It’s a constant struggle at this time of year. The bitter weather gets you grabbing for your Winter knits in the morning, but by lunch time you’re sweating. So how can you nail your outfit so you’re comfortable throughout the day? The solution is in the layering.
Not only is layering your outfit the practical answer to your daily battle between the elements and the central heating, but it’ll also have you looking pretty fresh. Try not to get too carried away though, or you’ll be at risk of looking like Joey from friends wearing all of Chandler’s clothes at once. (I’m sure most of you will get the reference!) And trust me, that’s not the best of looks…
Whether you’re required to look smart for work, or you’re after a laid back look for the weekend, layering can be incredibly versatile. Here are a few of our top layering tips for getting it just right, for any occasion.
1) Invest in a quality coat or jacket
A jacket is something that you are going to be wearing day-in-day-out over the colder months, so you want it to last well. This will form the shell of your outfit for the best part of the season, so try to find a staple piece that is practical, in addition to making a statement. A peacoat is a great option for keeping warm in the Winter, whereas a trench coat is a better choice for rainy days, and a leather jacket for when the temperature is a bit milder.
2) Layer from thickest to thinnest
Keep your lightest layers closest to your skin and build up your look with thicker textures. Not only is this best for comfort, but it prevents giving the impression of a ‘bulkier’ physique than you may have. A lightweight t-shirt or thin cotton shirt makes a great bottom layer, as it will be comfortable against your skin and gives you the choice to strip down to a cooler option if you are too warm.
3) Make sure every layer works
Every layer should work well on its own, as well as part of the outfit, so when you shed a layer it doesn’t take away from your look. When putting your outfit together, think about how the colours and textures would work together if you were to remove a garment. You don’t want to be stuck there sweating, because you’re worried the t-shirt you’ve got on under your jumper will clash with your trousers!
4) Vary texture
Don’t be afraid to wear a variety of different textures at one time. I’m not saying you have to get eccentric in a velvet jacket and fishnet vest combo, unless that’s what you were after, but by simply layering your wardrobe staples, it can add depth and personality to your outfit. A shirt, jumper and overcoat combination is really easy to pull off. Or on a colder day, layering your overcoat on top of a leather jacket adds a bit of edge.
5) Be careful with colour
Winter doesn’t mean you have to dress from head to toe in black, and fifty shades of grey, but adding too many different colours to an outfit can come across a bit garish. A pop of colour is a great way to brighten up your look, but try to limit it to just one of your layers. Colours such as navy, dark green, burgundy and brown can make really nice alternatives to black, so layer these as you wish.
6) Make subtle statements
There’s no need to hide under a big coat all Winter. Instead, make subtle statements with your other layers. You can do this simply by adding accessories to your outfit, or giving a glimpse of a shirt collar or hem.
7) Experiment with your hems
The longest hems don’t always have to be on your outer layers. A longer t-shirt worn underneath a bomber or leather jacket can create a cool laid-back look for casual occasions. For smarter occasions, it is best to keep your longest hems on the top layers of your outfit, as it can look untidy if worn in the wrong context.
Don’t think of hats and scarves as merely practical, as the right accessories have the potential to really step up a boring outfit. Chunky knits will keep you snug, as well as on trend, and a hat is perfect for adding a finishing touch to your outfit. If it’s not quite cold enough to wear something as heavy as a knitted scarf, you can still make a statement with a bright colour or pattern. In terms of hats, if you’re not feeling brave enough to sport a fedora or panama, a beanie or cap is a great laid-back alternative.
9) Keep your trousers low key
Try to stick to quite muted trousers, as you don’t want your outfit to look too busy or overdone. Jeans are the most versatile option for casual wear, and will go with just about anything. Alternatively, some simple suit bottoms would work well for a slightly more formal look.
10) Choose suitable footwear
Your shoes can be just as important as the rest of your outfit, so don’t let things slip by chucking on any old pair. During colder months, you’re going to want to opt for a weatherproof pair. So look for ones with good grip and those that are solid enough to withstand rain or snow. There’s nothing worse than walking around with soggy feet or flying head over heels on the pavement because you’ve failed to dress for the weather. Some great options are desert boots or trainers for a casual look, or chelsea boots with a smarter outfit.
Feature image from Pinterest