Although it seems simple, layering clothes can actually be a tricky task. When done poorly, you can end up looking like the Michelin man or a homeless person sporting everything you own. To do this right, let’s learn the art of layering clothes like a pro!
First, here are some of my favorite layering tips:
- Mix different textures and fabrics
- Use pieces with varying lengths
- Mix different colors. If you decide to go monochromatic, wear different hues
- Add an extra “layer” with scarves, snoods and statement necklaces
- Use asymmetrical cuts and angled hems to add extra interest
Now, let’s actually put together my simple layered look.
Step 1: Start with your base
For this look, I like short and no sleeves tops as my base. This way my arms don’t look bulky as I add layers. Here, I’m using a tee, but a buttoned down shirt, a thin turtleneck, a long cami or a sleeveless dress would have worked too.
For a casual look like this, I usually go with jeans or leggings on the bottom, but yours can be anything that is at least a couple inches shorter or longer than your top. Cargos, culottes, and even skirts/dresses will work. When I wear a skirt or a dress, I like to add tights in a matching color to keep things streamlined.
Proportion, proportion, proportion. Varying lengths is crucial to pulling off a stylish layered outfit, so keep proportion in mind as you add layers.
Step 2: Your second layer can be a heavier fabric, especially if the weather is cooler and you need it for warmth. Considering that this layer is usually the anchoring piece (a strong feature of your outfit), this is where I like to get creative. Merino wool sweaters, jersey or light knit cardigans or a flannel shirt will help keep you nice and toasty.
To get creative, go with a statement tee, a striped top, or a piece that will add some interest to your outfit. I went with this red light knit sweater because it adds depth and a pop of color.
Step 3: For my outer layer, I went with this Motto jacket that hits me at the waist; it’s one of my “cool-girl-chic” pieces and it keeps the proportions right. I also could have gone with something knee length, like a jacket, coat, or shirt dress.
Step 4: Accessorize! Maybe it’s because I’m always cold, but I think scarves, especially this time of year, is the icing on the cake of a casual layered outfit and the perfect accessory to pull everything together. I went with this bad boy that I picked up at F21. The pattern works because everything else is solid.
Step 5: Add toppings on the cake of your fashionable OOTD with jewelry and extra accessories. My go to pieces are watches, rings, and hats.
Nothing wrong with wearing a necklace underneath too; it’s yet another fun layer to add a little surprise if you take your scarf off later.
How to avoid looking bulky:
- To avoid looking bulky, at least one of your layers should have no sleeves or the sleeves should be thin.
- Use a fitted piece as one of your first two layers.
- At least one layer should be made from a lightweight fabric like cotton or jersey.
- Belting it can create definition and make you look less bulky.
- Keeping things monochromatic is not only visually slimming it also looks less bulky.
A recent graphic design graduate, Taylor is passionate about all forms of visual art. She's a great photographer and enjoys putting together OOTD. Since discovering her mom and older sisters' closets at age six, style has been one of Taylor's favorite ways to express herself; it's a way to tell people who she is without saying a word. Family and friends mean the world to this Daddy's Girl.