Winter has arrived and that means it is time to brush up on your layering techniques. If the thought of layering conjures ideas of throwing on as many pieces of clothing before circulation is effectively restricted, you have come to the right place. Whilst layering is nothing new (even Medieval noblemen and lords felt the cold), it definitely opens up a whole new world of sartorial possibilities. More layers mean more options, new dimensions and more chances to put your unique spin on your style. Before you jump in head first to the deep end of the layering pool, there are some guidelines to familiarise yourself with. Start with these rules to layer properly and then bend them once you start feeling more comfortable.
Rule 1: Lightest Layers First
The most basic, yet commonly forgotten, rule. Start with a thin shirt, then add a slightly thicker middle layer (sweaters and cardigans work perfectly) and top it all off with a jacket. Not only does it look and feel better, it also allows you to easily adjust your temperature by adding or removing layers. Slip on an extra layer in the morning when it is still crisp outside, remove it in the afternoon once it heats up, and then slip it back on when the temperature drops after sunset.
Rule 2: Define the Layer
A layer is essentially any item that can be worn on its own and look great. In other words, wearing an old singlet underneath a stylish sweater does not qualify as cool layering. If it warms up and layers need to be removed, make sure that you would be comfortable wearing every single layer on its own.
Rule 3: Always Feel Comfortable
Whilst comfort should always be your number one priority, avoid the Michelin man/hobo look by ensuring that you have breathing room and can move under all those layers. With that in mind, if you can’t place your arms all the way down to your sides or scratch the back of your ear, then it is time to remove some layers.
Rule 4: Mix in Some Colour/Pattern
Just because the cold weather brings down your mood, do not let that influence your wardrobe. Aim for complementary colours and seamlessly blend various colours and patterns into your look. One colour should be your star and the rest should form a strong cast of supporting characters. Once you’ve established the main piece – something in a bold colour, pattern, or print – you can construct the rest of the outfit around it in complementary colours. If you’re opting for patterns, think of them as a gradient. They should flow seamlessly between each other, rather than be mixed at random or broken up into disjointed chunks by neutrals.