The Subtle Art of Layering, Style File Friday

Layering- the often bandied around style that isn’t as easily done as it’s popularity might imply. When incorrectly done, you will often find yourself red faced and sweaty, wondering why on earth you thought you would be cold when you will never feel the wonder of a cool breeze on your skin again. There are a few ways to ensure that you are warm but not overheated, and still have a put together and cohesive outfit.

The Subtle Art of Layering

People will put on a scarf and claim that they are layering. Theoretically they are, but a scarf won’t go with every outfit (and many scarves aren’t made for indoor wear, and will leave you the aforementioned sweaty mess). You will need some basic pieces as building blocks and layering should be pretty easy to get the hang of and work into your fall and winter wardrobe!

Casual layering

Thin Layers

The first key point to layering is thin layers- not only will it help you regulate your temperature, it will help eliminate bulk. A big issue that a lot of people have with layering is that they end up looking like the Michelin tire man without ever putting on a puffy jacket. It’s easy enough to find thin shirts to start the look with, but it takes slightly more work to find thin sweaters and sweatshirts that work. I prefer a more fitted look when it comes to layering as to not look sloppy, so I tend to err on the side of very cautious when it comes to sweatshirts. (Layering with a sweatshirt can also be VERY casual, so I would maybe save it for the weekend or casual Friday instead of a regular workday.)

Green layering close up

Pick a Colour Scheme

Because everything will be visible within a very small space (ie. you), it is important to ensure that all of your items work together. Normally two different reds aren’t really an issue at all. However, when they are side by side and right under your face, it becomes very noticeable. I know that people will say that I am overly picky, and I don’t disagree, but people will notice! When you are giving a presentation at a staff meeting, you want people to be listening to you speak, not staring at your clothes. I like to have a few neutrals in the options for each layer group to make sure that I’m not limited in my choices. Also, once you get to know your wardrobe well, you will have a good handle on what pieces go with which!

Green shirt sweater vest layers

Know How Warm You Will Be

The key is to pay attention to learn how warm you are when wearing certain pieces! If you want to layer for an afternoon outside so that you can skip wearing a jacket, you want to be sure that you are actually going to be warm enough without it. I fully admit to being permanently frozen, so warmth comes pretty high on the importance list for me. However, on the flip side, you also don’t want to go through the trouble of carefully layering when you are going to be in a boiling hot conference room with thirty coworkers. I have a fantastic down vest from J Crew Factory that pairs well with everything but being that it is down, it can be incredibly warm- it’s fairly thin so you wouldn’t think so, but it will keep you warm through quite a cold day. Layering is more for practicality than for a look!

The cold weather is coming, and like it or not, we’re going to have to get ready for it! Sometimes it is easier to just throw on a hoodie and be done with it, but having a put together wardrobe doesn’t have to be overwhelming or challenging. Take it one step a time, try and think of all of your options, and take a chance!

How do you tackle dressing for fall weather?

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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