The look of layered clothing is a fashion trend with major staying power, but it can be a bit intimidating to try out yourself. Sure, it looks great on ridiculously thin models, but if not done properly, layering can make you look bulky or heavy and that’s definitely not the look you want to achieve. No matter what size you are, you can pull off layering your clothing and looking fabulous, not frumpy. Our layering ideas below help guide you through creating a perfectly layered outfit.
The first step to layering is to select your thinnest pieces and to wear these close to your skin. Beginning with thick pieces then adding more items on top will result in a bulky, awkward look as opposed to the fashionable and intentional looking layers you were hoping to achieve. Start with a basic cotton t-shirt or a button down blouse in a neutral color for the most versatility with your layering.
Limit the Number of Layers
Fashion experts generally suggest creating looks with no more than three layers. They advice piling on more because successful layering is all about fit and proportion, so you want to be strategic about not only what pieces you are layering, but also the number of items you plan on layering.
Use Flattering Silhouettes
When layering your outfit, you want the foundation layer to be as figure flattering as possible. Avoid items that don’t fit well or that are “boxy” in shape because these will make you look like you’re carrying weight where you aren’t when other layers are added in.
Add Structure to the Top Layer
One of the best tips for creating perfectly layered looks is to top the ensemble off with a structured piece. Some great options for your top layers include a fitted blazer, cropped jacket or cardigan, an empire or cinched waist item or a belted cardigan.
Balance the Bottom
Because you’ve added layers to the upper half of your body, you want to be sure to keep the lower half streamlined for balance. A great pair of skinny jeans or your favorite leggings are perfect for creating a long, lean and balanced look.
Add Some Interest
An aspect that makes layering so intriguing and stylish is the contrasts between different colors, cuts and textures. The faux fur vest is a major hit this winter, and these are often more bulky pieces by nature of their material. Layer your vest over thin pieces to create proportion and an interesting contrast between a simple fabric and the faux fur.
Keep Accessories Simple
You don’t have to completely avoid accessories when you are layering an outfit, but keep them as simple as possible to avoid creating too much distraction from your outfit. Stud earrings, delicate necklaces or lightweight scarves are all accessories that add some interest to your outfit without looking overpowering.
Layering your clothes is a great way to make the most out of the clothes that you own. With some creativity and planning, you can create an endless variety of outfits. Remember that the most important rule of layering is to keep proportions and balance in mind as you plan your ensembles. Have fun experimenting with different cuts, colors, textures and accessories to customize your look.