keep most of your items on the lighter side and only add one big piece, you will get the key to the perfect layered outfit down. This bulky piece does not have to be limited to just your outer layer either, it could also be your middle layer or even a big blanket scarf!
Sure, you look cute all bundled up in your warm, layered outfit. But will it still look cute when you are inside a restaurant and you have to take off your outer layer (or even your middle layer!) because the heater’s on full blast?
It is extremely important that your outfit works both as a whole and the individual pieces work separately on their own too. If your outfit doesn't look good once you take that coat or the sweater off, switch out the pieces for something else that does.
Women’s clothes can be layered in so many ways! Learn to balance the colors in your outfit so that each piece meshes well with the others. Think of each piece’s aesthetics while layering those clothes.
If you are just starting out, stick to using only two or three colors in your look. When you start feeling more comfortable with your layering and your colors, play around with them and see what looks you can pull off!
If you are going with multicolored outfits, you can also match a color in one item with the same shade somewhere else on your outfit. For example, you can match the color of the leaves in your floral dress with a green cardigan, or the leather accent in your coat and match it with a matching leather purse!
It will also make things much easier if you keep your look to one or two color families or similar aesthetics. If you want to add a print to the mix, that’s completely okay too but stick with a single print. This also goes for textures and patterns.
Proportion and silhouette is another key element to layering.
The correct length of your pieces and their shape can really heighten your look but the wrong one can also leave you looking out-of-shape or funky. You can always experiment with your proportions by rolling up your sleeves or your pants cuff. This also goes for your silhouettes. Figure out what shape looks good on you and stick to it even while you are layering.
Accessories are a very under-utilized tool while layering but they can be the most practical as well. Hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, sleeves, and socks can all be used to keep warm while also keeping you stylish. Hats, scarves, and sleeves are also great during summer for sun protection.
We have sleeves (Link to https://alta-8.com/collections/all-products) that come in thirteen different designs that you can use to mix and match with your outfit, to add another texture, color, or pattern to it, or to play with your silhouettes by rolling up the outer layer and letting the sleeves peek through. Use these accessories to add that extra charm to your outfit or to tie it together.
Fashionably layering is an art and there is no such thing as the right way to do art or master it. It requires a personal touch and your own unique point of view. The best thing about layering is that no matter what the current trend is, layering clothes is always in! So have fun with it!
Throw the pieces in your closet together and see if you can come up with new ideas for layering women’s clothes. It is a great way to be excited about the pieces that you already have by wearing them in ways that you have never thought about before.
If you have any other tips for layering clothes that can help other women, let us know!
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