Layering can be a divisive style choice. It can look sophisticated and well thought-through or it can look like you’re stockpiling clothes to brave the cold months ahead. Here at MenswearStyle we’re quite the fans of layering, but we have a few ideas to share with you so that you can nail this classic winter trend without the worry of looking like a Michelin man. Here is our guide to layering for Autumn/Winter 2017:
1. Keep it Loose
Perhaps the most important aspect of layering is to keep the fit loose. This goes for the under garments, all the way through to the outer layers of the look. The main reason for not wearing tight clothes while layering is because it stops the layers from being shown so easily. Essentially, it defeats the point of ‘layering’ as a style choice in the first place. When the garments are a looser fit on the body it’s much easier to have a collar poke out of a jumper or a Gilet peek out at the opening of a coat. The second reason is that keeping clothes loose fitting will allow air to get trapped between the layers and keep you warm. What’s more, tight layers can get rather uncomfortable and restrictive to movement throughout the day. It’s simple science, and practicality is at stake.
2. Play With Tones
Keeping your layering to a tonal palette is particularly effective as it allows the layers of the look to seamlessly blend together, as if the pairing of your garments was meant to be. Especially in the winter months, if you opt for a pop of colour in your look you want the other components of the outfit to complement the look as opposed to looking like a haphazard attempt at colour blocking.
3. Don’t Double Jacket
Regardless of what you read, this is a style hazard left best untouched. The problem with attempting the ‘double jacket’ is that it so often looks like a choice of practicality and is hard to pass off as stylish. There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule. That is, Gilets over suit jackets, tailoring under overcoats and hoodies under jackets, for a more casual layered look. Aside from these safe bets, trying to pair two jackets in an attempted style statement is a risky move.
4. Flannel Shirts Are Your Friend
We wouldn’t normally advocate for this fuzzy little variation of a shirt, but when it comes to layering, the flannel shirt is friend not foe. It’s the perfect lightweight but warming layer to slot in between a long sleeve T-shirt and a coat when we delve into the cold depths of winter. The reason it works so well is because it creates the perfect variation of texture when layering. It can also be used as an outer layer, particularly when the transitional weather doesn’t quite warrant a coat. Try it with a more casual outfit over a hoodie or T-shirt (we recommend always wearing this piece unbuttoned).
5. How to Turtleneck Layer
The turtleneck is another fantastic staple for the winter months and is the perfect garment for layering. There is something about a fine knit turtleneck that just exudes style. Ideally, the material should just come away from the body ever so slightly, as not to hug you unflatteringly. It looks great underneath a casual jacket but also as an alternative to a classic shirt with a suit. Pair it with a waistcoat in a similar tone, or play with a bit of colour contrast under a suit or dinner jacket.